“I’m a relatively disciplined writer who composes the whole book before beginning to execute and write it. Of course, you can’t hold – you cannot imagine a whole novel before you write it; there are limits to human memory and imagination. Lots of things come to your mind as you write a book, but again, I make a plan, chapter, know the plot.” – Orhan Pamuk
1.) Writing Groups: How To Write a Constructive Critique – by Mandy Wallace
General Thoughts on Writing a Series
These articles are just the beginning when it comes to writing a series. They are here to give you a basic idea of where you want to be heading. Some of them will have the same basic information, but will have a twist on it, or will include something different that the others don’t have, so you may want to skim some of them.
1.) How To Write A Series – Writer’s Edit (Scroll down a bit to get to the table of contents. Read Parts 2.1 – 2.4 titled “Should I write a series?”. This is a very basic article that goes into all of the aspects of writing a series and we will reference it throughout the course, but many of the other articles will go into more detail on these subjects.)
2.) How to Plan a Book Series – NY Book Editors
3.) How to Plan a Book Series (a #StorySocial recap) – by Kristen Kieffer (This is a recap of a Twitter conversation, with answers to basic questions from a variety of people.)
4.) How-to Write a Series – by Sara Katayama
5.) Writing a Series: How Much Do We Need to Plan Ahead? – by Jami Gold
Organizing Your Notes
Use these articles to find an organizational tool or method that works for you.
1.) Creating Your Very Own Story Bible– by J.M. Butler
2.) A Novel Strategy: How to Organize Big Writing Projects – Forrest Dylan Bryant (This is specifically for using Evernote, however, the tips here can be applied to other applications as well.)
3.) How to Organize and Develop Ideas for Your Novel – by Laura Whitcomb (This uses index cards to help you plot your novel.)
4.) How Scrivener Helped Me Organize All My Writing – by Thorin Klosowski
5.) The Complete Guide To Bullet Journaling For Writers – by Writer’s Edit
6.) Family Echo – This is a free website that can be used to create family trees.
7.) Notebook.ai – This website is great for keeping track of your sci-fi and fantasy world building notes. (Please note, however, that you can only plan out your people, places, and items for free. There is a monthly subscription fee if you want to plan out creatures, deities, flora, languages, magic, and other things.)
1.) From the article “How to Write a Series” by Writer’s Edit, answer the following questions about your own work: a) Is your genre suited to a series? b) Is your plot suited to a series? c) Are your characters suited to a series? d) Can you commit to writing a series?
2.) Do you have a rough (or concrete) idea of how many books your series will be? What is it?
3.) It’s perfectly okay if your idea turns out to be a single novel instead of a series. There may be ways you can leave your “universe” open to future books if a new character or a new plot idea comes to you later on. If this is where you think your novel is, think on how you might leave it open for more stories, or more characters to play around in your world.
4.) Find an organizational tool or method that works for you, even if it’s not one of those mentioned above. You might even find it helpful to combine methods. Start inputting your notes into it. If you’re a “panster” (not into planning ahead) at least give one, or more, of these a try. You might surprise yourself and find something useful.
1.) Discuss the articles you read. Where there any that were more helpful than others? List 1-2 things you learned that maybe you hadn’t known or thought of before. This is also a good place to reintroduce yourself, if necessary.
Getting in the Mood:
1.) Write for 15 minutes: Free write your opening scene, introducing us to your first characters and the situation and location they’re in.
2.) Split into smaller groups, if necessary. Each person gets a chance to read their 15 minutes of writing.
3.) After each person reads, others give feedback: a) What worked? b) What needs more work? Be as specific as you can.
1.) Get into small groups and have each person discuss their plots and characters and how they will fill out a series or how they may leave the first novel open to future stories and characters for when inspiration strikes. Have group members explain what they think works and what needs improvement, being as specific as possible.
2.) Get into small groups and discuss what organizational tool or method you plan to use. How will this work for you? Are you combining any methods? If you have ideas on what might work well for someone’s project, let them know!