Today’s Writing Tip

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If you’re writing a series, be sure to remind your readers what your characters look like. This also pertains to any key plot elements that happened in the previous episode(s). To you as the author, it’s all one story. To the reader, however, weeks, months, or even years may have passed since they read the first book. Thus, they may have forgotten numerous details, like what the characters look like, or other important details.

Furthermore, it’s also possible that someone will start reading in the middle of your series. These new fans definitely need this information! If they’re lost, then what? Best case, they’ll buy the previous book(s) and read them in order. Worst case, they put it aside and you’ve lost a potential reader.

It’s best if each book in a series has it’s own independent plot, even if it’s part of a larger picture. Flashbacks or character dialog covering previous events are ways to sneak in information they missed. Descriptions of their appearance and perhaps the setting itself should include reminders at least. Your readers will thank you for it.

Today’s Writing Tip

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If you’re writing a series, refresh your memory of previous events by rereading the book’s predecessors. It will be worth your time. You’ll be surprised how many nifty little tidbits you find that you can tie into sequels, even if it’s just your characters reminiscing. Tying stories together in small ways will please your loyal readers tremendously, similar to the effect of an inside joke. If you’re writing the final volume this is even more important, since it will help you  tie up all the loose ends. Check out my other tips for serial writers here and here.

Today’s Writing Tip

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If your novel becomes a series, remember some readers may not start with book one. Describe the characters in each story and recap the plot and any key events  so they’re not lost or confused. Loyal readers will appreciate the reminder as well, especially if it’s been a while since they read the previous volume. I have more tips for serial writers in two previous blogs, which you can find here and here.