Hearts Through History Romance Writers

The Newby Guide to Writing a First Series (or Trilogy) – Oct ’23


Instructor: Beth Daniels
Registration Deadline: Oct 6, 2023
Start Date: Oct 2, 2023
End Date: Oct 30, 2023
USD Fee: $15 HHRW Members/$25 Non-Members

Today there are probably far more titles in ALL the popular fiction genres that fall under the umbrella of being part of a series than there are those that are standalone titles. Series and trilogies, after all, can suck readers into your fictional world and keep them coming back for more and more and more.

But writing a series has more elements than a standalone story does. A series requires more world building for a town or city, the community, the “staff” that returns in book after book. It requires a story arc that spans the series, tying elements together…like an as yet unsolved crime that has further clues (and red herrings) surfacing while the characters solve the standalone mystery of each title under that story arc. Same thing with overcoming a tyrant government (Hunger Games), political upheaval (Game of Thrones), solving crime (series galore in many mystery niches, lots of them set historical periods), or finding love (any of the many Billionaire romances, for example).

When I decided to turn my hand from standalone tales to writing a mystery series, it was to find I was faced with an entirely new learning curve. With a set-up that, while familiar, was foreign to the way I worked. A Pantser needing to deal with a series story arc? Impossible, I thought.

Turns out, it isn’t impossible. I could balance being both a Pantser and a partial plotter. If you’re like me, you can, too. If you’re already a plotter, well, juggling two plots in each story – one of which can’t be solved for awhile yet – can still get tricky.

That’s what this workshop is all about though. We’ll put out casting calls for main and non-main characters, for characters who return regularly in book after book. We’ll dream up what is needed for the story arc…and how it doesn’t have to be cast in concrete. We’ll create the world, the town, the cast and crew that keeps things moving from one title to the next. We’ll talk backstory and a heck of a lot more!

Been casting about in the rough seas of series creation? Then it’s time to drop anchor, set up the yurt, or step up to the bar (or tea shop)…and get yourself on the yellow brick road to building the groundwork for writing your first series.

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About the Instructor:

Beth Daniels currently writes standalone historical romantic suspense but also pens urban fantasy/mystery/comedy series as J.B. Dane and is completing a Weird West Steampunk trilogy as Nied Darnell. When she dived into writing sagas that continued past a single title, she felt for a bit like she’d stepped into quicksand. Fortunately, there was solid footing (her 29 previously published standalone books—though she’s up to 37 now) to keep her head above the muck as she worked out what needed to be done a bit differently with a series. Now with her urban fantasy series four books into a six-book set plus numerous prequel novellas running ahead of the novels, and the launch of a paranormal lite romantic mystery comedy set that launched 2021, she’s become a firm believer in tied together title runs. Visit her at www.4TaleTellers.com.

Beth Daniels



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