Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Can't Get You Out Of My Head

Is this Grand Duchess Elmaree I
of Brugel?
Picture credit here.
The problem with authors is they can't let characters go.
That must be why they return, time after time, to write novels based on the same characters. Or characters within the same family. Or characters from the same club/friendship group/workplace/country.

And series books sell. Let's not forget that.
Speaking with some author friends recently, their publishers are telling them that 'stand alone' novels don't sell as well as 'series' books. 'Write a series' they tell them.

I love a good stand-alone, because I know the story will have a proper ending. I've been writing plenty of these lately, and sending them out all over the place to find a proper home.

On the other hand, I also love a good series. Provided each book within the series has a proper ending but leaves the door open for more. Instead of ending on an almighty cliffhanger and I have to wait a year for the next instalment.

I used to think a series came about because the author couldn't let characters go. I adored The Belgariad but felt The Mallorean was an excuse to hash things over again.

Now I too have become a hypocrite an author who can't let go of characters. More to the point, I can't let go of the world I created in Brugel. So many characters from Brugel's history are clamouring for attention in my noggin.

Elamree, Brugel's first ever ruling Grand Duchess, wants her story told. Needs her story told.
Who am I to turn her down? Her life is bangin' good yarn.

This was a common nursery rhyme about Elmaree, back in the day:

Born under a tree.
Sits in a place
Where a boy should be

Best be off to get some index cards so I can plot this one out.


Stephanie @ Read In a Single Sitting said...

Curiously, I'm so much more drawn to series when they're about characters I love than about a plot that's stretched out over multiple books. I'm happy to return to Brugel for that reason--I love your characters.

Ebony McKenna. said...

Oh wow, thanks for the fabulous compliment!

I love characters above plot as well. I love getting into people's heads and seeing them rise to prominence, or get their come-uppance :-D

Heather said...

A very inspiring poem, there is definitely a good story there! I love series and stand alones too. As a reader I'm not picky. As an author who has a series and a stand alone out, it's very clear to me that readers prefer series.

Ebony McKenna. said...

Thanks for that Heather,
really interesting to see that your sales also reflect the trend of series books over stand alones. Maybe as readers we like to return to the familiar? Not sure.
I know as a writer, I am having a very hard time letting these characters go :-D