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Old 12-04-2011, 09:26 PM   #61
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From what little I know about the publishing industry, many agents and publishers are to blame for the series mentality. They love them. If you have a proposed series, mentioning that in the query letter is a big, fat plus in an agent's eyes. Strange maybe, since the first book is still in the querying stage at this point, but they no longer want to invest in one-hit wonders. It is a business and about money. But what isn't?
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:35 AM   #62
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I'm not ranting about books, I'm ranting about series. I'm complaining about the obsession in the industry today to not sell books, but series. You never get a new book, you get "chapter 1 on new series X".
Some books are written to be part of a series (take Harry Potter). They start with a concept that there must be other books to finish it (in case of HP: one book per school year).
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:10 AM   #63
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If an author has a story they know they want to tell, and they know they can't tell it in a single book, then I think its perfectly acceptable to be upfront about it and say you're doing a series. I don't see it as a cash in.

I don't complain when someone plans to do a movie trilogy, or a tv series with multiple seasons. Same thing applies here, imo.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:44 AM   #64
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A good writer, doing a good series, is to the dedicated reader, the same as "Heroin" is to the "Addict". They both love it and hate it!

They love to get the newest addition in their hands, wondering if it is as good as the last "Fix" or not. But hates like "hell", waiting for the next delivery from their suppler, while all the time going through "withdraws" waiting for their next "Fix".

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Old 12-05-2011, 10:47 AM   #65
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I don't complain when someone plans to do a movie trilogy, or a tv series with multiple seasons. Same thing applies here, imo.
Trust me. I complain enough for the both of us

Again... it's not really the series that is the problem. It's the format of the series (and the dearth of the "complete story-arc" ) that I take issue with. One long story chopped into serial (cliffhanger'ed, chapter-like) installments = teh suck (IMO). Series where each individual installment offers a full "book" experience (beginning, middle and end) are just fine with me.

The Cliffhanger at the end of a series installment is a marketing tool, not a literary one. It takes no literary talent to write a cliffhanger ending... just put the pen down somewhere in the middle of the action near the 430 page mark... and voila!

There's a few respected authors out there who have been publishing books for many years that still haven't written (ok, published) an ending yet! Just a beginning and a never ending middle. That's silly. How can I make an informed decision about whether to continue reading an author's (whose writing intrigues me) work, when I have no idea if they have the ability to end a story in a satisfying (satisfying relative to me) manner?

"Stay tuned next week|year|decade for the thrilling next cliffhanger'ed non-concluding installment"

It's like one of those hanging sneezes that just won't happen.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:54 AM   #66
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Trust me. I complain enough for the both of us

Again... it's not really the series that is the problem. It's the format of the series (and the dearth of the "complete story-arc" ) that I take issue with. One long story chopped into serial (cliffhanger'ed, chapter-like) installments = teh suck (IMO). Series where each individual installment offers a full "book" experience (beginning, middle and end) are just fine with me.

The Cliffhanger at the end of a series installment is a marketing tool, not a literary one. It takes no literary talent to write a cliffhanger ending... just put the pen down somewhere in the middle of the action near the 430 page mark... and voila!

There's a few respected authors out there who have been publishing books for many years that still haven't written (ok, published) an ending yet! Just a beginning and a never ending middle. That's silly. How can I make an informed decision about whether to continue reading an author's (whose writing intrigues me) work, when I have no idea if they have the ability to end a story in a satisfying (satisfying relative to me) manner?

"Stay tuned next week|year|decade for the thrilling next cliffhanger'ed non-concluding installment"

It's like one of those hanging sneezes that just won't happen.
OMG! THIS. Soooo this.

Would you believe that the chick writing the Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear) JUST finished that damn series?? I read the first 3 books in high school...the movie adaptation of the first book was released in 1986. That's just sad. Especially since the first two books and the remaining 4 are nothing like each other. The 1st book was the best and the rest turned into...a multi-part romance novel.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:54 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Trust me. I complain enough for the both of us

Again... it's not really the series that is the problem. It's the format of the series (and the dearth of the "complete story-arc" ) that I take issue with. One long story chopped into serial (cliffhanger'ed, chapter-like) installments = teh suck (IMO). Series where each individual installment offers a full "book" experience (beginning, middle and end) are just fine with me.

The Cliffhanger at the end of a series installment is a marketing tool, not a literary one. It takes no literary talent to write a cliffhanger ending... just put the pen down somewhere in the middle of the action near the 430 page mark... and voila!

There's a few respected authors out there who have been publishing books for many years that still haven't written (ok, published) an ending yet! Just a beginning and a never ending middle. That's silly. How can I make an informed decision about whether to continue reading an author's (whose writing intrigues me) work, when I have no idea if they have the ability to end a story in a satisfying (satisfying relative to me) manner?

"Stay tuned next week|year|decade for the thrilling next cliffhanger'ed non-concluding installment"

It's like one of those hanging sneezes that just won't happen.
Dam, man, you just described Tv/radio soap operas.!

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Old 12-05-2011, 10:55 AM   #68
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Dam, man, you just described Tv/radio soap operas.!

LOL!
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:57 AM   #69
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Dam, man, you just described Tv/radio soap operas.!

If the shoe fits...
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:05 AM   #70
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I love series to an EXTENT! It has to be a good storyline and format that would carry over into another book. One series that I read and loved was The Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz. The books were well written and the story just seemed to flow through-out the books, unlike some series that you see around that "the first book was great, now lets try to tack on 2 more books when in reality there should only be one book!" Like the story I'm writting, it's a short story yes, but I won't write a follow up to it because it doesn't need one.
PS: I'm not bashing the series thing.

Last edited by Spock96; 12-05-2011 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:07 AM   #71
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Would you believe that the chick writing the Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear) JUST finished that damn series?? I read the first 3 books in high school...the movie adaptation of the first book was released in 1986. That's just sad. Especially since the first two books and the remaining 4 are nothing like each other. The 1st book was the best and the rest turned into...a multi-part romance novel.
I wouldn't call her a chick, I find that insulting.

But yes, she took ages to finish her series. She should have finished it after book 4. Maybe a book 5 (as an opposite book to the first, where she found a home and had to leave, where in the 5th, she'd arrive at a new home, describe how different her life would be there and they'll live happily ever after....)

I think she lost sight of her ending. And thus couldn't end the series. I've not finished the last book yet (it's on my Mini and while it's always in my bag, it's getting more difficult to read in these dark days!), so I don't know if she ended all her lose ends or not. But I get the impression she wants to end them all and doesn't really know how... (writing yourself in a corner, is that a valid saying?)

And that's a big problem with a lot of series. If you write a series, you should already know, not only the start, middle and ending of the book, but also the start, middle and ending of the entire series. At least the basic part. And I think most starting writers don't know it and thus simply start writing and hope they'll eventually might even finish the series...
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:13 AM   #72
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I wouldn't call her a chick, I find that insulting.

But yes, she took ages to finish her series. She should have finished it after book 4. Maybe a book 5 (as an opposite book to the first, where she found a home and had to leave, where in the 5th, she'd arrive at a new home, describe how different her life would be there and they'll live happily ever after....)

I think she lost sight of her ending. And thus couldn't end the series. I've not finished the last book yet (it's on my Mini and while it's always in my bag, it's getting more difficult to read in these dark days!), so I don't know if she ended all her lose ends or not. But I get the impression she wants to end them all and doesn't really know how... (writing yourself in a corner, is that a valid saying?)

And that's a big problem with a lot of series. If you write a series, you should already know, not only the start, middle and ending of the book, but also the start, middle and ending of the entire series. At least the basic part. And I think most starting writers don't know it and thus simply start writing and hope they'll eventually might even finish the series...
The "chick" wasn't meant to be insulting. I'm a chick.

But other than that, I see where you are coming from. That is my biggest issue with series that are written by people trying to make a $$ rather than trying to write a story. If the story is there the money will come... not the other way around.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:49 AM   #73
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There are good and bad series...just as there are good and bad single books. But count me among those who LIKE a series more than a single book.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:51 PM   #74
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Trust me. I complain enough for the both of us

Again... it's not really the series that is the problem. It's the format of the series (and the dearth of the "complete story-arc" ) that I take issue with. One long story chopped into serial (cliffhanger'ed, chapter-like) installments = teh suck (IMO). Series where each individual installment offers a full "book" experience (beginning, middle and end) are just fine with me.

The Cliffhanger at the end of a series installment is a marketing tool, not a literary one. It takes no literary talent to write a cliffhanger ending... just put the pen down somewhere in the middle of the action near the 430 page mark... and voila!

There's a few respected authors out there who have been publishing books for many years that still haven't written (ok, published) an ending yet! Just a beginning and a never ending middle. That's silly. How can I make an informed decision about whether to continue reading an author's (whose writing intrigues me) work, when I have no idea if they have the ability to end a story in a satisfying (satisfying relative to me) manner?

"Stay tuned next week|year|decade for the thrilling next cliffhanger'ed non-concluding installment"

It's like one of those hanging sneezes that just won't happen.
I would be OK with the "serial " approach if the books were written as well... serials, with short installments coming out every few months-the way it was done in the SF magazines of old. What I don't like is if you have to wait 3-5 years between installments. The issue in these cases is not just whether the author WILL end in the story in a satisfying manner: the issue now becomes wherther the author will SURVIVE to end the story is a satisfying manner !
The classic example of that is the WOT series, but I fear that ASOIAF may suffer in that way as well.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:59 PM   #75
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I would be OK with the "serial " approach if the books were written as well... serials, with short installments coming out every few months-the way it was done in the SF magazines of old.
Precisely.

The serial format should be reserved for works that are released in frequent installments.
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