In some ways, writing a series novel is easier than a single novel. Once you have you some headway, i.e. you have one or two books under your belt, you already have several characters working, and you don’t have to start from scratch. Then as you build story more characters come under the canopy. When finished with a character in one books, it’s fairly simple to reintroduce him/her into a subsequent novel. Since the author already knows the character intended, he need only convince the reader that this character exists.

Of course, there are different kinds of characters. Decision makers move the plot along; cameo characters don’t. Such cameos ought not be colorless, irrelevant or introduced only for the author’s convenience. A good maxim: a character should have character.

I find the most difficult issue for writing a series novel is not the plot, but reasonable and compelling romances. After all, there is just so much romance in any individual. And the one thing most to be avoided is gratuitous romance (read sex). If you’re primary characters are rich and significant, the last thing they need is gratuitous sex. That depreciates them, and one wouldn’t want to do that.

Sure you can have a good romance in one novel, but how do you keep up the momentum? Yes, you can do that with a single lover, but what happens in novel 2? With a new lover.

My protagonist Gabby Lewyn has an active romantic life, and in the course of 7 novels, has relationships with different men. To handle that takes some skill. One lover shouldn’t just trot off the stage while a new one comes under the stage lights. Here’s where a fertile imagination come in handy. In a series novel you must know how to end a romance as well as start one!

 

Related: What Writers Can Learn From The Film “American Sniper”