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Author Topic: Do long series have to be that long?  (Read 4409 times)

Offline Elfy

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Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2015, 05:48:27 AM »
In part I blame the rise of the word processor for this. So much easier to write reams and reams of paper when you're just typing it out on a screen and can easily backspace and delete things and shift them around painlessly.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline YordanZh

Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2015, 07:17:45 AM »
I love me some long series, as long as they are actually good and justifiably long. Unfortunately more and more series are written as long as possible just for the sake of better sales - the more books, the more sales. (and in the case of fantasy - the bigger the individual books, the better. We, fantasy fans, often view big fantasy books  as the norm for the genre)
I actually wrote a blog post a while back on long series and stand-alones:
http://yzfantasy.com/2900/long-fantasy-series/

A couple of days ago someone wrote me a personal message on another forum to give me an advice on how to be a successful writer, an advice that "you can't find anywhere on the internet, it's the secret of the industry!". And it obviously was that I should make my books into series that are as long as possible. It doesn't matter how or what you write, just write extra side stories, any extra past events and stuff and you'll be a "successful writer". Which if course is no "secret" at all and unfortunately - is true. And many authors fill their books with unnecessary crap, just to make them longer and split them into big series, when in reality the actual story in them is enough for a stand-alone or a nice, tight trilogy.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2015, 07:27:55 AM »
I love me some long series, as long as they are actually good and justifiably long. Unfortunately more and more series are written as long as possible just for the sake of better sales - the more books, the more sales. (and in the case of fantasy - the bigger the individual books, the better. We, fantasy fans, often view big fantasy books  as the norm for the genre)
I actually wrote a blog post a while back on long series and stand-alones:
http://yzfantasy.com/2900/long-fantasy-series/

A couple of days ago someone wrote me a personal message on another forum to give me an advice on how to be a successful writer, an advice that "you can't find anywhere on the internet, it's the secret of the industry!". And it obviously was that I should make my books into series that are as long as possible. It doesn't matter how or what you write, just write extra side stories, any extra past events and stuff and you'll be a "successful writer". Which if course is no "secret" at all and unfortunately - is true. And many authors fill their books with unnecessary crap, just to make them longer and split them into big series, when in reality the actual story in them is enough for a stand-alone or a nice, tight trilogy.
I don't know that it's so much write as long as you can, more to let publishers know that what you've written has 'series potential'. I kind of prefer shorter books in a series. That may be why I've gravitated towards UF in recent years. They still have interesting worlds and strong characters, and some of them go forever, but they break them up into easily digestible pieces. I've said that being an avid ASoIaF fan, but that series is in danger of going down the WoT path.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline YordanZh

Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2015, 07:38:02 AM »
I don't know that it's so much write as long as you can, more to let publishers know that what you've written has 'series potential'. I kind of prefer shorter books in a series. That may be why I've gravitated towards UF in recent years. They still have interesting worlds and strong characters, and some of them go forever, but they break them up into easily digestible pieces. I've said that being an avid ASoIaF fan, but that series is in danger of going down the WoT path.

He was giving me advice on precisely how to be a successful self-pubbed author, not on how to attract publishers. Make a series of 10-15 books, make the first 3-4 free with multiple links for the next ones and vioala! Sales. I had to force myself to politely continue the discussion and thank him every once in a while for the "new and interesting insight"..

But yeah, it's also done to attract publishers, to attract readers, who also often view series as potentially better, etc. Or in other words - 7-8 out of 10 times the long series are what they are for various marketing reasons and not because they need to be. Which is pity. But in the other 2-3/10 cases - sure, I love them.

Offline DDRRead

Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2015, 08:56:47 AM »
Again I'll chime in with the 'if it's good' chorus. If I like a world and it characters it's great to see more and there was something glorious about binge reading Malazan. I also enjoyed reading a big chunks of Katherine Kerr's Deverry series too.

Some writers like Lawrence, Hobb and Abecrombie have the best of both worlds by writing trilogies and stand alones in the same worlds with characters that overlap stories or make cameo appearances which is very cool.

Offline Yora

Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2015, 10:08:52 AM »
Having a long series isn't bad in any way. I probably read 20 Star Wars and Forgotten Realms books each. But those 40+ books also consisted of about 20 different stories. I just hate it if there's a book that starts with the assumption "If you want to know how it ends and the answer to the mystery, read another 2000 pages."

What I like is serials. Linked stories, not a single continous story that takes 20 years to write.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

Offline DrNefario

Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2015, 02:55:53 PM »
I was going to mention the difference between a series and a serial (although I seem to have it the other way round to you: a serial is one story over many installments, a series is a complete story per installment but with shared characters/setting.) Series are very common in, for instance, detective fiction, but serials probably rule the roost in fantasy.

Honestly, I think the best stuff has a bit of both. A reasonably complete story in one volume, and some significant changes in the status quo for future episodes.

I think there can be something comforting about wallowing in a rich fantasy world for several huge volumes. I would say a long serial almost never needs to be that long, but you might want it to be longer.

Offline Yora

Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2015, 03:26:47 PM »
Yes, I had been thinking of movies. It's really more accurate to say that Wheel of Time is  serial and Conan a series.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

Offline ClintACK

Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2015, 05:58:09 PM »
What I like is serials. Linked stories, not a single continous story that takes 20 years to write.

That's it exactly.

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Do long series have to be that long?
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2015, 06:22:52 PM »
What I like is serials. Linked stories, not a single continous story that takes 20 years to write.

That's it exactly.

yes, please.