Time to study the types of series and decide which one my new series of “Salmon Run” falls into. I need to figure this out before moving forward, as my decision will directly impact the rest of the planning.
This post is about Closed Series.
This is a series with a defined beginning, middle, and end, spaced out among several books. The first book will introduce the main characters including the protagonist and antagonist as well as the central premise of the entire series. The middle book/s will heighten the tension while developing the plot and characters. Then will come the big climax book where the big questions asked during the course of the series will be answered and all the loose ends tied up.
Usually there will be a big plot arc that will span the entire series, which will be concluded at the end of the last book. In the individual books smaller plot lines will help move the story, characters and situation closer and closer to the grand climax. Often there is an epilogue at the end of the last book which will include an update on where the major characters end up.
The Closed Series is a very popular form for trilogies.
Examples of Closed Series: The Tripod Series by John Christopher
, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), The Mars series by Kim Stanley Robinson.
For the writer, the ending is in sight right from the start. This gives the writer a goal while writing the individual books.
The readers know all the books are leading to something spectacular.
Better chance of each book dramatically moving forward the main plot-arc, as well as ensure the reader is going to see good active character/plot development.
The writer knows the end of the series will eventually come and they can then leave it to go write other books and series.
Takes a lot of planning to do right, as one must know the end before starting the series so that all the books can aim toward the dramatic conclusion.
If not planned right, the ending can fizzle over reader expectations, which were built up through all the books.
For an impatient type of reader, they may not read your series until all of the individual books are finished, and then buy them all at once (if they remember the author at that point).
For the story to be told properly, the entire series must be finished. If traditionally published this can cause a huge problem if the author is caught in the 3-Book Death Spiral.
The author must be willing to invest the time and energy in the long-run before other big projects can be written (depends on how prolific they are).
If sales aren’t good and the series is dropped by either the author or publishing house then you are going to alienate what readers you do have for not finishing what you started.
If the series is too long there is the chance of losing interest, or even dying, before the series is complete (Wheel of Time).
“The E-Book Experiment” chronicles the business and creative side of an experiment with the business opportunities new technology and creative outlets now afford content producers. Will it fail? Will it succeed? The only way to know is to approach it with a solid plan and try. No regrets!
I hope the details of this journey will be a help to other authors. As the process proceeds to selling the final products I will also share hard data that might be useful in the decision making process of other authors who recognize that only they can take charge of their careers. For a listing of all the posts in this series, please click here.
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