Protecting the Poor by Amanda Tero has been released! This week signals the completion of the Tales of Faith series. I’m currently reading all three of the books of this series and hope to post reviews within the next four months. I’ve greatly enjoyed every book by Amanda Tero that I’ve ever read.
These stories are fairy tale retellings – not my usual genre, but in the past several years, I’ve encountered several amazing authors who are able to take a fairy tale that I’m not a fan of on its own and retell it in a Christ-honoring, beautiful way that emanates truth and depth. Amanda is one of those authors.
Today I have Amanda here talking in her own words about what she’s learned through writing this series.
When I started writing “Befriending the Beast,” I wasn’t planning on it being a series (actually, it was just going to be a short story, not a novella…). Now, four years later, I’m wrapping up my first-ever trilogy! To be on this end of a series is pretty phenomenal! And I have learned so much in writing an “accidental” series that I will definitely apply to future series! The series started out fully pantster but the end of the series has left me wanting to be more of a planner for my next series. I fully realize that these are my opinions in what makes a good series and that I’ll have some readers disagree with me as to whether or not these points are even that important, but to me they are. 😉
1) Consider length
The Tales of Faith series shows my growth as a writer–literally. “Befriending the Beast” ended at around 15,000 words. “The Secret Slipper” at 25,000. “Protecting the Poor” at 43,000. *clears throat* Yeah, by the time it got to Dumphey and Noel, I was forcing myself to chop out ideas because “Protecting the Poor” could have easily been a 60k novel. But… it was part of a series. Writing in a series definitely taught me that I need at least a little self-control (ish…) in executing ideas.
2) Consider continuity
I wanted each of the Tales of Faith books to be stand-alone. It can work that way, but “Protecting the Poor” makes a lot more sense if you have read “The Secret Slipper.” However, “Befriending the Beast” is easily the most stand-alone of the series, with Belle only briefly mentioned or appearing in the following two books. If I could do it over again, I would be consistent: either make it to where you must read them all or you don’t have to read them all.
3) Consider audience
“Befriending the Beast” is really family-friendly. It can be read to a three-year-old without any qualms. However, “The Secret Slipper” adds a little more intensity and “Protecting the Poor” actually has some gore in it. So the acceptable audience matured as the series continued. Not to mention that books 1 and 2 feature princesses and book 3 is rugged, outdoors, boy. It definitely makes marketing the series as a whole a little more difficult.
These are three areas I’d consider if I get around to doing a revision of Tales of Faith (we’ll see when that happens ;)).
Which of you blog readers have written series? What lessons did you learn while writing them?
Noel has always hidden behind the shadow of his older brother, Dumphey. When life forces him to stand on his own, will he still follow God in the corrupt world in which he lives? Would God really call him to do something that is beyond his power to do?
As Lord Feroci’s sinister plot comes to light, each lad has a choice to make. A choice that could cost them their lives.
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