On the first day of the Writer’s Institute, I was excited to attend a session on navigating Cross-Cultural Boundaries as a Writer, but it was not to be. The presenter of this session was ill and could not attend the conference. Wishes for a speedy recovery abounded.
Due to the cancellation, I got to attend another session I hadn’t planned on going to, at least not so soon. Truthfully, I was planning on attending this session later in the conference, but I got to do so earlier than intended. Only a handful of us took up the opportunity to learn to Keep Your Story Straight – Series Writing with Silvia Acevedo (@SilviaAcevedo_) author of the God Awful Trilogy. The ten or so of us there gathered around the electronic campfire of Silvia’s laptop and talked series.
Turns out there are a couple different types of series and not everything has to be a trilogy, but if you are thinking of doing a series it’s a good idea to remain mindful of the arc of your book and the arc of your series. Here, the importance of note-taking comes into play.
For the pantsers in the audience, things got real, because where copious notetaking will inevitably fail, spreadsheets step up to the plate ready for the heavy lifting. Another author (lol, see what I did there? I talk like I am one.) Allow me to clarify: The published author to my left, who is in the middle of writing a series and will remain nameless, but is super cool and fun to talk to, brought up his color-coded spreadsheet and showed it to me. First of all, his color scheme was on point. Second, I hope he understood all of what it meant because it appeared to be incredibly detailed.
In the end, writing a series might not be what’s best for us as individual authors, though the publishing industry trends that way. In the end, it could be best to focus on writing a stand-alone story with series potential.