PDA

View Full Version : What is a series?



GeorgeK
11-09-2013, 06:26 PM
Publishers say if you submit something that they don't want anything other than the first book in a series, if it is a series.

Are multiple books in the same universe a series? Does it have to be the same protagonist to be a series?

I've got a 7 volume fantasy spanning about 15000 years. The protagonist is the same for 1-2 novels, then the time jumps a couple thousand years.

The antagonist is the same, an immortal evil DB.

Would it be legitimate to submit a novel from the modern time setting as not part of a larger work when the series started in caveman days?

AshleyEpidemic
11-09-2013, 06:48 PM
I could see the argument made for what you describe as a series because the protagonists are facing a common goal. However, just because something is set within the same universe does not make it part of a series, necessarily. I believe it depends on the overarching goals of the series and the connective tissue. I could write two books in the same universe with different goals and tone and have them not be part of a series. It just shares the same world.

As for the order of submission, I would think about where the story really begins. If it starts in a more modern time and develops then start modern. If the real start is more primitive then start there. But if I picked up a book set in modern times and then found out books set before were going to be coming out I'd just think of it as a prequel or an afterthought to fix unexplained messes in the book in my hands. That's just me though.

Ken
11-09-2013, 06:58 PM
... there is probably a better term to describe what you have there other than a series.
Don't know of it, myself, but suspect there to be one. Maybe someone here will know.
Try internet searches too on books like yours and find out how they are described.
"7." Wow. You sure are prolific !

Tazlima
11-09-2013, 08:04 PM
I'd say a shared world could be sufficient to consider something a series. Pier's Anthony's Xanth novels come to mind. Some of the stories followed the same characters, but others were completely separate stories. At most some of the other characters might make a cameo appearance here and there.

GeorgeK
11-09-2013, 08:15 PM
I'd say a shared world could be sufficient to consider something a series. Pier's Anthony's Xanth novels come to mind. Some of the stories followed the same characters, but others were completely separate stories. At most some of the other characters might make a cameo appearance here and there.

Except with Xanth it was the same protagonists or the children of the same protagonists. That I would consider a series.

Mine are a a few thousand years apart. The protagonists have usually never even heard of the protagonists of the previous books. However they all end up fighting the same immortal antagonist. Is that a series or is it multiple stories in the same universe?

Same universe, same antagonist, I can see some saying, "series." In my heart I think that I say that too. I was just hoping I could submit my later stuff, not nearly as dark

GeorgeK
11-09-2013, 08:17 PM
...
"7." Wow. You sure are prolific !I don't know if prolific is the right word if so far no publisher is interested.

Author X has 0 novels written and 0 Published. Author Y has 27 novels written and 0 Published. Which is more prolific?

Kerosene
11-09-2013, 08:46 PM
A series to me is a group of books that span the same overreaching story-line. It kinda sounds like your books fit this bill, but I would also add just because it has the same antagonist, doesn't mean the characters are challenging the same problems--if they do, it would also depend on how the characters are tied together and what that challenge is.

I do also acknowledge series as taking place in the same world, but those "series" are more collected for marketing and similarities in content, rather than the story. There's plenty of fantasy writers who write in a single world/universe, and write multiple story series from that.

I have plans to write a lot of novels from the world I'm building, and the true antagonist is the same throughout each book, but they all have their own series and stories.

shadowwalker
11-09-2013, 09:27 PM
I always thought of a series as different stories with the same MC or set of MCs and set in the same world, like Sherlock Holmes and Watson.

DeleyanLee
11-09-2013, 10:15 PM
IME, there's several different kinds of series.

1) A single story is told through more than one book. Examples: Wheel of Time, Song of Fire and Ice, Lord of the Rings.

2) The ongoing stories of the same character or set of characters where changes in each individual story are minute, if changes exist. There is no overarching story. Examples: Any Mystery series.

3) Stories that are connected because of location or the repeat of events more than characters. Example: The Pern books by Anne & Todd McCaffrey. I understand Discworld is like that (or is it Ringworld?), but I never read either of them to tell you for sure. Sorry.

Sounds to me like you have the third kind, George. Given my reading experience with Pern, I'd say submit whichever of the finished books you have that you feel is the strongest and best representative of the series and get it out there. Once there is a readership for it, you can bounce wherever in the timeline you need to.

Good luck with it.

Liosse de Velishaf
11-10-2013, 02:10 AM
There are many definitions of a series, but what you describe sounds more like multiple series set in the same world, like Mercedes Lackey's Velgarth books, for example. I would not call it a series.

Tazlima
11-10-2013, 03:09 AM
Except with Xanth it was the same protagonists or the children of the same protagonists. That I would consider a series.



Were they? I thought I remembered some following the same protagonists and others being independent stories that only shared the setting. I'm probably remember wrong. I haven't read them in years.

Never mind.

Lexxie
11-10-2013, 02:29 PM
Yours sound kind of like a spin-off series. I have read several of those, where first, there is one series with the same MCs, and some really cool side-characters. Then, the author started two spin-off series with some of those side-characters as MCs and the MCs from the first series may or may not show up.
Good luck!

eternalised
11-10-2013, 03:16 PM
This reminds me of the Shannara books. They exist of trilogies, quadrologies (is that a correct word?), stand alones, and duologies. All together they form one larger series, but each series can be read alone.

Also, the series by Raymond E. Feist. Several smaller series within one larger series.