As an avid reader and writer, I’m a firm believer that book series are some of the most magical things we have. I’m in the middle of reading a book series that just put out book #48. I’m hoping to have my main book series be ten books, which is much less, but still considered a long book series. I’m a firm believer that indie authors need to aim for book series (instead of stand-alones), but today I want to talk about building breaks into your series so that you can stay creative and not burn yourself out.
For anyone who has ever written or even attempted to write a book, you know that writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint. Cliches aside, creating a story, making characters, and assembling all of it – it’s a giant puzzle. Do that a couple times, and you’re likely to experience some burnout. That’s okay, we’re human, we burn out. You aren’t weak for burning out, I want to make that clear. Don’t badger yourself for burning out. But, when it comes to planning a series, be smart, and prepare for that burnout.
I’m talking about series burnout because I’m currently suffering from series burnout.
The main book series that I write, The Cassie Morgan Series, is something I’ve been working on since I was 13. I’m 24 now. Granted the story and I both changed a lot, so it wasn’t like I was working on the same draft all the time. The characters and stories involved with the series evolved over time as I grew up. Either way, I published the first one over two years ago, and the second one came out in 2016. My third and fourth books are in the making.
Naturally, I’ve come to a point where I need a bit of a break. I’ve finished a draft of the fourth book and I’ll be spending at least two months away from the series before I dive back in and get these two books done. After I publish the third and fourth book, I’ll be taking a long break from the series in general.
T0 be honest, I’m not sure at what point I realized the fourth book was a little stopping point in the series. Like a semi-colon. If I publish books three and four and suddenly die, I would be happy with how the series ends.
So, why should you build a break into your series?When you start plotting a book series, give yourself a break. Click To Tweet
We’ve already talked about this a lot, but as a writer, sometimes you need a break. Actually, not even as a writer, but as a human. Having a natural break in your book series allows you to avoid burnout.
2. Breaks Allow you to Try New Things
During this break from The Cassie Morgan Series, I’m actually going to write something totally new. It’s been a long time since I’ve plotted something totally new, so I’m a little terrified because I’m rusty. During this planning process this new series, I keep thinking of the muscle-arm emoji, because I’m trying to flex my creative muscle.
If I was still working on Cassie Morgan, I think I’d be resenting myself just a little bit. By working on something totally new, I get to throw paint on the wall and get messy. When you’ve published part of a series and you’re still going, you’ve got less wiggle room to try something new. You’ve established rules for yourself in your world, so I’m excited to rewrite my own rules.
3. Breaks are Easier to Digest
Whether you have ten books or forty-eight books in your series, readers still have to read all of them if they’re a fan. As a reader, you go in and out of reading. A break in the stories you read means you get to take a break too. When you build a break into your series, it’s a little pause and a stopping point for readers, too.
When it comes to writing a book series, know that it will probably take you a long time. When you’re starting out with the planning of a book series, plan out a break. Put a little bow somewhere around the halfway point in your series so you can take that break.,
You might thank me later (and next time I plan a whole series, I’ll be thanking myself – if I actually take my own advice).