Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Me, write a series?



I knew it would be a lot of work planning a six-book series, but I wasn’t prepared for exactly how much work it would turn out to be. The idea of doing my first series came to me when I ran across photos of two men who are unrelated, but were physically so similar they could be brothers.
 

This is my idea of Charles and Marc Stafford. If you follow my posts, you know that I have a weakness for the hybrids. Back in June I wrote about it. http://sisterscribbler.blogspot.com/2012/06/fun-friday.html Hey, everybody has a “type,” and those brothers have always been mine. Readers can picture them anyway they want to...

Anyway…the thought of writing a family series really appealed to me, but I didn’t have a clue about where to start. I had twelve pages of notes on my thoughts, but I wasn’t sure how to organize them, so the first thing I did was go to my best friend, Google and search for articles on how to plan a fiction series. Next, I contacted my former critique partners that have written series and asked for their suggestions.

The fabulous Zee Monodee (http://zeemonodee.blogspot.com) was a tremendous help when she told me to start with a Excel timeline for the family members that would include their ages at the start of the first book, birth dates, spouses, wedding dates, children’s ages/birth dates, etc.

In addition to this information, I added the status of their relationship with their parents, their life point of view and their relationship with the other brothers. While I worked on this chart, the ideas began to come seemingly out of nowhere. After the awful time I had writing Ain't Too Proud to Beg by the seat of my pants, I realized plotting truly is my process. My creativity thrives when given some structure, and I'm a ball letting this story flow now that I have the skeleton.
 
I already knew which brother I wanted to feature in Book One, and what his occupation would be. So far I’m at
 

Readers are going to love Marc and Gianne's story...
 


 

 

10 comments:

Delaney Diamond said...

Wow, these guys are hot!! When I did my Hawthorne series, I wasn't sure what was going to happen in each book until I started writing. I knew their ages during the first story and had a vague idea of their individual personalities. That was it. I wish I could learn to plot, but I'm too much of a pantser.

Good luck with the series! I'm sure it'll be very successful.

Beth Barany said...

Yummy! Mmm. Yes, those guys are delish! I'm working on a series too! I'd love to see how you layout your spreadsheet timeline; that's one part I've just started working on. Would you be willing to share a screenshot? And congrats on discovering your process! I too like some structure. Then I fill my imagination with research, then write!

Ms. Muusikluvver said...

Just wanted you to know that I'm into hybrids as well :))
Looking forward to reading about these brothers!

bettye griffin said...

I personally dislike family series, but I've had a town series in the pipeline for quite a while now (actually before they got as popular as they have become). I haven't started it yet because I had to get some other connected books written for continuity purposes, and I'm a little intimidated by the thought of creating a town and the surrounding area (because I absolutely hate it when it seems like residents of small towns or cities never have to leave it...I live in a medium city of nearly 100K people and I have to drive to the next city to go to T.J. Maxx, LOL!), but I love a challenge...

Have fun! It's nice to be queen of our own (writing) universe, isn't it?

bettye griffin said...

Good luck with creating your family and good luck to me with creating my town. Just imagine how tough it would be to create a family who lives in a fictitious town...how's that scenario for giving a writer gray hair and wrinkles...writing queens or not?

J.L. Campbell said...

I'm on the third book of a series that I didn't see coming. I knew the second book would get written, but now there's a third book on the horizon. Not relatives though. Hope everything comes together fluidly (is that a word?) for you.

Chicki said...

Thanks for stopping by, ladies. Glad you like my idea of Marc and Charles. Just wait until you see the other four brothers...

I'll be chugging right along. Hopefully, this story will have a July or August release. :D

E. M. Jenkinson said...

Like Beth, I'd like to see the spreadsheet timeline layout, too. I had initially planned for my lost manuscript to become a series. Chronological, but also featuring various lines -- as stories from the Forgotten Realms, are for example.

Melissa said...

I always love a series because it gives me something to look forward to. Sometimes hard to let characters go.

Zee Monodee said...

Thanks for the shoutout, Chicki! You're a doll.

I had the same thing happen to me when on one single afternoon, I watched episodes of Chuck, Gossip Girl, and Without a Trace. The actresses in them - Yvonne Strahovski, Blake Lively, and Poppy Montgomery (respectively) struck me as sharing an uncanny resenblance that could have them pass for sisters. Thus the idea of my 3 blonde sisters was born.

And Bettye, I'm writing their story in a fictitious town set in rural North Yorkshire in England. :) It's not as hard as it looks to create a whole new town and people it up.

Beth, if you want, email me at zeemonodee at hotmail.com and I'll send you the spreadsheet I did for one of my sisters' series.

XOXO