10 Things I Learned from Writing a Fantasy Series

  1. Take notes because by Book 3 you’ll barely remember what happened in Book 1. My series is almost done and I’m trying to recall every conflict to make sure I address them.
  2. List all your characters’ names, ages and appearances. Many times I revisited Book 1 because I didn’t remember if a character had black or silver hair. 
  3. On that same note, list every word you make up and include a description of what they are. I created names for things like refrigerators and cars but never put them some place I could easily access them. Many times I was flipping through Book 1, trying to find a name. 
  4. Maps are your friend. You will not remember how to spell every city, town and village in your world. Lahjyion drove me crazy. You may not even remember where your places are located.
  5. Even pansters need a plot guide or outline. What happens in Book 1 will impact Book 3. What happens in Book 3 needs to fit in with the series. While writing Book 2, I needed to change things in Book 1 so the series made sense. Fortunately, I was working on Book 2 before Book 1 was published. 
  6. The series might turn out longer than expected. At first I thought I was writing a trilogy until Book 2 ended up being over 200,000 words. Now, it’s a four book series. The problem, Book 1 said The Merging Worlds Trilogy. I changed the cover but even now, I have some print books that say “Trilogy.”
  7. Readers probably won’t remember what happened in the previous books. They need a refresher and it can’t feel like “Previously on The Merging Worlds series.” 
  8. Stop stalking Goodreads and Amazon to see if you got any new reviews. 
  9. You might not see sales until well after Book 2 is released.
  10. Follow your characters. If they go in a direction you didn’t expect, let them. 

What about you? What did you learn from writing a series?

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