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Accidently writing a book series…

Updated: Feb 19

Let me just start by saying I didn’t know stories had to be so short! (150,000 words is nothing in my opinion especially for fantasy. 110,000-120,000 if you’re a first time writer with clout like me) I’m a very visual and descriptive person/writer (As you can tell by the poorly made drawing on my inspiration page) so to me it made sense to make my stories as descriptive as possible (especially fantasy since their mostly worlds/creatures that don’t exist) but apparently that is not how the industry works. My first story or at least the one I’m currently working on is a historical fantasy which meant I had to be very detailed to transport the readers not only to the Magical world but also the time period. Even when I read, I often look up imagines on google to picture certain things I read about, like animals, places, clothes, people…ect. I feel that people can better immerse themselves in the story when they don’t need to stop reading to google something -and if you’re like me- end up on a search binge down the internet rabbit hole forgetting the story all together.

Writing

I think that world building in crucial whether you are writing a fantasy in some made-up land or a YA in California. I want to provide my possible readers with all the resources so that they need nothing when reading my book. They could see the palaces, the old streets, the bright dresses, the animals, and the magical traits would all be clear for them to see with each word. I want my readers to become so immerse in the story that not only can they not put in down but they don’t need to put it down. Writers are the one artist whose art is not visual (like painters, sculptors, photographers, graphic designers, animators…ect) so we have to put as much imagery in our words as possible. We have to paint the image of the location, sculpt our characters, animate our plots and design our story, because it’s not enough to just tell, we also have to show. Not all authors get the luxury of having their work be brought to life by a tv or movie studio so more often than not we have to give it life ourselves. We have to be many types of artists in one and as if that wasn’t hard enough we have to use a certain amount of words to do it. In any other artistic field, we do not limit creativity but for writers apparently we do. Sorry sore spot for me since I had to delete a lot of my story to make it fit ‘requirements’ but don’t worry I’ll find a loophole or just post what I deleted here.



The book I'm writing

Anyways, like I said I had no idea there was this limit, it was only when I had twenty-three chapters written and I saw that most books were less than that they I began to research. You might wonder, why did you not search before? I did except about chapter or book length because I thought it was up to the author since I’ve seen short and long books…I was naïve. Once I search I was blown away when I noticed that my story was way pass the 150,000 word count and it wasn’t even half way done. I know that when an author gets into the revising stage they clean up and cut a lot of things out but remember I’m very descriptive so there wasn’t much I was planning to cut out. I made sure that everything connected to the overall plot; it wasn’t me rambling on and on although sometimes it seemed that way. Everything had a reason for being written into the story, mostly descriptions and characters introductions. But I wanted to get my work publish so I went back and revised it, taking things out (that was painful) and moving things around but even after that it was still too long for one book. For a while I was discourage thinking that I would have to give up, I even thought about just posting the story on some fanfiction site just so it wouldn’t go to waste but I had a dream, damn it! I went back to the drawing board and worked things around. I outlined the rest of the story and chapters even the ending and I realized that if I divided the book into different books I could get my cake and eat it too. The only problem was that the book was outlined as a single book which wasn’t the same as a series.


Word count and writing

In a series, each book needs to stand alone while still being connected. They needed to have their own climax and resolution but they also needed to have openings for the next book while still having their own ending. When I separated my book, the first one did not stand on its own. It just seemed like a book that was cut off at the good part. My idea was for the first few chapters to be introductory, they were meant to set up the world and the characters. When I separated it, book one didn’t really have a story. There was no plot or direction, no climax or resolution so in a way I had to create a book out of the material I had to work with which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Even once I felt I created something it still could not really stand on its own. Now I’m no expert on series (or writing in general) but I feel like the best series are ones that could stand on their own while still being connected. Each book had the basics every story had to keep readers engaged. After getting a professional assessment I learned that my story did not really have that but that it at least had potential which was something I could work with. The editorial assessment was what really helped me actually turned my super long story into a series, starting with the first book. I had to rewrite a few things, add a lot more story while also taking away a lot of information (although it wasn’t useless to me but I learned that I made the mistake of giving too much. People won’t buy the cow if they get the milk for free.)

Writing assistant


In my novice writer’s mind all this information was useful as it set up the world in perfect detailed (I still think it is) so it was hard for me to take out a lot of it out (I mean I deleted a whole introductory chapter! and I’m sure in the final draft before editing I would have to take more out) but I knew it was more important to set up the series that I had unconsciously created. Of course, once I’m deep into book 2 I learn that writing a series is usually not recommended by established writers for many reasons one of which being that they are very hard to sell and keep readers interested in. That had suck to hear, but by that point my baby was born and learning to walk so there was no turning back. And while it may not be the next Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Mortal Instrument (not really aiming that high to begin with, I mean I’m ambitious not delusional) I just hope and pray that people enjoy reading it and stick through to the end. So while writing a series was an accident, I don’t regret it (we all have to find our own way even if we fall, because what might not work for some could work for others) and I hope that it is a happy accident in the end (who knows series might be what I’m known for and the only books that I actually get right.)



Writing done...kind of

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