Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Series of Fortunate Events

Well, I'm coming off a long holiday weekend of family, cooking, and a nasty cold bug. Fa la la laaaachooo. So, I'm recycling an older post this week, and though I wrote it ages ago, I'm still on the fence about long series. I think I read one in particular in the eighties that stretched into thirty plus books. Might have jaded me on the topic. Then again, I did keep reading....


Once upon a time, I swore I’d never write a long series. My fellow authors and friends loved them, but I just couldn’t see the appeal. Maybe I have issues with commitment, but I felt like a trilogy was about the most I wanted to tackle in a single universe. I read a lot of trilogies, so maybe that was a factor.

 Recently, however, I’ve come to see the beauty in a longer run. It just happened on its own, you see. I’d plotted and planned my way through a three book series when the fourth book reared its pretty little head and said, “I told you so.” I should probably get used to hearing that.

 Why the change? Maybe this world had too much in it to be contained in three books. It does take place across a backdrop of infinite, alternate dimensions. Maybe the characters themselves had much longer stories to tell than I ever expected. Or maybe, I just caught my stride. I like to think that last one, that now I’ve gotten deeply into the world, I can see more angles to explore, more places to go and more intricate plot lines to follow. .. Still, I suspect those characters had something to do with it.

 Either way, I’m in this for the long haul now. Thankfully, I’m enjoying it just the same. Who knew? Oh, yeah, my friends did. Maybe I owe them some chocolate.

 I do wonder how long is too long? Is there such a thing? I always thought so, but then, we know how that turned out. I realize that this story may take more than four, that it may continue farther than I’ve seen, even at this point, and I hope that I’ll know when it’s had it’s fair shake and is ready to rest.

 As a reader, I may have to pry open that mind a little more as well, maybe tackle a nice long series and see how I like it. But those trilogies just have such a nice, neat feel to them. So, I wonder, is it just me that has a numeric preference? Do you prefer a stand alone or a series? Do you have a minimum or a maximum number of books before your attention either wanes or feels unsatisfied? Or, as I suspect, perhaps it’s just all about the specific stories.

 At the end of the day, that’s what really matters isn’t it? What serves the story best? At least, I hope that is. Here’s to a long line of great stories, whatever world they’re set it.

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