Tag Archives: series

Re-Reading Books

I’ve only ever re-read one book, and that’s Macbeth. There has been no other time I’ve re-read a book. But I think the reason is that for most books, I haven’t had enough time to miss them, I guess. However, there are a few that I would like to re-read. I made a video on this topic, so here is what I want to re-read.

What I forgot to mention is that I will be re-reading Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.

In that video, there are a lot of books. Most of them are parts of two series, Pern and Shannara. The others are mainly standalone.

What do you want to re-read? Let me know in the comments below.

What’s the Best Science Fiction Novel, Series, and Author?

I asked these questions before with fantasy, which I still invite you to answer. Like I said before, I love reading fantasy, but I prefer writing science fiction more. However, I still love reading science fiction. So, please answer these questions in the comments:

  1. What’s your favourite science fiction novel?
  2. What’s your favourite science fiction series?
  3. Who’s your favourite science fiction author?

Thanks for answering! I look forward to hearing what you say.

A Look at My Weekly Blog Post Series

It’s about time to think about what I’m doing on the blog, and to set up a schedule. I have several weekly series that I have done, some wonderfully successful, some not.

Here are the weekly series:

  • Authors Answer – Every Friday
  • Science Sunday – A weekly science video every Sunday
  • Week in Review – Every Saturday or Sunday
  • Quick Facts – I’m thinking twice a week, but I’ll go with once a week for now. Tuesday, I’d say.
  • Worldbuilding – I’ll get this started up again, but I may go twice a month.

I also have monthly series:

  • Month in Review – First or second of the month.
  • Commentition – The twelfth of every month.

I also have an upcoming series that’ll be a flash fiction competition. I’ve mentioned what I’ll be doing for that before. When it starts, I can’t say yet. I need a bit more time to make sure I can commit to anything like that.

That’s about it, as far as I can remember. There is the Instagram series, but that’s not on a set schedule.

So, what’s next is to get myself back to twice a day posting, a good daily schedule for myself (this really depends on work), and some privacy.

What’s the Best Fantasy Novel, Series, and Author?

I’m a big fan of reading fantasy novels. I think I like reading them more than science fiction, even though I prefer writing science fiction. But I’d like to know your opinions about fantasy novels. So, please answer these three questions in the comments section:

  1. What’s your favourite fantasy novel?
  2. What’s your favourite fantasy series?
  3. Who’s your favourite fantasy author?

I look forward to your answers.

Authors Answer 71 – Standalone or Series?

Stories come in all sizes, but the biggest debate is over using a single novel to finish a story or a whole series of novels. Reading and writing are very different things, so while one person may like reading a series, they may prefer writing a standalone. Or vice versa. It also depends on genre. What do we think?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 71 – As an author, which do you prefer writing, standalone stories or series?

Paul B. Spence

I prefer writing series. That said, there is nothing wrong with standalone stories.

Gregory S. Close

I love exploring the intricacies of a world and its history, cultures, and characters.  A series really allows the time to develop these things fully, so I enjoy writing in that context.

Allen Tiffany

Series, in the spirit of long. I’m close to inept at short stories. I think this is both cause and effect. I don’t enjoy short stories; I don’t feel like they give me enough to get emotionally engaged. I feel the same about writing them.

Linda G. Hill

I prefer writing standalone, but some books beg to be continued. And there’s nothing I can do to control that.

D. T. Nova

Series. I can get attached to characters I create and want to do more with them.

I also very much like the idea of stories that can stand on their own but are connected to one another. If the same concept works equally well as either standalone or connected to another story, I’ll go with the more connected option.

Jean Davis

I’m going to sit on the fence and go with both. Most of what I write is standalone. I enjoy that for the fact that I can get lost in it and then it’s done and I can move on to something new. However I do have one series that I also enjoy working on because I get to play in the same universe with the same characters that I’ve come to know very well.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Being that my first novel was a standalone and I’m currently in the process of writing a series, I think I can pretty confidently say that I prefer standalone stories. There’s definitely a chance that I might change my mind in the future, but somehow I really, seriously doubt it. My big problem with the series setup is trying to write the first few chapters of each consecutive book. You spend an entire book building up the story, the world, the characters, and then when you move on to the next book it’s a bit like starting from scratch with no idea what your readers already know. You have to write those first chapters knowing that your readers should already have the gist of what’s going on and don’t want you to spoon-feed a bunch of introduction nonsense to them, but you also have to intricately weave in the most important information just in case time has caused your readers to forget anything integral. It’s a terribly frustrating part of the process, at least in my opinion. I’d much rather have a defined beginning and end, and just have to worry about squeezing all the important stuff in between.

Eric Wood

I know I prefer to read series. When I finish a good book, I’m a bit sad that I won’t get to read about those characters any more. However, in a series, I know there’s another book and their story will continue. Some books get me so attached to the characters I don’t want their story to end. Harry, Katniss, every character George R. R. Martin has brought to life and killed. So I would guess I would also prefer to write a series as well. It would give me more time to develop characters, give them added adventure, and a more complex conflict. However, I often find myself writing more towards children – picture book style stories. There are a few series in picture books (i.e. Knuffle Bunny) but I’ve never explored writing and series for children.

H. Anthe Davis

Seeing as I’m currently hip-deep in a six-book series, with a list of thirty other possible books in the extended world…I have to say I prefer series!  Though I do intend to have some of those thirty-odd related books be standalones within the world, just still be a part of the overall chronology.  I seem to have way too many ideas to restrict myself to one book at a time, unless that one book is just following one character (which is also difficult for me).

Elizabeth Rhodes

I can’t decide. Both have their merits. Standalone stories call for less planning than a series, and in that sense are simpler (not that a good story can be simple to create!) but worldbuilding for a series is so much fun. Jasper’s universe has at least a trilogy in it, and I have a fantasy series planned for the future, but the book I’m working on now is a standalone.

S. R. Carrillo

I like each for what they offer – series, for the potential to really craft and expound upon a whole new universe and dig into character and plot arcs; standalones, for their simplistic nature boiling down to the “nitty gritty” of a story, so to speak – and, even though I have based my career around my longest and only series, I would have to say I prefer standalones.

They pack a little more punch to me because it essentially forces the focus of the story to shine right from the start. I think, often, series are taken for granted by writers and readers.

Jay Dee Archer

Can I say hybrid? I love series. I love reading series. I’m writing series, too. My first series is actually just two books, but part of a larger universe, or in this case, world. I’ll follow that up with a trilogy. There will be future series on that world, but there may also be standalone stories that fit within that world. That’s why I say hybrid. But really, my simple answer would be series. I love to get into the world, get to know the characters, and often characters from different time periods. I like history, so I want to develop the world’s full history.

I have three other series in development, as well. Not one of the books is a standalone. I’ll probably do one in the future, though.

How about you?

As a writer and a reader, which do you prefer, standalone stories or series? Let us know in the comments below.

From East to West – A New Vlog Series

As I mentioned in my previous post (go read it! I’ll wait), I had a video to edit and upload to YouTube. Well, here it is, and my official announcement of a new vlog series.

The series is called From East to West: A Move to Canada, and it’ll consist of brief videos of me talking about our moving and immigration process. The first video introduces the series, and I also talk about what I’d been doing that day. I hope to have three or four videos per week, and I will post them here so you can watch them.

So, enjoy the video.

In case you’re wondering, A Taste of Japan will continue. I need to work on those videos. They take a long time to edit, since they’re several minutes long and consist of between ten and thirty shorter videos edited together. They will come!

And while you’re at it, please subscribe to my channel. Any comments or questions? Please leave them in the comments below. If you have any questions you’d like to ask me about the immigration process, I’ll try get to them in a video. Thanks!

Why Write a Trilogy When You Can Write One Novel?

I saw a question in a fiction writing group on Facebook asking why authors decide to write a trilogy from the beginning, rather than just writing a single book. Why not start off with a book, and try fit it all in? I have some answers.

First of all, the story may be too large to fit in a single book. It may be a single story, but split into three. Why not just put it in one book? I don’t think many people want to buy a 1,500 page novel. That’s why. They’re more likely to try out the 500 page first book, like it, then buy the other two.

That leads us to the second reason. People like to read series or trilogies. Not everyone, but there are many people who love to read them. I’m one of them. And it also makes economic sense for the author. Incredibly long books may be hard to sell, but shorter ones tend to be more attractive. And that means if people buy and like the first book, they will likely buy the other two. That’s tripling the income!

And finally, a series may involve related, completely self-contained stories that simply cannot be written as a single book. This is what my first trilogy is like. They’re separate stories, but they all lead into each other with a final conclusion. I also have a fantasy series of four books planned that has three parallel stories that lead into a final book. In a single book, it would be a complete mess.

Those are my reasons for writing trilogies or series. Standalone books have their own advantages, too. There are many I’ve read, and they work perfectly fine. They end at the end of the book. There is no continuation.

What do you think? As a writer and a reader, do you prefer standalone books or trilogies and series? Let me know in the comments below.

A Fantasy Book Challenge

I think I found a new favourite list. A list of the top 100 fantasy books by Fantasy Book Review.

I already have several other challenges I want to do, including the Hugo and Nebula Awards, Shakespeare, Read the World, Goodreads’ 50 Book to Read Before You Die, and Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime challenges. Well, I have a new challenge!

Looking through the list, it has almost all of the big ones. I want to read them all. But it’s become clear that it’s not actually 100 books. It’s 100 series and books. This will be quite the challenge, then.

My new challenge is to write out all of these challenges on pages and have them listed under the Challenges menu item at the top.

Who’d like to try this challenge?

Flash Fiction Weekly Series

Anyone remember What Will You Write? I’d mentioned that I wanted to bring it back eventually. Well, it sort of is coming back, but I want to run the idea I have for it by you first.

First of all, it will probably be under a different name. It’ll be competitive, and I want the name to reflect that.

Second, my idea for this is to have it as a weekly feature. With the success of Authors Answer, I’d like to ask for a group of people to submit weekly flash fiction of only 100 words. That’s much shorter than the original What Will You Write? And with only 100 words, it’s easier to write something every week.

Third, the group of people that will be writing will be the same each week. For this, I want those people to be absolutely sure they can submit something every week. I haven’t decided how many people will be able to participate, but I don’t think there’ll be a maximum. However, I’d like to keep the same group of people for a month at a time. Every month, new people can join and those who wish to stop participating can stop.

Finally, the way it will work is as follows. The participants will submit their stories to me by email. I will post the stories without their names in a post that contains a poll.  Anyone can vote in the poll for the story they like the best. This will be completely anonymous so that the participants have a fair chance of winning that week. Every week, I will post the stories with the winner or top three, and link back to the original post, which will have been edited with the authors’ names included. The following day, the new round starts.

Every month, I’ll write a spotlight post featuring the month’s winners, and at the end of a full year, I’ll post a ranking of all the winners. The top winner may receive something, but I have no idea what it would be at the moment.

I’d like to hear what you think. If you’re interested in participating in something like this, let me know in the comments. When I start this, I will make an announcement for people to apply to participate. If you leave a comment here, it’s not an official application, but I will do my best to try to contact you when it’s starting to see if you’re still interested. It will likely start in spring, after my move to Canada.

For everyone else, I’d like some feedback about this. What do you think? Any suggestions? Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Coming Soon: Top Ten Tuesday

When I say soon, I mean tonight! Although it will be Wednesday my time when I post it, it’ll be Tuesday in most if the world.

I am starting a weekly Top Ten series that will focus on science and geography. Sometimes they’ll be factual, other times, they’ll be my opinion. But I will always provide you with some interesting information about each entry. And I intend it to be full of pictures.

Interested? Let me know what you think.