Update and a question to all writers or readers of trilogies…


So, work is still mad and my time is limited, but Easter is coming. I had planned to do some serious blog reading and catching up, but my editor has just finished manuscript assessing my latest novel, an occult themed book, and she suggested making it the first in aย trilogy, so the plot monster has risn in my head and I’ve plotted out two books now to complete the trilogy so will be deep in writing the beginning of the first of the two over the break instead. So I may be missing in action for Easter as well, apart from any poems I have scheduled to post every few days, and attempts to at least try to keep up a bit each morning over coffee!

So forgive me my absence from your blogs again, please – the muse is a demanding force as you all know only too well!

But on the topic of trilogies – for those that either read them and love them, or those that write them (or serial books in general) – do you find you need to do a mini-synopsis of the previous book at the beginning of the next? If so, are there clever ways of doing that without it just being a whole bucketload of heavy exposition at the beginning? Any thoughts, tips or advice would be much appreciated!

Oh, and in terms of such advice, my trilogy will complete an arc with the same people, plus some new characters – it isn’t one of a series of ‘X – occult hunter’ with different episodic storylines – so in case that is important to any advice given I thought I would mention that.


Helen V

About Helen

I'm drawn to blogging as a way to share ideas and consider what makes us who we are. Whether it's in our working life or our creativity, expression is a means to connect.
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12 Responses to Update and a question to all writers or readers of trilogies…

  1. The mini synopsis for those that read the first is BORING. Better to weave items into the plot which give information about the first without the rote tedium. For example: In the first, your protagonist is caught up in a plot to destroy the memory. In the second you can do a brief scene where the protagonist feels as if the whole memory thing is still in play relating how if felt before etc. In this way, the current reader who did not read the first is not left out and the reader who read the first remembers the sequence and can totally relate to it.

  2. Solothefirst says:

    I think as long as there is a payoff in each one and a cliff hanger from 2 to 3 this carries pretty well. I think a synopsis for eacheach one can’t hurt.I can’t wait to read them.

  3. John explained it really well. Weaving the previous events into the next book is relatively easy. You can have characters reference it in dialogue throughout the book and it doesn’t even have to be detailed. Foreshadowing from one to the other is a good tool too. I always thought the trick to a series is to have connections between the values that are beyond the characters and main plot.

  4. Patti Hall says:

    There is usually a few short lines about previous book in series, on back of book or even on book jacket. I think most writers leave it to the reader to keep track. Just what I have noticed…the biggest help is to make sure the reader knows it is a series…especially on front cover.

  5. When I accidentally pick up a series book out of sequence (mainly due to a large dose of inattention) I am alerted to my mistake when I see a brief synopsis of previous books, then I go get them instead ๐Ÿ™‚

    John’s idea above is a good one, but may lead readers to ignore the previous books and treat each as a stand alone story.

  6. All good advice. I like John’s description of how I prefer previohs pertinent info to be woven in. But I also read the blurb and if there’s a previous book mentioned I go get that first. Those who want a standalone don’t lose important info while those who like a series get to seek it out and continue from there.
    Good luck with the writing. By all accounts, doing a series is the way to get as much exposure as poss given the investment necessary by publishers to put one or ten books out. Payback for them for time and money invested. Lots of writing and planning for you. A golden opportunity. You can always relax on here. A wee haven from the ongoing stories.
    Huge congratulations. It’s so cool to know of someone making it. ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    • I haven’t made it yet but my editor is confident this stands a good chance of being picked up by a publisher so I will give it my best and hope for the best!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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