Wednesday, June 05, 2013

[Guest Post] Jessica Therrien on Series

Today, Jessica Therrien is here to talk to us a little bit about series. How awesome is that? As someone who is currently mid-series, I plan on taking notes... ;)
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YAY! I’m so excited to be on your blog today, Carrie. If you’re reading this, you obviously know how awesomely hilarious and cool Carrie is. I feel like a fangirl…squeeee. The author of STRENGTH is having me on her blog! (PS – if you haven’t read STRENGTH, you NEED to).

Today, I’m here as part of my blog tour for my second book, UPRISING (Children of the Gods #2). Carrie has asked me to post some tips on writing a series.

Embarrassing confession? I had no idea how my series would end when I started. I didn’t even know it would be a series!

When I started writing the first book, Oppression (Children of the Gods #1), I was writing for myself. I never intended it to be published, let alone turn into a series. Once I decided to pursue publishing, I realized there was more to my story.

 What I’ve learned since then?

1. Each book gets progressively harder. Keep your facts straight by re-reading the prior books before you write the next book.

2. Make sure your characters grow with each book. There has to be a reason the story continues. It can’t just be because more stuff happens. It has to be because there is more for your characters to learn.

3.  (This one may not be for everyone). Don’t plan it out down to the chapter. Sometimes your story wants to go in a different direction than you’ve planned. Let it. Have a general idea of how things should end, but let your imagination find its own way there.

What I would do differently?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face while writing a series is promoting a book while writing the next. Not only is it hard, but much of the time I’m spread too thin. I’d like to be able to devote all of my attention to either writing or marketing/promoting the release. Next time I write a series, I’ll write ALL of the books before ever releasing the first. That way, I’ll have no deadlines pressuring me, no promotions taking away from my writing time, and I’ll be able to fully devote all of my attention to each book release.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Carrie!! It’s been fun :) Thanks blog readers and all my blog tour supporters! You rock! 

Thank you, Jessica! :) And congratulations!


 
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Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, was published by ZOVA Books in February of 2012 and became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. The second book in the series, Uprising, will be available in May of 2013.

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011. Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Saved, is also available as part of the anthology.

Jessica currently lives in Chula Vista with her husband and is working on book three in her Children of the Gods series.

 Author Links: 

Links to Oppression (Children of the Gods #1): 

Links to Uprising (Children of the Gods #2): 

37 comments:

Emma Adams said...

Great advice! :) Now I've reached Book 4 of my series, I can say it's definitely true that they get progressively harder...but also more satisfying to finish!

JeffO said...

I don't see myself as writing a series at any point in time, but you never know. Great advice! Also, a question--you talk about re-reading the prior books in teh series when you start; do you keep a series 'bible' so to speak, to help you keep track of everything?

Melissa said...

Wow, what a great post! Glad I visited. :)

ilima said...

I'm about to write book 2 in a series for the first time, so this is helpful. I won't be able to write the whole thing before promoting the first, though. Great tips!

Carrie-Anne said...

I totally agree with #3. Since I write very organically, albeit with a general outline going in, I love when new characters and storyline developments naturally develop and come to me. I couldn't imagine being the type of writer who exactly plans everything out to the last detail.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I never planned a series either. (Made the next two books interesting though!) I do have to work from a detailed outline though. Otherwise I get lost. But there are small twists and turns in the story that I didn't originally plan.

Carrie Butler said...

Well said, Emma! I completely agree. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jeff! I don't know about Jess, but I certainly do. :)

Carrie Butler said...

We're glad you did, too! :)

Carrie Butler said...

I know how you feel. I just finished my Book 2. Good luck, Ilima! :)

Elise Fallson said...

Excellent advice, Jessica. It's always nice to hear what authors would do differently. (:

Jessica Therrien said...

Book 3 has been hard...can't imagine what's it's like to have more than that! Just think, JK Rowling had 7!

Jessica Therrien said...

No, lol...maybe I should!! I think I've just read and re-read my books so many times I have them memorized. Haha!

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks Melissa :)

Jessica Therrien said...

Yeah :) Good luck with your 2nd book, and thanks for stopping by!

Jessica Therrien said...

Me too :) So fun when characters take off in a different direction.

Jessica Therrien said...

Everyone wants a series these days...

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks Elise :)

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks for having me on your blog today, Carrie!! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Sounds like me! I plot each book, but pants the series. :)

Carrie Butler said...

*waves* Hi, Elise!

Carrie Butler said...

Anytime, my friend! :D Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Carrie, Hi, Jessica,

THanks for the tips on series writing. My first novel is the first of a series. SO these tips are very helpful.

Thanks Carrie for featuring Jessica....

GOOD LUCK with the book ... ALL THE BEST!

Carrie Butler said...

Hi, Michael! *waves*

Nicki Elson said...

Wonderful post with great tips. I've been too intimidated to write a series, though I do know how hard it is to write one book while promoting another, and with a series there's got to be so much more pressure to get the next one done.

Carrie Butler said...

It's quite the challenge! I'm sure you'd like it if you tried it, though. :)

jamieayres.com said...

Oh my gosh . . . sooo excited to read your book! I'm currently writing the second book in my series, and I agree with everything you said. And I've thought the same thing . . . if I ever write another series, I'm writing ALL of them first before releasing any!

Carrie Butler said...

Yes! Me too.

Jessica Therrien said...

YAY! I'm excited for you to read it too! :)

Jessica Therrien said...

Good luck with your series!! Thanks for stopping by :)

Jessica Therrien said...

Add a new baby on top of it all...aaaagh! Haha :) All good problems to have though. No complaints.

Tia Bach said...

Great post, and so true. I just published Book 1 of a trilogy, and I'm promoting and struggling to write. Glad to know I'm not alone in this. I can't wait to read your newest!!

Rachel Morgan said...

As a writer of series, I can agree with everything Jessica has said here!

Carrie Butler said...

It's difficult, isn't it? I feel your pain, Tia!

Carrie Butler said...

Me too! :)

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks :) Good luck with your series!

Jessica Therrien said...

Thanks Rachel! Good luck with your newest release :)