How My Stand-Alone Novel Became a Three-Book Series
Posted by Sue
The idea for my fantasy book, A Singular Gift, came to me many years ago. I asked myself “What if?” What if magic could be inherited? What if a young magician inherited a gift of magic, but she had no teacher? How would she learn to use the magic in a responsible way? I wrote the first three chapters about a young teenager, Jean Ryan, with the working title, The Gift. I started the story from a third person point of view, then changed to first person, because it just felt right for Jean to be telling her story. Then the manuscript was laid away for a long time.
When I pulled it out again, I again asked myself “What if?” questions. What if someone else wanted her gift, wanted it badly enough to cause my heroine much trouble? Why did they want it? To what lengths would they go to try to get her gift? What challenges would my main character have to face? Would she have any help at all?
I wrote the book, thinking that was it. I had an ending and the story was finished. I revised it using Holly Lisle’s novel revision course, and published it with Amazon and Smashwords. Then a reader asked, “What happens next?” And another reader said, “I’d like to read more about Jean and Wayne.”
Hmmmm. I had written the story and thought it was the end. After thinking about it, I said to myself, “Maybe not.” So, I began to “What if?” again and came up with a story featuring Jean’s sidekick, Wayne, in a more important role. In this story, A Singular Chance, I decided to have both Jean and Wayne telling the story, in first person. Each chapter has a subheading with the name of the character that is telling the story in that chapter. As I drew to an end in this sequel, even though it had an ending, another book was necessary to finish the fantasy adventures of Jean and Wayne. I am currently working on completing the outline of the third book. The current title is A Singular World.
So, what started out as one single book has accidentally morphed into a three-book series. I get annoyed when I read series books that end with a cliffhanger, then I have to wait a year to find out what happens only to find that yet another book is needed for the continuing story. My books can each be read by itself and have a complete story, but like most series, it’s more fun to start with the first book, then read the second, then the third.
Do you write series on purpose? Or are your books all stand-alone? How do you decide?
About SueFrom the time, as a young girl, when Sue read the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, she was hooked on fantasy. She loves to read fiction and write within many genres, but she always winds up going back to fantasy. For years she has had fantasy stories spinning around in her head and now that she is retired from many years of teaching, she is putting those stories into book form. She has many interests, including quilting and playing the mountain dulcimer, but writing is the most satisfying of all. Sue lives in the great state of Maine with her husband of 38 years. She has been a factory worker, a waitress, a librarian, and a teacher. Her biggest job was being a mother and she has three grown children. Now that she is a grandmother, she is enjoying that role immensely.
Posted on April 23, 2012, in about writing, Authors - Sue Santore and tagged fantasy adventures, fantasy book, first person viewpoint, holly lisle, literature, writers, writing, writing a novel, writing journey, writing series books. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.