Capturing the Story

Rice_CaptivatingtheCountess_600x900Pat here!

After this week's release of Captivating the Countess, the sixth book in my School of Magic series, I’d like to say I’m now kicking back and taking a much-deserved break, but I’d be lying. I probably started writing Countess in spring of last year, and except for promotion, I haven’t worked on it in months. Right now, I’m deep into the first three books of a new series that won’t be out until 2022. Authors may look as if we’re “churning out” books, but the actuality is much grittier.

And when it comes to the last book in a series like Countess—it can be excruciatingly gritty. I may have mentioned this struggle before, because ending a series is not a cathartic experience by any means. By book six I have an entire world populated with familiar characters whose HEAs we want a glimpse into. I’ve built up a background story and future plot arcs for the final couple, the setting is set in stone, and my normal fly-into-the-mist story writing hits a mountain of detail. At this point, I want nothing more than to dive into a vast unknown ocean in another time and place and forget I ever visited Victorian England. (which is why I tend to switch between historical and contemporary settings, forgive me!)

Don’t get me wrong. I love my characters. I created them for good reason. And in this case, I’ve been dying to write about a Marquess of Rainford since the first one appeared in the Unexpected Magic series. The dukes have produced male physicians with Malcolm healing powers ever since Christina Malcolm married into the family back in the original Magical Malcolm series. (This Magic Moment, reissuing this fall!) They Rice_ThisMagicMoment_200possess both science and empathy, accompanied by the enormous responsibility of running a dukedom—a story just waiting to be told. And they’ve been frustratingly elusive until now.

So the characters aren’t the problem. I am. First off, I have no memory. I keep copious notes on character names, titles, appearances, characteristics. . . I even keep descriptions of their friends, relations, and homes because all the people in all the books visit each other. By book six, I have a volume of notes. (Doesn't this make you tired just thinking about it?)

And even though I spend half my writing hours looking up details I’ve forgotten, I still manage to mess up. For those of you in my Facebook group—here’s the reveal on the Big Boo-boo I mentioned—I called the villain by two different names. The Villain. A Major Character. If I can’t keep up with my own villains, how can I keep up with all the other details? (I’m hoping the new edition online has the Desktopcorrected version) But even after all my notes, months of revising and editing, two editors poring over every comma and period, a mistake that large can still slip through.

Which makes me anxious all the time but even more so with the final book when there are so many things that can go wrong.

Names really are my downfall because I keep changing them. So I suppose I should be grateful that by book six, most of the names are fixed, and I can’t play with them anymore. That doesn’t mean I can’t 1024px-York_Castle_(1)_01forget that the marquess's estate is in York (that's York Castle in the image, definitely not the seat of a duke anymore <G>), not Northumberland, where it’s been since the very first series and really can’t be moved. No editor will remember that. That’s all on me.

So I really have to stop at book six, say fond farewell to my beloved characters, wish them well, and move on somewhere a continent and a century or more away. Of course, I’m now filling my head with a new set of characters and problems, but for the moment, they’re fresh and not causing me too much grief. That will come when my editors get their hands on the stories I’m currently hoarding in my computer. <G>

Are you sad when a series ends? Or do you look forward to something fresh and new?

 

85 thoughts on “Capturing the Story”

  1. This is just me, but I think (in general) a good series is no more that 4 to 8 books. If there are more than that it seems like it gets confusing and sometimes messy.
    So I’m not sad. Good books can always be re-visited. And I know that those new characters that are filling your head are going to be just as interesting. Good luck with it.

    Reply
  2. This is just me, but I think (in general) a good series is no more that 4 to 8 books. If there are more than that it seems like it gets confusing and sometimes messy.
    So I’m not sad. Good books can always be re-visited. And I know that those new characters that are filling your head are going to be just as interesting. Good luck with it.

    Reply
  3. This is just me, but I think (in general) a good series is no more that 4 to 8 books. If there are more than that it seems like it gets confusing and sometimes messy.
    So I’m not sad. Good books can always be re-visited. And I know that those new characters that are filling your head are going to be just as interesting. Good luck with it.

    Reply
  4. This is just me, but I think (in general) a good series is no more that 4 to 8 books. If there are more than that it seems like it gets confusing and sometimes messy.
    So I’m not sad. Good books can always be re-visited. And I know that those new characters that are filling your head are going to be just as interesting. Good luck with it.

    Reply
  5. This is just me, but I think (in general) a good series is no more that 4 to 8 books. If there are more than that it seems like it gets confusing and sometimes messy.
    So I’m not sad. Good books can always be re-visited. And I know that those new characters that are filling your head are going to be just as interesting. Good luck with it.

    Reply
  6. My answers are yes and yes. The first yes is particularly true if I’m invested in the characters, but I’ll settle for a happy ending (… though I might still wonder what comes next).
    Thanks for sharing some of what goes on behind the scenes, Pat.

    Reply
  7. My answers are yes and yes. The first yes is particularly true if I’m invested in the characters, but I’ll settle for a happy ending (… though I might still wonder what comes next).
    Thanks for sharing some of what goes on behind the scenes, Pat.

    Reply
  8. My answers are yes and yes. The first yes is particularly true if I’m invested in the characters, but I’ll settle for a happy ending (… though I might still wonder what comes next).
    Thanks for sharing some of what goes on behind the scenes, Pat.

    Reply
  9. My answers are yes and yes. The first yes is particularly true if I’m invested in the characters, but I’ll settle for a happy ending (… though I might still wonder what comes next).
    Thanks for sharing some of what goes on behind the scenes, Pat.

    Reply
  10. My answers are yes and yes. The first yes is particularly true if I’m invested in the characters, but I’ll settle for a happy ending (… though I might still wonder what comes next).
    Thanks for sharing some of what goes on behind the scenes, Pat.

    Reply
  11. It depends on the series for me. I’ve read a couple that were only three books long and I longed for more because they carried one main character throughout. There are others that started out with two main characters and evolved into a mish mash of dozens of characters, several hundred pages each and just got to the point where I didn’t care about the characters anymore because they barely featured. Then there are others still that deal with families or friends where I hate to leave them but the ending to the series is completely satisfying and I can go back to them when I have a need to visit. So that doesn’t answer your question at all, does it? lol

    Reply
  12. It depends on the series for me. I’ve read a couple that were only three books long and I longed for more because they carried one main character throughout. There are others that started out with two main characters and evolved into a mish mash of dozens of characters, several hundred pages each and just got to the point where I didn’t care about the characters anymore because they barely featured. Then there are others still that deal with families or friends where I hate to leave them but the ending to the series is completely satisfying and I can go back to them when I have a need to visit. So that doesn’t answer your question at all, does it? lol

    Reply
  13. It depends on the series for me. I’ve read a couple that were only three books long and I longed for more because they carried one main character throughout. There are others that started out with two main characters and evolved into a mish mash of dozens of characters, several hundred pages each and just got to the point where I didn’t care about the characters anymore because they barely featured. Then there are others still that deal with families or friends where I hate to leave them but the ending to the series is completely satisfying and I can go back to them when I have a need to visit. So that doesn’t answer your question at all, does it? lol

    Reply
  14. It depends on the series for me. I’ve read a couple that were only three books long and I longed for more because they carried one main character throughout. There are others that started out with two main characters and evolved into a mish mash of dozens of characters, several hundred pages each and just got to the point where I didn’t care about the characters anymore because they barely featured. Then there are others still that deal with families or friends where I hate to leave them but the ending to the series is completely satisfying and I can go back to them when I have a need to visit. So that doesn’t answer your question at all, does it? lol

    Reply
  15. It depends on the series for me. I’ve read a couple that were only three books long and I longed for more because they carried one main character throughout. There are others that started out with two main characters and evolved into a mish mash of dozens of characters, several hundred pages each and just got to the point where I didn’t care about the characters anymore because they barely featured. Then there are others still that deal with families or friends where I hate to leave them but the ending to the series is completely satisfying and I can go back to them when I have a need to visit. So that doesn’t answer your question at all, does it? lol

    Reply
  16. Sometimes a long series is about a universe. Two example come to mind: Hillerman’s Navajo novels and CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner group. Neither of these is listed as a series, but indeed they each read as such. CJ divides hers into trilogies, and Hillerman listed his as stand alones. But I believe most of their readers see them as groups. I do that with your various “Magic Series”. I don’t think the readership would be upset if, sometime in the future a fourth story fit into any of the segments you have done so far.
    But — unless I feel a strong question about the continuing story of some character(s) in a single book (as I have been vocal about in the case of your Countess and Duke’s story), I am usually happy to end where the author does.

    Reply
  17. Sometimes a long series is about a universe. Two example come to mind: Hillerman’s Navajo novels and CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner group. Neither of these is listed as a series, but indeed they each read as such. CJ divides hers into trilogies, and Hillerman listed his as stand alones. But I believe most of their readers see them as groups. I do that with your various “Magic Series”. I don’t think the readership would be upset if, sometime in the future a fourth story fit into any of the segments you have done so far.
    But — unless I feel a strong question about the continuing story of some character(s) in a single book (as I have been vocal about in the case of your Countess and Duke’s story), I am usually happy to end where the author does.

    Reply
  18. Sometimes a long series is about a universe. Two example come to mind: Hillerman’s Navajo novels and CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner group. Neither of these is listed as a series, but indeed they each read as such. CJ divides hers into trilogies, and Hillerman listed his as stand alones. But I believe most of their readers see them as groups. I do that with your various “Magic Series”. I don’t think the readership would be upset if, sometime in the future a fourth story fit into any of the segments you have done so far.
    But — unless I feel a strong question about the continuing story of some character(s) in a single book (as I have been vocal about in the case of your Countess and Duke’s story), I am usually happy to end where the author does.

    Reply
  19. Sometimes a long series is about a universe. Two example come to mind: Hillerman’s Navajo novels and CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner group. Neither of these is listed as a series, but indeed they each read as such. CJ divides hers into trilogies, and Hillerman listed his as stand alones. But I believe most of their readers see them as groups. I do that with your various “Magic Series”. I don’t think the readership would be upset if, sometime in the future a fourth story fit into any of the segments you have done so far.
    But — unless I feel a strong question about the continuing story of some character(s) in a single book (as I have been vocal about in the case of your Countess and Duke’s story), I am usually happy to end where the author does.

    Reply
  20. Sometimes a long series is about a universe. Two example come to mind: Hillerman’s Navajo novels and CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner group. Neither of these is listed as a series, but indeed they each read as such. CJ divides hers into trilogies, and Hillerman listed his as stand alones. But I believe most of their readers see them as groups. I do that with your various “Magic Series”. I don’t think the readership would be upset if, sometime in the future a fourth story fit into any of the segments you have done so far.
    But — unless I feel a strong question about the continuing story of some character(s) in a single book (as I have been vocal about in the case of your Countess and Duke’s story), I am usually happy to end where the author does.

    Reply
  21. I like a “group” of stories that keeps me in the same world but doesn’t require that I remember everyone’s names.
    And I’m sorry I didn’t even consider how my poor runaway and her mother fared! I just assumed they lived much happier ever after without ghosts.

    Reply
  22. I like a “group” of stories that keeps me in the same world but doesn’t require that I remember everyone’s names.
    And I’m sorry I didn’t even consider how my poor runaway and her mother fared! I just assumed they lived much happier ever after without ghosts.

    Reply
  23. I like a “group” of stories that keeps me in the same world but doesn’t require that I remember everyone’s names.
    And I’m sorry I didn’t even consider how my poor runaway and her mother fared! I just assumed they lived much happier ever after without ghosts.

    Reply
  24. I like a “group” of stories that keeps me in the same world but doesn’t require that I remember everyone’s names.
    And I’m sorry I didn’t even consider how my poor runaway and her mother fared! I just assumed they lived much happier ever after without ghosts.

    Reply
  25. I like a “group” of stories that keeps me in the same world but doesn’t require that I remember everyone’s names.
    And I’m sorry I didn’t even consider how my poor runaway and her mother fared! I just assumed they lived much happier ever after without ghosts.

    Reply
  26. On the whole I look forward to something new. The epic fantasy ‘Sword of Truth’ runs to 21 books I think, but they are linked by the adventures of the two main characters Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell and the ways in which their love for each other is frustrated … until the end! Even if you jump in in the middle the story still makes sense and you can also stop after any episode without feeling bereft. Similarly the Bridgerton series (Julia Quinn) and others by eg Lisa Kleypas, Mary Jo and Anne are linked by family or other connections, so should be easy to remember. If there is a mass of detail that needs to be remembered I think that a small fan group reading ARCS might be the way to spot major boo-boos … though you probably already have this!
    I have only read ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ from the School of magic series (If only there was audio!) but the connecting theme seems to be magical abilities which by a stretch seem almost plausible eg communicating with animals. A brilliant concept. As an audio book fan I much prefer simplicity of plot (not too much detail as difficult to remember when listening) and complexity of emotion in the romance aspect.

    Reply
  27. On the whole I look forward to something new. The epic fantasy ‘Sword of Truth’ runs to 21 books I think, but they are linked by the adventures of the two main characters Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell and the ways in which their love for each other is frustrated … until the end! Even if you jump in in the middle the story still makes sense and you can also stop after any episode without feeling bereft. Similarly the Bridgerton series (Julia Quinn) and others by eg Lisa Kleypas, Mary Jo and Anne are linked by family or other connections, so should be easy to remember. If there is a mass of detail that needs to be remembered I think that a small fan group reading ARCS might be the way to spot major boo-boos … though you probably already have this!
    I have only read ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ from the School of magic series (If only there was audio!) but the connecting theme seems to be magical abilities which by a stretch seem almost plausible eg communicating with animals. A brilliant concept. As an audio book fan I much prefer simplicity of plot (not too much detail as difficult to remember when listening) and complexity of emotion in the romance aspect.

    Reply
  28. On the whole I look forward to something new. The epic fantasy ‘Sword of Truth’ runs to 21 books I think, but they are linked by the adventures of the two main characters Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell and the ways in which their love for each other is frustrated … until the end! Even if you jump in in the middle the story still makes sense and you can also stop after any episode without feeling bereft. Similarly the Bridgerton series (Julia Quinn) and others by eg Lisa Kleypas, Mary Jo and Anne are linked by family or other connections, so should be easy to remember. If there is a mass of detail that needs to be remembered I think that a small fan group reading ARCS might be the way to spot major boo-boos … though you probably already have this!
    I have only read ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ from the School of magic series (If only there was audio!) but the connecting theme seems to be magical abilities which by a stretch seem almost plausible eg communicating with animals. A brilliant concept. As an audio book fan I much prefer simplicity of plot (not too much detail as difficult to remember when listening) and complexity of emotion in the romance aspect.

    Reply
  29. On the whole I look forward to something new. The epic fantasy ‘Sword of Truth’ runs to 21 books I think, but they are linked by the adventures of the two main characters Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell and the ways in which their love for each other is frustrated … until the end! Even if you jump in in the middle the story still makes sense and you can also stop after any episode without feeling bereft. Similarly the Bridgerton series (Julia Quinn) and others by eg Lisa Kleypas, Mary Jo and Anne are linked by family or other connections, so should be easy to remember. If there is a mass of detail that needs to be remembered I think that a small fan group reading ARCS might be the way to spot major boo-boos … though you probably already have this!
    I have only read ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ from the School of magic series (If only there was audio!) but the connecting theme seems to be magical abilities which by a stretch seem almost plausible eg communicating with animals. A brilliant concept. As an audio book fan I much prefer simplicity of plot (not too much detail as difficult to remember when listening) and complexity of emotion in the romance aspect.

    Reply
  30. On the whole I look forward to something new. The epic fantasy ‘Sword of Truth’ runs to 21 books I think, but they are linked by the adventures of the two main characters Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell and the ways in which their love for each other is frustrated … until the end! Even if you jump in in the middle the story still makes sense and you can also stop after any episode without feeling bereft. Similarly the Bridgerton series (Julia Quinn) and others by eg Lisa Kleypas, Mary Jo and Anne are linked by family or other connections, so should be easy to remember. If there is a mass of detail that needs to be remembered I think that a small fan group reading ARCS might be the way to spot major boo-boos … though you probably already have this!
    I have only read ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ from the School of magic series (If only there was audio!) but the connecting theme seems to be magical abilities which by a stretch seem almost plausible eg communicating with animals. A brilliant concept. As an audio book fan I much prefer simplicity of plot (not too much detail as difficult to remember when listening) and complexity of emotion in the romance aspect.

    Reply
  31. very perceptive, Quantum, as usual. I tend to write complicated. So maybe it’s a good thing I’m unwilling to shovel up $5000 to produce an audio book. No one would buy it!
    and yes, my beloved ARC readers found the boo-boo!

    Reply
  32. very perceptive, Quantum, as usual. I tend to write complicated. So maybe it’s a good thing I’m unwilling to shovel up $5000 to produce an audio book. No one would buy it!
    and yes, my beloved ARC readers found the boo-boo!

    Reply
  33. very perceptive, Quantum, as usual. I tend to write complicated. So maybe it’s a good thing I’m unwilling to shovel up $5000 to produce an audio book. No one would buy it!
    and yes, my beloved ARC readers found the boo-boo!

    Reply
  34. very perceptive, Quantum, as usual. I tend to write complicated. So maybe it’s a good thing I’m unwilling to shovel up $5000 to produce an audio book. No one would buy it!
    and yes, my beloved ARC readers found the boo-boo!

    Reply
  35. very perceptive, Quantum, as usual. I tend to write complicated. So maybe it’s a good thing I’m unwilling to shovel up $5000 to produce an audio book. No one would buy it!
    and yes, my beloved ARC readers found the boo-boo!

    Reply
  36. I have mixed feelings about the length of series, too. I loved Jo Beverley’s series for example. I picked up occasional continuity issues but I just let them fly over my head. I’m really interested in the characters’ story rather than nitpicking and I don’t expect authors to have computer storage memories. As long as the premise works then I don’t care if they have magically moved from Yorkshire to Northumberland. But I’ve also read quite short series where the author has published an online story that was previously published chapter by chapter. That ended up being very confusing as the personalities of the various characters changed dramatically over time with no explanation as to why. That I really struggled with. But she was early in her career and no doubt worked out that that was going to be a problem. As it is, I just finished Captivating yesterday and I absolutely LOVED it. As I’ve only read the last two of the series I am a bit disappointed but happy I can go back to the first four 🙂 Thank you, as we are in lockdown in Greater Sydney, Australia, and it was just what I needed.

    Reply
  37. I have mixed feelings about the length of series, too. I loved Jo Beverley’s series for example. I picked up occasional continuity issues but I just let them fly over my head. I’m really interested in the characters’ story rather than nitpicking and I don’t expect authors to have computer storage memories. As long as the premise works then I don’t care if they have magically moved from Yorkshire to Northumberland. But I’ve also read quite short series where the author has published an online story that was previously published chapter by chapter. That ended up being very confusing as the personalities of the various characters changed dramatically over time with no explanation as to why. That I really struggled with. But she was early in her career and no doubt worked out that that was going to be a problem. As it is, I just finished Captivating yesterday and I absolutely LOVED it. As I’ve only read the last two of the series I am a bit disappointed but happy I can go back to the first four 🙂 Thank you, as we are in lockdown in Greater Sydney, Australia, and it was just what I needed.

    Reply
  38. I have mixed feelings about the length of series, too. I loved Jo Beverley’s series for example. I picked up occasional continuity issues but I just let them fly over my head. I’m really interested in the characters’ story rather than nitpicking and I don’t expect authors to have computer storage memories. As long as the premise works then I don’t care if they have magically moved from Yorkshire to Northumberland. But I’ve also read quite short series where the author has published an online story that was previously published chapter by chapter. That ended up being very confusing as the personalities of the various characters changed dramatically over time with no explanation as to why. That I really struggled with. But she was early in her career and no doubt worked out that that was going to be a problem. As it is, I just finished Captivating yesterday and I absolutely LOVED it. As I’ve only read the last two of the series I am a bit disappointed but happy I can go back to the first four 🙂 Thank you, as we are in lockdown in Greater Sydney, Australia, and it was just what I needed.

    Reply
  39. I have mixed feelings about the length of series, too. I loved Jo Beverley’s series for example. I picked up occasional continuity issues but I just let them fly over my head. I’m really interested in the characters’ story rather than nitpicking and I don’t expect authors to have computer storage memories. As long as the premise works then I don’t care if they have magically moved from Yorkshire to Northumberland. But I’ve also read quite short series where the author has published an online story that was previously published chapter by chapter. That ended up being very confusing as the personalities of the various characters changed dramatically over time with no explanation as to why. That I really struggled with. But she was early in her career and no doubt worked out that that was going to be a problem. As it is, I just finished Captivating yesterday and I absolutely LOVED it. As I’ve only read the last two of the series I am a bit disappointed but happy I can go back to the first four 🙂 Thank you, as we are in lockdown in Greater Sydney, Australia, and it was just what I needed.

    Reply
  40. I have mixed feelings about the length of series, too. I loved Jo Beverley’s series for example. I picked up occasional continuity issues but I just let them fly over my head. I’m really interested in the characters’ story rather than nitpicking and I don’t expect authors to have computer storage memories. As long as the premise works then I don’t care if they have magically moved from Yorkshire to Northumberland. But I’ve also read quite short series where the author has published an online story that was previously published chapter by chapter. That ended up being very confusing as the personalities of the various characters changed dramatically over time with no explanation as to why. That I really struggled with. But she was early in her career and no doubt worked out that that was going to be a problem. As it is, I just finished Captivating yesterday and I absolutely LOVED it. As I’ve only read the last two of the series I am a bit disappointed but happy I can go back to the first four 🙂 Thank you, as we are in lockdown in Greater Sydney, Australia, and it was just what I needed.

    Reply
  41. Good post, Pat. I also have the problem that comes from changing a character’s name while still writing. In the book that comes out next month, I gave the minor character nanny 3 different names, all starting with Mc. I don’t have an organized group of early readers as Quantum suggests, but maybe I should. Luckily MJP read it and as an afterthought said, “BTW, did you know you gave the nanny 3 different names?” Aaagh! The book was well past proof stage by then, and nobody had spotted it, But luckily we were able to fix it *just* in time. (phew!)
    As for long series, if the author is prolific and the series is good, I generally follow along quite happily, but if I fall behind, I often forget where I am up to, and I kind of fall off that series wagon altogether. And some long series get a bit stale, so it varies for me.

    Reply
  42. Good post, Pat. I also have the problem that comes from changing a character’s name while still writing. In the book that comes out next month, I gave the minor character nanny 3 different names, all starting with Mc. I don’t have an organized group of early readers as Quantum suggests, but maybe I should. Luckily MJP read it and as an afterthought said, “BTW, did you know you gave the nanny 3 different names?” Aaagh! The book was well past proof stage by then, and nobody had spotted it, But luckily we were able to fix it *just* in time. (phew!)
    As for long series, if the author is prolific and the series is good, I generally follow along quite happily, but if I fall behind, I often forget where I am up to, and I kind of fall off that series wagon altogether. And some long series get a bit stale, so it varies for me.

    Reply
  43. Good post, Pat. I also have the problem that comes from changing a character’s name while still writing. In the book that comes out next month, I gave the minor character nanny 3 different names, all starting with Mc. I don’t have an organized group of early readers as Quantum suggests, but maybe I should. Luckily MJP read it and as an afterthought said, “BTW, did you know you gave the nanny 3 different names?” Aaagh! The book was well past proof stage by then, and nobody had spotted it, But luckily we were able to fix it *just* in time. (phew!)
    As for long series, if the author is prolific and the series is good, I generally follow along quite happily, but if I fall behind, I often forget where I am up to, and I kind of fall off that series wagon altogether. And some long series get a bit stale, so it varies for me.

    Reply
  44. Good post, Pat. I also have the problem that comes from changing a character’s name while still writing. In the book that comes out next month, I gave the minor character nanny 3 different names, all starting with Mc. I don’t have an organized group of early readers as Quantum suggests, but maybe I should. Luckily MJP read it and as an afterthought said, “BTW, did you know you gave the nanny 3 different names?” Aaagh! The book was well past proof stage by then, and nobody had spotted it, But luckily we were able to fix it *just* in time. (phew!)
    As for long series, if the author is prolific and the series is good, I generally follow along quite happily, but if I fall behind, I often forget where I am up to, and I kind of fall off that series wagon altogether. And some long series get a bit stale, so it varies for me.

    Reply
  45. Good post, Pat. I also have the problem that comes from changing a character’s name while still writing. In the book that comes out next month, I gave the minor character nanny 3 different names, all starting with Mc. I don’t have an organized group of early readers as Quantum suggests, but maybe I should. Luckily MJP read it and as an afterthought said, “BTW, did you know you gave the nanny 3 different names?” Aaagh! The book was well past proof stage by then, and nobody had spotted it, But luckily we were able to fix it *just* in time. (phew!)
    As for long series, if the author is prolific and the series is good, I generally follow along quite happily, but if I fall behind, I often forget where I am up to, and I kind of fall off that series wagon altogether. And some long series get a bit stale, so it varies for me.

    Reply
  46. Yes, yes, this! Even if you provide editors with a character list, who looks at the nanny? Mary Jo, of course. Her memory is scary. So, yes, a good group of ARC/beta readers can be a godsend.

    Reply
  47. Yes, yes, this! Even if you provide editors with a character list, who looks at the nanny? Mary Jo, of course. Her memory is scary. So, yes, a good group of ARC/beta readers can be a godsend.

    Reply
  48. Yes, yes, this! Even if you provide editors with a character list, who looks at the nanny? Mary Jo, of course. Her memory is scary. So, yes, a good group of ARC/beta readers can be a godsend.

    Reply
  49. Yes, yes, this! Even if you provide editors with a character list, who looks at the nanny? Mary Jo, of course. Her memory is scary. So, yes, a good group of ARC/beta readers can be a godsend.

    Reply
  50. Yes, yes, this! Even if you provide editors with a character list, who looks at the nanny? Mary Jo, of course. Her memory is scary. So, yes, a good group of ARC/beta readers can be a godsend.

    Reply
  51. Great post Pat and I’m glad it’s not just me! I really need to get more organised with spreadsheets etc. As regards a series, I don’t mind how long/short it is, as long as it feels finished when it ends. Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series, for example, is 21 books, but somehow she managed to make the final one feel like the proper end. I’m happy to stay in a particular world while there are still characters whose stories I want to know – after that, I don’t mind letting them go.

    Reply
  52. Great post Pat and I’m glad it’s not just me! I really need to get more organised with spreadsheets etc. As regards a series, I don’t mind how long/short it is, as long as it feels finished when it ends. Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series, for example, is 21 books, but somehow she managed to make the final one feel like the proper end. I’m happy to stay in a particular world while there are still characters whose stories I want to know – after that, I don’t mind letting them go.

    Reply
  53. Great post Pat and I’m glad it’s not just me! I really need to get more organised with spreadsheets etc. As regards a series, I don’t mind how long/short it is, as long as it feels finished when it ends. Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series, for example, is 21 books, but somehow she managed to make the final one feel like the proper end. I’m happy to stay in a particular world while there are still characters whose stories I want to know – after that, I don’t mind letting them go.

    Reply
  54. Great post Pat and I’m glad it’s not just me! I really need to get more organised with spreadsheets etc. As regards a series, I don’t mind how long/short it is, as long as it feels finished when it ends. Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series, for example, is 21 books, but somehow she managed to make the final one feel like the proper end. I’m happy to stay in a particular world while there are still characters whose stories I want to know – after that, I don’t mind letting them go.

    Reply
  55. Great post Pat and I’m glad it’s not just me! I really need to get more organised with spreadsheets etc. As regards a series, I don’t mind how long/short it is, as long as it feels finished when it ends. Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series, for example, is 21 books, but somehow she managed to make the final one feel like the proper end. I’m happy to stay in a particular world while there are still characters whose stories I want to know – after that, I don’t mind letting them go.

    Reply
  56. I think to pull off a grand finale on a 21 book series requires actual planning.
    I don’t do spreadsheets but my collection of documents and notepad notes expands exponentially!

    Reply
  57. I think to pull off a grand finale on a 21 book series requires actual planning.
    I don’t do spreadsheets but my collection of documents and notepad notes expands exponentially!

    Reply
  58. I think to pull off a grand finale on a 21 book series requires actual planning.
    I don’t do spreadsheets but my collection of documents and notepad notes expands exponentially!

    Reply
  59. I think to pull off a grand finale on a 21 book series requires actual planning.
    I don’t do spreadsheets but my collection of documents and notepad notes expands exponentially!

    Reply
  60. I think to pull off a grand finale on a 21 book series requires actual planning.
    I don’t do spreadsheets but my collection of documents and notepad notes expands exponentially!

    Reply
  61. Excellent post! If I like the characters, I want the series to go on forever. Lady Emily, Sebastian St. Cyr, Pendergast, The Chicago Stars – oh yes! It’s a little different with a straight HEA Romance series because you’ve always got a new couple. I thought the Bridgerton series was really well done although I’ve only read the first 3 so far. Of course, Jo Beverley’s series were fantastic and keepers.

    Reply
  62. Excellent post! If I like the characters, I want the series to go on forever. Lady Emily, Sebastian St. Cyr, Pendergast, The Chicago Stars – oh yes! It’s a little different with a straight HEA Romance series because you’ve always got a new couple. I thought the Bridgerton series was really well done although I’ve only read the first 3 so far. Of course, Jo Beverley’s series were fantastic and keepers.

    Reply
  63. Excellent post! If I like the characters, I want the series to go on forever. Lady Emily, Sebastian St. Cyr, Pendergast, The Chicago Stars – oh yes! It’s a little different with a straight HEA Romance series because you’ve always got a new couple. I thought the Bridgerton series was really well done although I’ve only read the first 3 so far. Of course, Jo Beverley’s series were fantastic and keepers.

    Reply
  64. Excellent post! If I like the characters, I want the series to go on forever. Lady Emily, Sebastian St. Cyr, Pendergast, The Chicago Stars – oh yes! It’s a little different with a straight HEA Romance series because you’ve always got a new couple. I thought the Bridgerton series was really well done although I’ve only read the first 3 so far. Of course, Jo Beverley’s series were fantastic and keepers.

    Reply
  65. Excellent post! If I like the characters, I want the series to go on forever. Lady Emily, Sebastian St. Cyr, Pendergast, The Chicago Stars – oh yes! It’s a little different with a straight HEA Romance series because you’ve always got a new couple. I thought the Bridgerton series was really well done although I’ve only read the first 3 so far. Of course, Jo Beverley’s series were fantastic and keepers.

    Reply

Leave a Comment