Did you know: the work of classic writers, such as Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope, were first published as miniseries, which were later combined into full-fledged novels?
That’s because, in the Victorian times, novels appeared in parts in periodicals. While Trollope wrote the entire novel and then published them piece by piece, Dickens went for an alternative approach of playing it by ear. He enjoyed collecting feedback and inputs from the readers and improvising on the story accordingly.
Regardless of either writer’s approach, it is a fact that writing a book series can be quite a challenge. Imagine the embarrassment of having killed off a character in one installment, only to have them appear mysteriously in the subsequent edition! Think of the loophole when a minor character with a cockney accent is now speaking with a Southern drawl.
Keeping track of the idiosyncrasies and minute details are essential to maintain continuity across the series. Fortunately, technology offers a worthy solution to all your writing woes in the form of a book writing app. Here’s a look at how you can keep track of your characters, their journey, and the storyline:
All Your Drafts in a Single Place
Having a dedicated app helps you stay in charge of your story, even if it spans across multiple books. Book writing apps are well equipped with all the features and functionalities that will help you stay abreast with all the latest happenings while keeping a sharp eye on the past and the future developments.
These tools are designed specifically for long-form writing, and you can view your stories in organized outlines that are easily navigable. As such, you can write the entire series within the same file without increasing the file load or cluttering your writing space.
Book writing apps allow you to index the entire series, which makes it extremely easy for you to continue working without feeling overwhelmed or under-informed.
Series are essentially complex storylines, especially if you hop timelines during the tale or branch off into smaller plotlines. And if you have never used a corkboard to monitor your story, then you must do it now.
Book writing software contains digital corkboards, which lists all the book’s primary details, such as the characters, the setting, and the story as it proceeds. It also maintains a record of all the happenings in a chronological fashion.
All you need to do is copy and paste vital snippets from your novel (such as “her hair was fiery red” or “his office was located two blocks from the subway”) and build upon it if and when you add to this information. You can use this virtual corkboard for deriving creative inspiration as you can jot down points that you would later incorporate into the story.
Allows You to Plan in Advance
Let’s face the truth – we can’t all be Dickens.
Hence, it is always a good option to stick with Trollope’s strategy. Create a basic structure for your series well in advance. Ask yourself the questions that matter, like:
- How many books should the series contain?
- Would each book carry a separate theme, or would it continue throughout the series?
- At what point does the character arc hand-off from one book to another?
The answer to such questions will lend clarity to how you wish to proceed with your series. Add these details in the notes section of your software, and you will stick to the structure without overshooting the timeline.
Here’s a fun bit about screenwriting software, they make writing a lot easier. And no, it’s not just about the spell checks or the grammar corrections; it is a lot more!
These tools can track your plot, timeline, and characters. The moment a character makes an inadvertent appearance in two spots at the same time, you will get an instant alert about this mistake, and you can rectify it before a reader leaves behind a scathing review for this mistake!
Creates a Vivid Fictional World
Think of series like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia. What do these immensely famous books have in common? They offered an immersive experience that whisked you off to a completely different world.
If you wish to achieve success with your book series, you will have to capture your reader’s attention right from book one to the final installment. And for this, you would need a highly detailed world where your characters reside. And, of course, the background would change as the scene changes, whether it is across a paragraph, a chapter, or a book.
But how can you ensure consistency in setting across the many books? Say you introduce the protagonist’s kitchen in book one and circle back to it in book three. How can you maintain the details? Through a book writing app!
Establishes Character Backstories
One of the best hooks that you can use to capture your audience’s attention is through character backstories that contribute to their development arc.
Every individual has a back story, which is the reason that makes them act a certain way, behave in a particular manner, gain some quirks, and make decisions. In some cases, you could have an entire book dedicated to a character’s backstory.
And even though you may drip-feed this information slowly and gradually, you would still need a detailed character sketch right from day one. Of course, you could start with a few broad strokes and later fill in additional details, but the point is to start from scratch.
Fortunately, you can use a book writing app to create character profiles of all the individuals that feature in your book. In this section, you can create the outline of their backstories, such as your protagonist running into the antagonist when they were teens, or so on.
A book writing app is highly versatile as it helps you elevate your series writing game. It helps you maintain uniformity across your series and prevents you from the potential embarrassment of readers identifying plotholes and inconsistencies. Make each book count, and your series is bound to be a roaring success!