A Few Thoughts on Writing a Series by Jillian Kent

Today, I welcome Jillian Kent to A Bed of Roses…Thorns Included. You can learn more about Jillian and her previous books on her website.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do the thing and you’ll have the power.” I’ve found that to be sound advice while writing the three books for my first published series. I feel like an Olympian with a gold medal. I’ve finished Book Three of The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Mystery of the Heart, which  released January 8, 2013. It’s been an exhilarating, frustrating, hair-pulling, joyful experience. If you’re thinking of joining this club here’s a few things to consider.

1)  Keep track of everything
         You’d think this would be easy, a no-brainer. I lost track of names, eye color, ages, etc. Find a way that works for you. I did utilize Randy Ingermanson’s Snow Flake method to some extent but found I couldn’t quite be that detailed. I’m still exploring the best way for me to stay organized. I’m now exploring Scrivener and taking a class beginning February 19th with Gwen Hernandez. http://gwenhernandez.com/2012/12/18/enroll-now-for-february-scrivener-classes/

2)  Teaser chapters
          Write the first chapter of your next book in the series ahead of time. I didn’t know I was going to have to do this and had to work hard to make it happen when I turned in Book One. I was prepared better when I had to have the teaser chapter ready at the end of Book Two.

3)  Reader Discussion Questions
          I hadn’t even thought about this issue until recently. Book clubs might want these in your novels. I’ll probably put discussion questions at the end of Book Three and I’ll probably go back and put questions on my website for the first two novels.

4)  Know your limits.
          I’ve learned about the difficulties of writing while working full-time and coping with the unexpected. You will always need more time unless you’re really experienced and know your abilities in this business. It’s a learning curve as my agent Rachelle Gardner says and she is so right.

5)  Balancing writing, marketing, and social media with your deadline.
          I think this is incredibly hard. You must help market your books and I enjoy doing this, but when you’re trying to write your next novel, and do all that is going to help your novel be noticed in an oh so saturated market is, as we regency writers might say, beyond the pale. Just too much.
There is so much more, little nuances that come into play. But if this is what you want with all your heart and soul you will find a way to do it. Do your best and trust God for the rest.

Are you considering a series? Got questions? If you’ve written a series please share what you’ve learned along the way. 

Lady Mercy Grayson has secretly been studying medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has dressed as a man to pursue the same passion her big brother Devlin, Lord Ravensmoore, pursued outside the acceptance of society. Her secret has been discovered. Now she’s running away from Scotland and her dreams. Will she be able to accomplish what she feels is God’s calling, or will the parameters of society and those who want to use her secret to accomplish their own selfish ends determine the course of her future?
Vincent Lyons, Lord Eden, is an adventurer coming home to London to deliver the mysterious Holy Lance to the prince regent who wants to see if the legends are true surrounding this relic that is said to possess both the power of healing and destruction. His life is catapulted in another direction when he meets Mercy who is pursuing a different kind of adventure that will cause him to question everything he believes.
Both will be forced to examine their personal motives when members of a voudon tribe, the Regent, and the London Legend Seekers Club search to possess the ancient relic for their own purposes.
Thank you, Jillian. Great hints for any writer looking to write a series.

Jillian has graciously agreed to give away a copy of Mystery of the Heart to a commenter. You can either answer her question above, addressed to writers, or tell us what your favorite series is, and why.

We need eight comments (excluding mine or Jillian’s) to have a drawing, so please share this post with your friends and encourage them to comment.