Return to Vistaville – Challenges of Writing an Ongoing Series

Working on a series book has its challenges. Not only do you have to remember what you did before so you don’t repeat it, you have to consider the “rules” of the world you have built for your audience.

For my Layla’s Diaries series, that world is not so much her physical space but her storytelling technique. Everything is told through a diary entry. That presents interesting challenges as I try to balance my desire to dig deeper and tell more, with the expectation of readers who want Layla’s diary entries to be a certain way.

For instance, as much as I would like to know exactly what Shira thinks of her cousin, Layla, I can’t delve into that too much. I can, however, elude to it through Layla’s observations of Shira’s actions and words. Readers of previous books in the series, may, for instance, know that Shira doesn’t have patience for her cousin, isn’t fond of mysteries and is bossy. They know it not just because Layla tells them, but because Shira’s been known to fold her arms across her chest, sigh deeply and shake her head at her cousin’s sometimes crazy ideas.

Likewise, readers of my Achdus Club series, don’t want to get to the end of a story and find out that the girls don’t want to be friends anymore. That could happen in the middle of the story, but, by the end, their issues need to be resolved because friendship is at the core of the series. To suddenly have a character decide they are better off on their own, would betray the connection between writer and reader.

Staying true to the tone, format and style of an ongoing book series is a pact the writer makes with reader. Finding a way to make that happen and still provide a compelling story readers will love is what will give an author an opportunity to grow in their work and skills.

As for the historical book, revisions are starting soon! Given that these books are in very different eras in history and feature vastly different protagonists, I think I should be able to juggle both at the same time. We’ll see how that goes!

WRITERS: Do you juggle multiple stories at one time? How do you ensure that you stay true to the world in your novel?

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