Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Guest Post - L. Diane Wolfe: How to Tie Together a Series

L. Diane Wolfe is stopping by today to discuss her new book with a guest post about tying series together.

How to Tie Together a Series 

Sometimes writers plan out a series. Sometimes one book turns into more. And sometimes a writer conceives of multiple, seemingly unrelated stories. How can one tie it all together? 

Here are some ways you can groups stories into a coherent series: 

Continuation of the characters: 

Take the main character and continue his/her adventures. Each story can stand on its own or each one can progress forward in time. There are a lot of examples in the literary world: Sherlock Holmes, Jack Reacher, Nancy Drew, etc. Readers who fall in love with the main character will enjoy more stories surrounding that person. 

It doesn’t have to be the same character, though. The main character’s best friend could become the main character in the next book, and so on and so on. Many of the secondary characters will cycle in and out of the stories, keeping readers grounded in the cast. I did this with my new adult series, The Circle of Friends. 

Set in the same universe: 

Think DC or Marvel comics. Many superheroes across one large universe. Sometimes they cross over, sometimes they are merely referenced in another story. The stories can also be set many years apart. The Imager series by L.E. Modessit is an example of a single universe series, as is Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. 

Using a theme: 

If the characters don’t overlap and neither does the setting, then stories can be tied together by theme. The theme can be simple or complex. It can tie specifically to the stories’ genre. But some key element binds the stories to a series, a theme that readers will enjoy regardless of the exact setting or characters. Theme is what I used to tie my In Darkness series together—each main character(s) deal with a darkness in their lives, whether it’s due to their supernatural nature (vampire, shark, werewolf, alien) or human flaws and baggage dragging them down. 

If you have some stories written and would like to tie them together, consider one of those three options. If you’d like to plan a series or turn a single book into one, now you have some ideas. Series do well, so if you can get one going and it’s successful, you’ll gain dedicated readers for years. 

In Darkness: The Vampire 
By L. Diane Wolfe 

Souls shrouded in darkness… 

Stuck working as a barmaid for her demanding father, Anna dreams of adventure. When mysterious strangers enter the bar, she overhears they seek Zancrela, an ancient fortress filled with treasure and a magical library. Taking her chance, she offers to guide them. The conditions: deliver Zancrela or die. 

As they journey through the wilderness, she discovers their secret: they are vampires. And most view her as food. One takes interest in her and her heart dares to hope, but it might not be enough to change her fate. Will Anna find Zancrela or become a vampire morsel? 

Release date – February 7, 2023 
Romance / Paranormal / Vampires (FIC027320), Fantasy / Paranormal (FIC009050), Fantasy / Romance (FIC009090) 
eBook ISBN 9781939844903 
$3.99 eBook available in all formats 

Buy Links: 

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. 


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you for hosting me today, Shannon.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Congrats to Diane!

The closest I've come to a series is a trilogy of novellas in the same book which link in to each other - some characters cross over. Even then, the final story needed a lot of work to make it fit with the others.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm not good with themes but following a character worked for me.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Thanks for coming on, Diane!

Annalisa, I haven't tried it yet, but I'm about to start, so this post was timely.

Alex, I don't tend to be too conscious about themes, either.