How I Write A Long Book Series

Writing into the Dark

I might have researched every way to write a series and found 0 about writing the later books in your series. Every reference guide is about trilogies. If you write a series longer than three books then you are writing into the dark. Literally.

There is no advice besides telling you to keep notes and think about the overall series structure. I am not a writing teacher so I can’t give you any advice. My impressions of writing the later books of a series in no order:

The usual plot outlines and beats in the first act (like introducing her to the world or ‘putting her head’ in the sand or ‘call to adventure’) don’t fit as well on a seasoned heroine. It feels like act 1 shrinks and act 2 gets bigger with each book for me. The first act is especially hard. I am using this in book 5 as a framework for the First act: Hook → Build up & Inciting Incident (pushing a character out of their comfort zone) → impossible choice.

My series is set up in clumps of mini-series and arcs so the whole series has a structure that includes its one subplots, overall character arc, etc. A Witch Called Red, Long Witch Night, and Witch Gone Viral are what I think of as the LA trilogy. If the book series were a TV show, then the books 1-3 would have been the first season. Book 4, Witch on the Run, is the beginning of a new season/plot arc. I think this is why I am as excited to start book 5 as I was book 2 because I am getting to a character and plot development that I have been wanting to write since I outlined the series.

I am using the Dan Harmon story circle as the series structure of my books. I had ‘exit strategies’ to end the series by book 3 if it didn’t sell, I am pretty confident that I can publish the full series story line but I have another possibly exit plotted ahead.

Pictured: My character catalog

Secondary characters have more importance with agency that moves the plot. most of my important secondary characters have arcs that span 1-3 books.

Pictured: My story bible

My story bible is invaluable It comes in handy on every page as my mythos grows. I use it to organize the big beats of later books so I can weave in foreshadowing and make sure to put in clues and setup.

What WORD likes to tell me when I write Vic Constantine…I hope that you enjoyed this peek at my writing process and the Red Witch Chronicles is made. It’s exciting to get farther into this series because I have so many great scenes that have been rattling in my head for years. I can’t wait to show you guys how it all turns out for Red, Vic, Lucas, Kristoff, and the rest of the gang.
Until next time, stay well, gentle readers! <3
Cheers, Sami
Ps. Look who I got to hang out with!I ts Pearl the One-Eyed Pug! I got to dogsit her for a week as I was going through beta feedback and putting the final touches on the fourth book. 
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