Thanks to The Company, I am working on my first series, a fantasy romance set of novels.
I have an idea to tell the stories of two supporting characters from previous novels but I don’t know if their stories by themselves could make a novel.
I have seen novels that have the story divided into two or more “parts”. How do I determine if I should make a novel in parts or just give each character their own novel or novella in the series?
Good question, Erin.
I assume that by “parts” you mean that you’re changing POVs from one character to the next. My general recommendation is for writers who are still building skills to avoid multi-POV books.
While there are a few well-known books that have done it exceptionally well, as an editor for many years I can tell you that it is very difficult to pull off well. It instantly makes the structuring and writing process more complex.
Even when done well, multi-POV also makes it harder for the reader to connect well with the book. I’ve talked to many readers who confess that in certain books they’ve even skipped over chapters in certain characters’ POVs to get back to the POV they really cared about more quickly!
My guidance is to decide if the former secondary character has a novel or novella-length story to tell. If the character does, great! Write a whole book about it. If the honest answer is “no,” then just don’t pursue that project.
If we’re being honest, most of the time the answer is no. Maybe after the primary books are published you’ll have a fanbase clamoring for more and ready to pay for it. That could be a good time to develop those ideas. Until then, I’d focus on diversifying your catalog.
Generally speaking, I think we’re often too quick to get into a series mindset. TV shows don’t put effort into Season 2 until Season 1 proves it’s likely to be successful.
The right time to write a series is when the first book kicks butt. Until then, put a lot of different lines in the water and see what’s connecting with your audience.
I hope that helps!