Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Heros, Heroines and Series Or Not

There are series and series. Sounds confusing but it's not. There are series where the same character has story after story. These are often mysteries, but not always. Sometimes they are science fiction, fantasy and even romances can have a series where one character spans more than one book. The other kind of series is where a town, a country, an idea produces books that belong together. This time we'll deal with the first kind of series and the question, how does the writer maintain the same hero or heroine in book after book?

When reading about this in How To Write Mysteries by Shannon O'Cork, it seemed to me that this could be a problem for the writer. Using the same character in story after story can exhaust the writer. I have a series using Katherine Miller as a main character but I'm a strange kind of writer. Yes she's in more than one book, but the stories were written years apart. To have to do the same character book after book could make writing not fun for me, but there are authors who are successful doing this kind of mystery.

One has to love the character. One has to be willing to watch the character grow and change from the character's first appearance. If the character doesn't change, the writer and the reader become bored with the story. An interesting side bit. When some new people joined the tritique group and heard a bit of a mystery, they were bothered by some of the character's actions. Certain traits of a series character must follow through each of the stories. The ones who had heard or read all the stories knew the heroine couldn't act in a defferent manner. She has undergone other changes that haven't bothered other characters

Series usually have an end hopefully planned by the author in advance. Hopefully when the author decides to end the series, the readers won't clamor for more.

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