I'm brainstorming today. I need to get started on the second book in my new paranormal romance series -- first books are fairly easy. Second books? HARD. (at least, for me). The first series I did, my vamp one, I never really had a plan for it since I never knew I'd get the chance to go five books with the same characters. This non-planning presented several challenges for me in regards to overall character arcs and other lovely writerly terms. It all worked out, luckily enough, but it wasn't totally easy getting from point A to point Z while keeping each book as stand-alone as possible.
I'm lucky enough to now be at the beginning of two potential series - one for adults and one for teens. The first book is written for both, and my task in the next five months is to write 2 book twos. Basically I want to make things easier on myself by thinking things through up front. But how do you do that? How do you know where your characters might be in five plus books?
I'm basically writing everything down in a series bible -- character motivation and goals, descriptions, potential plot points. It's intimidating! Mostly because I'm one of those people who overthink everything and assume I'm doing it wrong.
So I'm asking my fellow Leaguers -- many of whom have written or are writing awesome multi-book series -- (or any other fabulous person who'd like to answer the question) HOW DO YOU DO IT? Do you have any tips, tricks, or words of wisdom in thinking "series"? How do you approach this specialized kind of novel-writing? Do you take it one book at a time? Do you know how everything's going to turn out or do you let your characters surprise you and take you in new unexplored directions?
Please! Share with the class. I really want to know. (So I can use your tips for my own selfish and nefarious reasons, of course).
--Michelle Rowen :-)