Hi Gang, Craig here again. I decided to park the Expansion Packs for a while. Writing posts here is kind of like dowsing, in that I really don’t know what our readers might want. There is a certain amount of guess work involved. I have a theory the Expansion Packs will return, but today I have a different approach.
I love a good stand-alone novel. I also like short stories, even micro-fiction. I enjoy the completion in them.
I’m also inclined to bounce around in my reading habits. I read a lot of different fields, even some that aren’t speculative.
Because of this, my writing habits mirror my reading preferences. I assumed many readers feel the same way I do. After one of my paranormal tales, maybe they’re off to read the next spy thriller.
I’m also one of those guys who likes to play with all the tools. I’ve written novels, novellas (or is it novellae?), collections of short stories, a collection of shorts that tells an overarching story, but… I’ve never written a series.
I have all kinds of excuses, for what they’re worth. If I’m not making my house payment off the first book, why would a try a follow up story? I often struggle with word count – are my ideas big enough? It’s one thing to write a 100K word story, but what about a 400K word story. What about my desire to run off to another genre and play there?
I’ve been asked for subsequent tales for all of my stories. There must be some kind of interest there. A few of my colleagues finally talked me into it. It wasn’t so much the twisted arm as the idea that I have a tool that is untested. I like to play with all the tools.
Never one to do things half-hearted, there are two kinds of series and I’m writing one of each. One will be a trilogy with an overarching plot. The other one will be recurring stories using the same characters, but no prerequisite of reading what came before.
Note: I’m not dropping titles, because this isn’t about promo. I genuinely hope to learn something.
Are there people out there who read like I do? Do you like a stand-alone story that allows you to jump genres to something else?
Do you prefer series? Would you rather stay in the same universe and bask in it without running off to the next thing?
How do you shop? Do you wait for a series to conclude before buying the first one? Do you start reading, then tap your foot waiting for the next book to publish? A little bit of both?
Do you have a bias one way or the other? Meaning, you don’t really care as long as you’re entertained.
If you enjoy series, what kind do you prefer? Those with an overarching plot, or those that revisit the same characters for new tales. (Like Bond, Conan, Holmes, etc.)
I suppose I ought to ask a hate question, if some of you are so inclined. Is there something you dislike about stand-alones, or series? What turns you off about either concept?
I’d like to hear from you today. Readers, writers, industry professionals, there could be something to learn here. The publishing world is a moving target and maybe there’s something for all of us to learn.
It’s a totally unscientific study, and remember, I’m basing the rest of my life on your answers. (Not really.)