How to Fast Draft a Series

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Hello Lovelies and welcome back to the blog.

I am going to apologize for not getting a post out last week. If you’re following my TikTok you may already know that my cat Tigger passed away last week and I needed to bury him last weekend. I was too upset and emotional for a blog post or podcast. Tigger was born in April of 2009 and has battled kitty asthma for the last two years. While his passing was not unexpected, it still hurt and took a lot out of me emotionally. However, the pain of his passing is slowly starting to ease, and I am trying to get back to something more normal. That means while missing one weekly blog post is fine, (I’m human after all), I knew I didn’t want to miss two in a row.

Please indulge me with a few pictures of my handsome man to commemorate his passing before we get on with this week’s post.

Again, I apologize and thank you for your understanding.

This week’s blog post is about fast drafting your series. Last time we talked about fast drafting your novel and why you might use it as a strategy. This week I want to deep dive into the specifics of how you go about accomplishing this type of drafting.

  1. Have an Idea of How Many Books it Will Take

How many books will be in your series? Will it be a trilogy? Do you have several Point of View characters that all eventually get their own books? Will the characters need to travel through and unite several nations? Knowing the size and scope of your series will help you to figure out the amount of books your series will need. From there, you can keep in mind a loose framework of where each book is going to go. Plot it out as loosely or as rigidly as you want to, but make sure you have the major nodes in place in your mind. Be aware that most series need less books to accomplish their goals than you initially think.

  1. Draft Each Book and Revise them Together

The goal of fast drafting is to write your entire series, or a large section of your series, all at once, then revise it all at once. You do the work in one massive chunk instead of in small chunks. Don’t hear this and equate this massive chunk with a lot of time sunk or spent. The reason it’s called a fast draft is because it typically takes less time to write three books in a series back to back than it does to stop between books to edit, revise, and publish. It also generally results in cleaner drafts overall with better storyline throughput than singly-written books. This is the time chunking method on overdrive. 

  1. Fast Publish or Send them to Your Agent

Your final step is going to vary based on whether you are self publishing or traditional publishing. If you are self publishing, you will likely have a cover artist make multiple covers with the same look and feel, and you will do identical interior design with each book and publish them on a tight 1-3 month schedule after having them alpha and beta read and professionally edited. If you are traditionally publishing, you will hand your manuscript over to your agent to sell for you while you write the next series.

Next week I want to talk about how you can approach your agent about your interest in a broad writing career, and what to do if they aren’t capable or willing to pivot with you once you’re contracted with them.

Discussion Questions

  1. Has the loss of a pet hurt your productivity, and how long did it take you to recover from their loss?
  2. How many books do you think your series will need, and can you see anywhere that those books can be pared down into less books to tell a more succinct story?
  3. Have you read any book series that have been fast drafted and do you find that you prefer them to books that are drafted singly? Why or why not?
  4. What questions would you like to see me answer in a blog post or podcast episode?

Click this link to hear this blog post as a podcast with your favorite podcasting app!

2 Replies to “How to Fast Draft a Series”

  1. Sorry to hear about your loss. Anyway, great post you’ve put together here, with some awesome points. I myself don’t tend to write series, but found this useful. Thanks for sharing!

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