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Old 02-19-2013, 03:46 PM   #31
James_Wilde
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Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
Or it can be an ambitious and ingenious exercise in building a world we wish to return to again and again, with a cast of characters we come to know and love.
You got that right! Whether one is writer or reader.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:49 PM   #32
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I think some people don't like series because they really don't like the prospect of having to read "Moby Dick, Book 2".
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:12 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by theducks View Post
there is fine distinction between TV Serial and Series.
Some are equivalent to Short stories (eg CSI). Others are closer to Serials.
Uh-huh.
But these days even police procedurals like CSI and CRIMINAL MINDS tend to run season-long arcs and multi-episode storylines.
The line between serial and series has been getting ever more blurred since the days of BUFFY and DS9 and there are very few shows left where there isn't some kind of ongoing plot thread running from week to week. Conversely, even the actual serials have learned to provide at least one complete narrative per episode. Weekly closure matters, too.

Right now the best example of how to combine a self-contained episode with multiple ongoing threads is the CW's ARROW with a five-year mystery unfolding via flashbacks in parallel to action-oriented weekly stories and a soap opera, all in the same show. And then they load up on easter eggs for comic book fans.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:20 PM   #34
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Now Game of Thrones, well drool, but I am not sure anything else could come close. I hate being made to wait. I have to include him in my prayers so he doesnt drop off the pearch before finishing. I would actually be devastated of he did. Not sure I like being that invested. It is kind of creepy.

applesauce
I agree that authors should not be allowed to take vacations, become
incapacitated by illness, or especially die; when they have a series to finish. You might want to take a look at Jim Butcher's "Codex Alera" series, it is similar and all six are complete. Any Raymond E. Feist fan should also read his "Riftwar Saga".

Luck;
Ken
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:54 PM   #35
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I'm definitely a cynic as far as series go. Too often it seems that characters are created and books written to create a series with no other raison d'etre. I still read Harry Bosch books, but can't quite remember the last one that I actually really enjoyed. At best it's fluff. I do look forward to John Correy novels, and really enjoyed The Lion (the penultimate book to date), but his latest, The Panther had the stink of something cobbled together to satisfy a publisher and deadlines based on familiar themes. I wouldn't really care, and can easily avoid most series. I just get peeved when some of my favorite authors get sucked into the feeding frenzy like Joseph Finder and Brad Meltzer.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:28 PM   #36
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There are both kind of series out there: those which have to be this way to tell the whole story. And the necrotyped because of the money in it.
Sapkowski said: "Of course I could keep on cranking out witcher novels - but why? The story is told I'm done." It 'd be nice if other authors would have the balls to do the same.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:34 PM   #37
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I wonder what it must be like for an author to shop in a supermarket, with two strangers commenting on his books.

"Did you read so and so's novel about the murder in the hospital?"

"Oh, he's running out of new ideas. Everything he has written since the second novel is insipid. He must be doing it for the money!"

Must this be the destiny of most series? Let's begin with the genesis of a series. Many such novels begin with one of the following constructs: a journey, someone is after me, or a conspiracy. Throw in some mystery, a puzzle, or some other gimmick, and you've hooked most readers. The great writers are able to follow this recipe and flesh it out with deeply imaginative visions, all evoked with nothing but words. These are the great storytellers of the human race, and it wouldn't matter if they decided to write one book or many on a given subject. Next, there are the popular writers, like Robert Ludlum. The Bourne Identity was a favorite of mine, when it was released. The Bourne Ultimatum was thoroughly enjoyable as well. But, on his passing, why did his estate authorize the continuation of the series? I consider this a travesty. Nearly as sinister as famous authors teaming up with coauthors. Larry Niven is an old guy, but, wazzup with his working with a coauthor on the Ringworld series? (I'm sure one of you knows the answer, so I won't speculate).

If a series is so difficult to sustain at the same level of excellence as the previous works, the author should freeze or jettison the story line. The last great Harry Bosch novel was The Narrows. Many moons ago. Connelly should pursue the Lincoln lawyer character now, and wait for the creative juices to reflow on his first character. You may be able to tap a maple tree for syrup every four seasons, but expecting fictional authors to crank out new works as fast as jounalists is a little too much. Even for a former news reporter. Are you a patient reader? Sure you are.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:13 AM   #38
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I do like to imagine, however, that writers write what they think is important for them to write (any sales being a fortunate coincidence). From that point of view authors write series because they want to do so. I think the Updike Rabbit novels are a nice example, I don't imagine Updike writing the later books in the series are there just because they'd likely sell.
Well, first of all full time writers need an income just like other people.
Having said that, my remark about readers demanding series leading to series being written is not only pertinent to the monetary aspect of writing.

Rather I think there is also a process of selection going on, just as in nature. The genres and styles (e.g. series) that are successful "reproduce" more (i.e. more books are written and sold in that genre or style) and expand to fill up their environment (to some extent even putting pressure on their "competitors" and driving some towards extinction).

So, I don't think most good writers set out to write series because they think it would sell better but rather that those writers that have an inclination to write series become successful, thus they can make a living at writing full time and thus they can write more series.

Also, some writers write both series (and I include trilogies here) and singletons so it's just what the story demands.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:47 AM   #39
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I like series but I can get burned out on them. I really liked the Honor Harrington books by Weber but I burned out on them recently. There is no resolution. Just when you think the good guys have won and people can get on with their lives the war flares up again with another crisis. Even in real life wars don't go on forever. Eventually they are won or lost or people just lose the will to fight. Series should have an overall story arc and eventually reach a resolution. Prefereably a happy one to make the readers investment of time worthwhile. I've burned out on the J.D. Robb series also. Good books but it's time Dallas gets promotted to Captain and the series retired.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:25 AM   #40
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I like series but I can get burned out on them. I really liked the Honor Harrington books by Weber but I burned out on them recently. There is no resolution. Just when you think the good guys have won and people can get on with their lives the war flares up again with another crisis. Even in real life wars don't go on forever. Eventually they are won or lost or people just lose the will to fight. Series should have an overall story arc and eventually reach a resolution. Prefereably a happy one to make the readers investment of time worthwhile. I've burned out on the J.D. Robb series also. Good books but it's time Dallas gets promotted to Captain and the series retired.
Actually, there have been quite a few wars that lasted for decades.
There is one school of thought that sees the 20th century as one LONG WAR that began in 1910 and ended in 1989.
Wars that span decades in multiple phases are called Epocal Wars; the thirty years war was one and the cycle of wars between England and France in the 18th-19th century was another and a big part of Weber's inspiration for the Honorverse. There actually is a unifying narrative behind the series that takes it from fan service to mega-novel.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:50 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by crossi View Post
I like series but I can get burned out on them. I really liked the Honor Harrington books by Weber but I burned out on them recently. There is no resolution. Just when you think the good guys have won and people can get on with their lives the war flares up again with another crisis. Even in real life wars don't go on forever. Eventually they are won or lost or people just lose the will to fight. Series should have an overall story arc and eventually reach a resolution.
America has been at war with someone or other pretty much non-stop since independance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._United_States
As have the UK - But we have been doing it longer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._Great_Britain
Scotland mostly just has wars with itself and doesn't have time for away fixtures.

Not sure where you are from but there is a pretty good chance that your country has been at war for at least half your life.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:34 PM   #42
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I think some people don't like series because they really don't like the prospect of having to read "Moby Dick, Book 2".
Or 50 Shades of More Crap.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:52 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
I agree that authors should not be allowed to take vacations, become
incapacitated by illness, or especially die; when they have a series to finish. You might want to take a look at Jim Butcher's "Codex Alera" series, it is similar and all six are complete. Any Raymond E. Feist fan should also read his "Riftwar Saga".

Luck;
Ken
thanks for those. And I do admit I feel creepy feeling like that, I know it isnt right.

applesauce
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:53 AM   #44
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Any Raymond E. Feist fan should also read his "Riftwar Saga".
I happen to be one of those readers who likes series generally. For example, I have every volume in the Recluse series by LE Modesitt, Jr. and in many of the series that Harry Turtledove wrote, just to identify two.

But your mention of Feist raises another point. Series can change a writeer from interesting to downright dull and boring. I have read many of Feist's books (and own a number of them), but now I can't bring myself to read his writing. I find it has grown stale. Same is true of Robin Hobb's Rainwild series -- the first couple of books wre good but thereafter I couldn't read them.

Series can remain good (David Weber's Honor Harrington and Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe series come to mind) through all of the volumes, but then others die with each new volume (Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan are two authors whose series come to mind). I suspect that writing a series is very difficult for authors.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:57 AM   #45
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There are both kind of series out there: those which have to be this way to tell the whole story. And the necrotyped because of the money in it.
Sapkowski said: "Of course I could keep on cranking out witcher novels - but why? The story is told I'm done." It 'd be nice if other authors would have the balls to do the same.
Two masters at cranking them out are Ed McBain with his 87th Precinct novels and Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret novels. Simenon once boasted that he could crank out a new Maigret novel in 3 weeks, take a wekk off, and crank out the next.

I have to admit, however, that I never got bored by either the 87th Precinct or the Inspector Maigret novels, no matter how many there were or how frequently they were produced.
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