4 Tips to Writing Expanding a Novel into a Series

Today’s guest post is by Vivek Hariharan.

Ever since the enormous success of the Harry Potter saga, there have been many writers who stopped writing single novels and focused on writing a series of novels. The successful ones that made waves in the world of fiction are Eragon with four books, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Divergent Trilogy, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Twilight Saga, and the 50 Shades of Grey series.

Novels in a series are more likely to become blockbusters and chartbusters than individual books unless the author is already world renown.

Keeping this in mind, you might have the urge to expand the novel that you have written so carefully into a massive series. However, that is not an easy task. It would mean expanding the world, introducing new characters, building new timelines, creating back stories for the characters, and integrating all of this into each novel without losing the essence of the individual story by overcrowding.

So the most interesting question now is this: How do you create the series and at the same time integrate the individual stories and each character without losing the flavor of each individual novel itself? Here are four key aspects that you should keep in mind when you want to spit your story into a series. Continue Reading…

How Does Internal Conflict Fit into the Character’s Arc?

Today’s guest post is by Becca Puglisi.

If you’re writing a story in which your character will need to evolve internally to achieve his goal, a cohesive and well-planned character arc will be vital to its success. This type of arc (a change arc) requires internal conflict, which will provide opportunities for your character to adapt and grow.

But first, let’s quickly summarize what the change arc is and what it looks like.

At their heart, most stories boil down to a simple formula: It’s a story about A (the character) who wants B (goal/outer motivation) because Y (inner motivation). That Y explains why the character so desperately wants to achieve the goal. If you look at the movie Groundhog Day, Phil Connors (A) wants to win Rita’s love (B) so he can find meaning in an utterly meaningless life (Y). This example shows how the character’s outer and inner motivations work together in the story.

The outer conflict is the main external thing keeping the character from his goal. Phil’s conflict comes in the form of the supernatural forces that have him reliving the same day over and over, making it virtually impossible to get Rita to fall in love with him. Continue Reading…

7 Ways to Create an Empathetic Antagonist

Today’s guest post is by Sarah Tinsley.

“Complexity is an indispensable ingredient of life, and so it ought to be with the characters we create in our stories”— Stavros Halvatzis

Everyone loves a good antagonist. From the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood to Cersei in A Game of Thrones, there’s nothing more appealing than a baddie. When you’re writing, an antagonist is often a vital part of your story. They allow you to create tension, to give your main character someone to push or fight against, and are often the main driving point behind your plot.

But they need to be more than cartoon villains. It’s very rare that you will have an archetypal monster like the shark in Jaws. Most stories need subtle, nuanced antagonists. Getting your reader truly engaged with your story means finding points of empathy with all characters, no matter how reprehensible their actions.

In a wider sense, this is also the power of literature in general—to examine the darker side of human nature and to ask important questions about why bad things happen. It’s not for the writer to judge their characters but to present a real, rounded person that will raise debate and interest in their reader. Continue Reading…

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