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Brainstorming a Bingeable Series

Buried in the Slushpile

I was talking with one of my authors today, and we were discussing ways an indie (or self-published) author can be successful. And one of the things I mentioned was to have a Binge Worthy Series.

You know the kind. The one where you read book after book. The kind where you finish one and immediately go order the next.

Those kinds.

There are lots of things that make a series bingeable:

·  Compelling characters

·  Exciting plots

·  Unresolved threads that can be addressed in the next book (but not major plot threads)

·  A Style of story or writing the reader just really loves

But in order to do these things, it does require a little bit of planning. Even the most ardent pantser needs to have some idea what they want their series to be before they start. So, here are some ideas for brainstorming.

1. Come up with your main character—This needs to be someone you and your readers will love because you’re both going to be with this character for many books

2. Come up with some titles for your series—These do not need to be the titles your books will eventually use. These are guideposts for major things you want to see happen in your series. So for a YA romance series set in a retail store I might have titles like Love’s Lost and Found, Love’s Returns, and Love’s Bargains for a second chance, return to hometown, and fake girlfriend to real girlfriend stories. Actually, I think I’m actually going to work out this series.

3. Write one paragraph summaries for those titles—These don’t have to be long or elaborate. They simply need to give you a general idea of where the story should go.

From there, you can flesh out as much or as little as you want. But you have a vague idea of what you are aiming for and what you’ll want to write.

Play with ideas for series. I can’t wait to binge yours.

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