Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thoughts on Series

So I’m looking at the cover of Lion of Senet, which is book one in the Second Suns Trilogy, and thinking to myself, “How the heck is this book supposed to turn into a trilogy?”

Granted I’m only halfway through, but I’ve yet to get any whiffs of an overarching plotline (unlike The Way of Kings, which reeks of overarching plot lines).

I think too many people do series. My sortofsecondmom agrees with me—we discussed it during a trip to Costco last week. In general, I can handle trilogies, but these long, winding, never-ending series like Runelords and The Wheel of Time are a little insane. Not that they’re not written well (I don’t want to incur the wrath of WoT fans), but come on. Fifteen books comprising ONE story? Really? Who has time for that? You can read all the Standard Works* three times over in less time than it takes to read WoT once.

Maybe this thought attributes to the fact that I never write or plan for series, even trilogies. (That, and I’m not certain I can come up with a complex enough plot line to swallow three+ books in the first place.) I prefer to read stand-alones, and I always write stand-alones. I just like them more. You can read a lot of different stories a lot quicker with stand-alones.

I’m not planning to read books two and three of Fallon’s trilogy unless, for some reason, I’m incredibly intrigued by the end of book one.

As a side note, I only read books one and two of The Hunger Games and only the first three Harry Potters, though I did read all four Twilight books. I think that last one is the longest series I’ve ever finished, with the Mistborn trilogy in second.

Excerpt of the day:

Teague did as told, rotating her ankles and maneuvering her shoulders, the way she had been shown. On her fourth swing, she asked, “Kitsy, what’s your Weir?”

“I’m not allowed to tell.”

“Why not?”

She shrugged. “Aro says I can’t. Just like I can’t leave my room at night.”

“Is it scary? Scarier than you?” Teague teased.

Kitsy stuck her tongue out before replying, “No, it’s just the rules. I follow the rules, unlike
some people.”
Weirs, chapter 6

*This would include the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Yes, I’m Mormon. Wooooo~


  1. Yeah, I end up reading a lot of "Book Ones" of series. I often would like to keep reading more books in the series, but I want to be exposing myself to lots of different authors and styles of writing. I try to read books in my genre that are big, and usually well-known books get turned into trilogies and such...
    Personally I like the idea of writing a number of books all in the same world, but with a different cast of characters to work with in different books. But I don't think I could ever write seven books starring the same character. >_> Or even four.

    You need to read Mockingjay though, Chuck! Unless you didn't like the first two books, of course.

  2. I'm pretty sure that reading all four twilight books but NOT reading all of Harry Potter or Hunger Games is something you really don't want to admit on a writing blog. :P
    The longest series I ever read was Dresden, but that was because each book has its own individual start and end. There are overarching bits that crop up during these stories, but since each book is so well self-contained it made it far less painful.
    I got to book 6 in Wheel of Time and gave up. I just couldn't keep everything straight.
    I'm curious (as I'm reading Codex Alera) how I'll feel about it at the end. Also, attempting to plot a 6 book thing (Steelgods) made me realize exactly how much more difficult is it than plotting just two or three books that are linked.
    Anyone can write a sequel. It takes talent to write a good, multi-book series.

    As for reading then, I feel that longer series could potentially draw you in deeper and cause a deeper connection with the characters (Dresden certainly did this). On the other side, they you expect a monumental payoff at the end, so if it doesn't deliver according to expectations, you've read 6-7 books for nothing (Harry Potter and Hunger Games had this problem for me).

    You should plot a series for fun as a non-writing exercise. Just see if you enjoy it. :)