Monday, April 9, 2012
Writing a Series of Books? Don't Leave Your Readers in the Dark.
Luke and Jenny series. As I began working on the manuscript for the second book, Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War, I too went on the assumption that readers would have already read the first book, so I was writing accordingly. Lucky for me, my publisher clued me in. I seem to recall sending her an early draft of the first few chapters, and she caught the error before I'd gone too far. She told me to never, ever assume that the reader has read the first book. Even if they had, it wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility for a considerable amount of time to have passed before starting the next book. She told me to go on the assumption that the reader had not read the prior book, and write accordingly.
Don't leave your readers in the dark and never assume that they've read your earlier book(s). Bring them up to speed, as quickly as possible, so they can understand your story and follow the plot. Otherwise you'll end up with a frustrated, confused reader, who may very well toss your book aside without ever finishing it.
My tip for the day.