Tuesday, March 29, 2016

1 Three Ways to Find the Right Place to Start Each Book in a Series (And a MEGA Giveaway)

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Last week in the comments on my post THE JUMP START: FINDING THE PERFECT PLACE TO START YOUR NOVEL, Kessie asked how to find the right place in the second and third book of a series. Let me tell you, it's a darn good question. The need for backstory, a continuing story arc, and a continuing character arc all war with the need to start with action and a new, immediate story question. I'm still weighing my response to Kessie, but in the meantime, I thought I'd turn the query over to one of my favorite author people, the lovely Lisa Gail Green.

The third book in Lisa's OF DEMONS AND ANGELS series comes out today, and Lisa knows how to jump right into things and make the reader care. She also consistently has great insight on questions of craft. AND she's incredibly generous, so not only does she have answers for us, she has a fantastic giveaway including autographed books by John Green, Danielle Paige and more to celebrate her book birthday!

So without further ado, welcome, Lisa, and CONGRATULATIONS. So much confetti! (Also, cake and hugs, because I'm so darn proud of you I could pop!!!)

Three Ways to Find the Right Place to Start Each Book in a Series 

(And a MEGA Giveaway)

by Lisa Gail Green

Thank you, Martina!! I'm so excited that today is the day the final book in my trilogy, SOUL CONQUERED, comes out!! I love this book so much I want to hug it.

But it wasn't always easy getting to this point. I'd never done a trilogy before and though I had a good sense of where I was headed, it was DEFINITELY a learning process when it came to actually carrying it out.

So when Martina mentioned that someone asked how to find the right starting place when you're dealing with a series, I knew I had to jump in. Because if there's any way I can pay it forward and help other writers -- you know I'm up for it. And so, I give you three ways to find the right place to start:

  1. Consistency. It's always nice when a book comes full circle, right? When you can demonstrate how the character has changed by the end, but showing them in a similar situation to where you started and how different things are now. Well, a series should follow a similar pattern. There's an overarching arc, but there's also an arc for the specific book you're writing. So ask yourself what arc the character is going to go through for this particular book and showcase the difference from beginning to end. For example, in SOUL CORRUPTED, the middle book in my series, I knew I wanted to start with Grace visiting her Gravesite since a lot of the book had to do with her family situation and her inability to let go. There is also a pivotal scene in that very same spot much later in the book, where Grace has grown quite a bit.
  2. Stick to your promises. The opening of a book -- any book -- is a promise to your reader. You are saying: This is the character you are going to follow on this adventure and this is the tone you can expect from this book. Let's say you have a successful first book. Congratulations! But now you have readers that are loyal, readers who want to continue what you started. You have to stay true to them and the promise you made in book one by starting them out with a level of comfort. In other words, you have to let them see the character(s) they've already grown to love  and they have to see those characters in a situation that promises a whole new adventure they can get on board with. 
  3. Good Old Inciting Incident. Don't forget that each book deserves its own story. So even though the characters might be the same, you still have to find that magical spot where something breaks your character out of his/her ordinary existence. The opening should present something either unique that your MC has to deal with, or your MC dealing with something in a unique way that causes the next thing to happen. So don't start with your character waking up to the alarm in the second book if you knew better in the first. And don't forget you may have readers that are starting out of order. They have to be able to make sense out of what's happening as well. 
click here to purchase any of the above books
To celebrate the release of my new book, my publisher is offering the first two books on SALE for a limited time! Check out the blurb for book one:

Bad boy Josh Gaynes is a Demon of Hell. Good girl Grace Howard is an Angel of Heaven. They’re also both students at a Michigan high school, and, unbeknownst to the other, each is on a mission to save or damn the same soul. But there’s a gray area between good and evil, and the rules of Heaven and Hell are twisted. What will happen when Angel and Demon fall into a forbidden love?

Now to the MEGA GIVEAWAY!!! I love doing that. this time I have THREE SIGNED BOOKS from authors JOHN GREEN, ALAYA DAWN JOHNSON, and DANIELLE PAIGE!!

1 comment:

  1. Fab advice, Lisa! Congrats on your book birthday. I'm crazy for this series and panting to dive into book 3! Did I mention those covers are scrumptious?


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