Leafing through a current copy of The Writer Magazine today, I came across an interesting article by author Anne Perry with the above listed title. She does an excellent job of articulating the challenges of keeping an on-going series fresh and creative.  She subdivided the article into three categories: choosing characters, choosing a setting and choosing a theme.

The information is common sense, but she does a good job of walking the reader/writer through the thinking process one must go through to create a series that will stay alive, book after book. I won't hash over her points here, but they did help me rethink my current projects in which I hope to balance three separate, on-going series over the coming years. Personally,  I just hate to kill off my main characters, so I need to find another way to keep them alive without boring my readers to tears. 

Do you struggle with the same issues of how long to keep a series going? Or, do you think a two or three book series is about all the life one main character deserves?

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A seven book contract?  Yikes!  As an author, I doubt if I could hold my own interest in a character more than two or three books.  Right now I'm conflicted, wondering if readers want to read characters they WISH they were, or who have lives they want, or characters more like them?  Since I usually write comedy, my characters are usually over the top, but that wouldn't be appropriate for something that's a dark thriller, maybe.

LOL...I keep asking myself the same questions.  Guess I'm still conflicted about this. 

Mostly, I think I'm asking about plot devices...are readers tired of all the "occupationally different" sleuths?  Or do readers like reading about somebody who has a different job than they do?  I recently saw a series (can't remember author, sorry) of wedding cake mysteries.  Really?


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