I don’t think short. I’ve never been one to write a short story. My first short story ever started on a plane while I was flying from South Korea to the Australian Outback as part of a solo bicycle tour around the world, a mid-life crisis on wheels. It ended up 3-years later as my first published novel. I’ve taken short story classes and the instructor has said something appropriately nice about the writing and then concluded, “but this isn’t a short story, this is the opening of a novel.”
I’m starting to have the same problem with novels. Sure it’s nice writing and a good story, “but this would make a really cool series.” Now that I’ve crossed over from novel thinking to series thinking, I sometimes look back and try to puzzle out why. Pretty easy in some ways. I almost never read short stories; I love reading series. Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series was probably my first followed closely by Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. But I didn’t stop there. To this day, even if I don’t have the time, I’ll take a series anyway.
Nora Roberts’ Born In and Chesapeake books I’m close to wearing out my second set and I also have it on audio. I must have read a half-dozen or more series of hers. Suzanne Brockman, Kristine Grayson, Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey… I could keep going. I just love them. I get to snuggle down into a world that’s already familiar and go on a new adventure. I see how my old pals are doing and make new friends as the world expands. I rarely go for epics. Maybe when I retire I’ll have the time to wallow in George RR Martin or Stephen King or… But the epic doesn’t draw me like a series.
Writing in them has other plusses and minuses. I get the opportunity to build and develop a world. To make it expand and grow. I love revisiting old characters just as much as my readers do. It’s fun to deepen a world I’ve come to love and find ways to keep it fresh and richer and entertaining.
There are problems as well. Once I build a structure, whoops! There it is. Now I have to live in that world. No matter that I now understand more of Captain Emily Beale, she was the first book. She married the Major of her dreams. Now it’s on to I Own the Dawn and Kee Smith’s heart, so plain for all to see except herself. There’s also a challenge to make it the same (for continuity and new readers) and richer and deeper (for return readers). That can get tricky.
But, as the world gets richer, so do the characters. That’s why I truly love series writing. They build over time. Now Major Beale gets to come in and show Kee exactly what she’s signed up for. She’s turned from unsure heroine to assured commander. She’s grown, and she in turn can help Kee find her place in the world, hopefully before she kills the man of her dreams.
I’ll take a series any day. What are your favorites? I’m always looking for a new one. And please check out the contest page on my website: by following along my blog tour for the month of August, you will have multiple chances to win a signed copy of I Own the Dawn.
About the Author:http://www.matthewlieberbuchman.com/. Be sure to check the Contest page for a chance to win a free, signed copy of I Own the Dawn.
I OWN THE DAWN BY M.L. BUCHMAN – IN STORES AUGUST 2012
Name: Archibald Jeffrey Stevenson III
Rank: First Lieutenant, Dap Hawk Copilot
Mission: Strategy and execution of special ops maneuvers
Name: Kee Smith
Rank: Sergeant, Night Stalker Gunner and Sharpshooter
Mission: Whatever it takes to get the job done
You Wouldn't Think It Could Get Worse, Until It Does...
When a special mission slowly unravels, it is up to Kee and Archie to get their team out of an impossible situation with international implications. With her weaponry knowledge and his strategic thinking, plus the explosive attraction that puts them into exact synchrony, together they might just have a fighting chance.