Friday, October 24, 2014

Series Within Series

A while ago Sandra asked me on goodreads how long each of my series would be, and I thought I should explain further what kinds of series I’m writing – because there are different types, and you may want to know what you’re getting yourself in for.
    Most often mystery series are composed of individual stand-alone stories with the same characters having new (but sometimes related) adventures, and often (though not always) showing a progression in the lives of those characters along the way.
    SF/F series often tend to be one big long story, with the books just separate volumes in a tale that can’t fit in a single book.  Those tend to be shorter in science fiction (three books seems typical) and longer (sometimes much longer) in fantasy series, such as Wheel of Time.
    But each series is different, and many don’t fit easily into either of those categories.  Like mine.
    The Slowpocalypse is a sprawling story that takes place over a very long period – generations, in fact.  It’s sort of like the Darkover series (if those books had been written in chronological order) in that it’s made up of smaller stories of people facing specific problems, and then those stories taken together will tell a larger story of how they all survive the collapse of civilization and work to build a new society out of its ashes.
    The first three books are basically a trilogy showing how the Slowpocalypse starts, but as I write more stories, they won’t be limited to the characters or the setting introduced in those first three books.  So you’ll get to see other aspects of how different people are dealing with the disintegration.  And across those stories, a picture will emerge of this near future that’s unfolding.
    The first two books of Watchbearers show how time-travelers from the future become stranded and separated in our past, setting up a much looser collection of stories.  This series is much more about those characters and the adventures they have.  Those of you who’ve read both books can see the seeds of different types of stories with different characters in separate eras.
    I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read them, but (at least for the time being) there are three distinct storylines following three sets of characters.  And while all those stories will have SF aspects, some will be mysteries and others Romantic (with a capital R) adventures – and who knows what else.  And where these characters will end up, or what stories are in their future, I certainly don’t want to spoil.  But you can find some answers in the Slowpocalypse books.
    I’ve mentioned before that the future the time-travelers in Watchbearers come from follows the events in the Slowpocalypse series.  While I’m writing each as separate, stand-alone series, there are connections which those who read both sets of stories will be able to appreciate.  So all the Outpost Stories will also fit together into one larger series.
    That includes a third series I have waiting in the wings – telling stories in a future farther than Slowpocalypse, but not as distant as where the Watchbearers come from.  It will also stand on its own, and those books will be something different yet again, but hopefully you’ll enjoy them too.

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