As writers, our endurance is everything. The long hours, the tireless nagging in your mind to write, the countless opinions–they all shape you as a writer.
And you can either buckle under the pressure or toughen up, because it’s not going to get easier.
I’m on the third book in my trilogy, and I’ve got to make sure this book wraps up the trilogy properly. I have to tie up the loose ends, make sure everything makes sense, and leave my readers happy (or shocked; it depends on what you’re aiming for). Writing a series can be arduous, because you’re sticking with (basically) the same characters for one, two, three, etc. books. You might tire with these characters. You might be clinging to them and, therefore, never want the series to end. As you continue to write, you must keep your readers interested in your writing style, plot, and characters. If not, they won’t get to the end of the series. You have to keep your reader, well, reading. If not, it’s all for nothing, because you haven’t changed any lives. You haven’t stirred any hearts. Without reaction, there is no success.
When my readers finish The Reformation Trilogy, I want them to have this reaction:
…I can’t believe it’s over.
I want them to still be yearning for my characters. I want to wrap things up but leave them hanging. Here’s some keys that (as an amateur writer) I believe help keep readers wanting to read a series.
- A tone. Again, as I stated above, I want my readers to feel a certain way after reading my books. Set a tone and stick to it. Do you want your readers shocked, happy, sad, or angry?
- Keep the characters personable. Make your characters so dear to the reader that they do not feel like they can leave the story because they won’t know what happens to the characters.
- Keep the cliff hangers comin’. Don’t just have one plot twist. Don’t just have a few cliffhangers. Make sure you don’t bore your readers with constant back stories and normal action scenes. Leave your readers hanging at the end of a chapter or, hey, at the end of the story! Just don’t make it cheesy.
- That being said, make sure you do give the characters a proper ending. Tie the necessary loose strands so that the reader feels like they accomplished something by reading your book.
- Pour all of your heart into your books. If you don’t put your full effort into your books, your readers will notice.
- Use catchy slogans and artwork to keep your readers interested in the series until the release. On my personal Facebook group, I post snippets from Reformation, plus artwork, Pinterest pins, and “theme songs” for the characters. Plus, I use the hash tag #Reformationiscoming on all of my posts concerning the book. Utilize social media to promote your series.
I hope that, after reading this, you’ll go write a thousand words in your series. I hope this served as a pick-me-up. I hope this stirred your emotions, because that’s what writing is supposed to do.
Perhaps, while writing your series, you’ll find the key to what makes a successful series and what it takes to be published.
Until next time,