Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Guest Post: Five Series Tips (by Cherie Reich)

In honor of Reborn, her latest book release, author Cherie Reich is stopping by my blog to share some awesome series tips! So why are you still reading my ramblings? Check out her guest post below!


Five Series Tips

1. Outline. Yes, you pantsers are groaning already, but you don’t have to outline to write your novel, but you better create one afterward with a list of scenes and a sentence or two about what goes on. It’ll help you not to drop threads later in the series and is a quick way to see what happened previously.

2. Create your series bible as you go. A series bible involves names/places/etc. of your world. If you write one as you go, then you’ll be less likely to change a character’s eye color mid-series. And it’s much easier to find that minor character’s name, if you have a list you can quickly pull up.

3. Consider destinations. If your series takes place in one place, then you’re good to go, but if your characters travel, then you might want to write down how far and how long it’ll take them to get to place to place. Figuring this up as you write will create fewer headaches later on. It’s not fun to discover it would take your characters three months to get somewhere when you only gave them a few weeks.

4. Read your series. After you’re finished and have published book one, consider reading through some scenes or the entire book(s) before you start writing the next one. It’ll keep the writing style and characters fresh in your mind.

5. Have fun. Writing a series is challenging, but if you take notes as you go, you’ll have a much easier time writing it.

Do you have any tips for writing a series?

* * *

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Available in Ebook and Print!

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The authors of Untethered Realms and I are giving away over $50 worth of books to one lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally.
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A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.

30 comments:

  1. A series bible. I hadn't thought of that. Good tips.

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. All great tips. Thanks for sharing, Cherie. And Heather! :D

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    1. You're welcome, Julie! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  3. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Heather! I appreciate it!

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    1. No problem, Cherie! I'm happy to help. Your guest post is fantastic! :)

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  4. These are great tips, Cherie. I'm in the process (nearly done) of outlining my series, and I'm surprised how close your approach is to mine. Great minds, right? :)

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  5. Outline, yes. Heh. I outlined after the first few ones. Mostly. *LOL* Excellent advice. I think a lot of writers forget to have fun after a while too.

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    1. Yeah, I don't think you have to outline in the beginning if that's what you don't like to do, but outlining after can save a person a few headaches. :)

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  6. Love the cover, Cherie! Thanks for those great tips, will bear them in mind. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you, Mina! Glad the tips are helpful! :)

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  7. These are great tips, Cherie! Especially the series bible one. I find myself doing that all the time...trying to figure out the name of a minor character or town. Now I know what to do to keep me on track. Great post! :)

    And I am a fellow Virginian! (well, born and raised, not living there now.) I love Virginia! :)

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    1. Lovely to meet a fellow Virginian, Kristin! And you're welcome! Notes really do help and make it much quicker to find the info you need than to go through your document to find it.

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  8. Great advice. Number one did have me groaning.

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    1. Thanks, Nana! And it really is helpful to outline afterwards at least, especially if the novel is part of a series.

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  9. ::Waves to Cherie and Heather::

    Couldn't help but chuckle a bit when I read #2. Changing a character's eye color is actually a plot point in my little series-to-be. #3 was the stickler for me and was difficult to remedy. My tip, I suppose, would be for map-making pantsers. If the maps are drawn before the story is written, leave "blank" areas to accommodate last-minute muse visits. But I totally agree; consistency is key.

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    1. Well, if it's part of a plot point, then so be it. *winks* #3 is one I found out when I was in the final stages of publishing Reborn and creating the actual maps for the series. Luckily I only had to make minor changes in Reborn, but I had to change outlines for the other books. Knowing destinations is key in any future fantasy series I plan. :)

      Consistency is definitely the key.

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  10. You're right about keeping track of the details in your book series. I didn't plan to write a second book, but when I did I had to re-read the first one and take notes. :-)

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    1. It does make the planning for a series easier if you know there is going to be more than one book from the beginning, but it's definitely a good idea to read through and take notes. :)

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  11. Love these tips! I totally agree with reading back through your previous installment before going forward. It can be so easy to mix up the writing voice for two different stories. =)

    I hear you on the destinations. You know what's really tricky? Writing for multiple time periods and mastering the mentality and attitudes of each one. Whew!

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    1. I can see where multiple time periods can be tricky. I'm finding some of that a challenge as I write prequels for The Fate Challenges.

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  12. Great tips, Cherie. I'm going to bookmark this post. :-)
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Glad you found the tips helpful, Deb!

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  13. Great tips, Cherie! I learned the hard way that I had to have a glossary and a good (not drawn well but understandable for me) map with some distance calculations. :)

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    1. Thanks, Tyrean! I've been meaning to get together a glossary that's better than what I have. And I do find maps very useful.

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  14. I love the idea of a series bible. I should have one for every book I write since I've been known to accidentally change character names and descriptions halfway through my WIPs!

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    1. I think I should have one too, Lexa. Sometimes I get a bit lax about these things, but they are useful.

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  15. Those are awesome tips! I started making notes for a second book in a series but I think the series bible is so cool! I need to do that.

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