Interested to write a serial novel?

First, ask yourself if you believe you can sustain a story for multiple books. People often tell me how much they want to write a novel. I ask them to tell me the outline of the story. And what I learn is that they have a good idea for a novel, but they often don’t understand that a novel requires a story, one which can be sustained over a period of time and pages. And that means it needs more than an encounter between two or more characters. We’re talking here about multiple encounters.

And multiple encounters means testing our character to show multiple layers of character. James Bond is a hero who is tested over and over again against danger. He avoids one murderous situation after another until the reader (movie viewer) cries out “enough already,” I already know he’s an escape artist. And of course, he has one romantic escapade after another, and we already know his sexual affairs will lead nowhere.

So what has this to do with writing a series novel?

Well, the author must sustain a story through one novel, then proceed to do it over and over again. And all this without repetition! The story in each novel must change and the repeated characters broaden. A reader will ask why is this novel different from the previous and come to expect something fresh to sustain his/her interest.

In my series, about Rabbi Gabrielle Lewyn, I hope she grows professionally and personally. She carries with her experiences from her past but simultaneously must build a present. Throughout all the books she carries with her the sorrowful memory that a cherished friend (Joel in A Kiss for Rabbi Gabrielle) sacrificed his life so she could live. That’s not something that a sensitive woman like Gabby would forget.


Related: The Most Difficult Thing About Writing A Fiction Series