Writing an ongoing series can be extremely difficult, because series come with baggage. There are so many details to keep straight! I’ve chatted with authors who use different methods to make sure all their facts line up, from intensive documents, to color coded binders and even using fact checker beta readers. But the truth is that it’s about more than making sure that your secondary characters from book two shows up in book seven with the right color eyes. It’s a challenge to keep a series installments appealing for longtime fans and accessible to new readers. It’s a balancing act and one that is incredibly tough to master. Recently I’ve read several stories that are part of much larger series, and found some elements that really worked well — and some that did not. Today I break down three new stories in running series so that you can judge for yourself.
The Outsiders series by Rebecca Royce
Down And Dirty Series Summary: The “Outsiders” in the series are several couples with magical powers that must find and anchor each other so that they can successfully save the world from an evil demon.
Current Release: The fourth story in the Outsiders series, “Love Beyond Sight”, features vulnerable foreseer Eden Roan. She is in desperate need of protection, but her anchor, Samuel Quinn, cannot go to her because of his physical deformities. But when danger comes calling, Samuel overcomes his difficult issues in order to fight for the lovely Eden.
What Works: The author has a terrific writing style that allows readers to feel what her characters are feeling. While the plot may be confusing at points, the prose is smooth and showcases Royce’s skills as a wordsmith.
What Doesn’t: With the fourth story in The Outsiders series, readers are literally dropped into an alternate world without a roadmap. There are so many characters that newcomers’ heads will swim as they desperately try to figure out which hero goes with which heroine.
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