Structuring A Series

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Structuring A Series

What Would A Series Look Like?

 

Ever pondered what ties a TV series together?

In the early days, cast or setting bound series together.  We watched episodes in any order because each episode stood on its own, and they weren’t connected.  Summer reruns simply picked the best and showed them a second time

Recently, series have included over-arching season or series problems.  Consider two examples.  In Burn Notice, each episode contains a full arc, with several minutes devoted to struggling with a larger story issue.  In each episode, we solve the weekly problem…and get a little closer to beating the season problem.  With each installment, readers get a complete story…but writers must conjure with new plots for each episode.  As to skipping episodes or watching out of order continuity problems might arise.

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Prologues

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Prologues

My First One

Prologue.

Toss that term into a gaggle of writers…but jump back.  A religious squabble, much like adverbs, show-not-tell, or dialog tags, will break out…friendships ripped asunder in by slashing tongues.

For the longest time, I resided in the don’t-do-prologues camp, readily admitting to skipping or skimming them.  Weird, but no different from reading the final chapter before returning to the story.

Unfortunately, anything written in italics, which includes prologues, aggravates my astigmatism, whether wearing glasses (ugh) or contacts.  Fonts with jagged little edges hurt my eyes, and italicized Times New Roman becomes unreadable.

I also distrust prologues for another reason.  Somehow, whatever occurs in the prologue doesn’t matter, with an inescapable feeling  it already happened.  I don’t anticipate adventure or mystery like the real story, and that spurs me to race over them.

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Thoughts On A Series

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Thoughts On A Series

What Would A Story Look Like?

Have I written my prologue and finished off my WIP?

Great question…and no good answer.

Instead, I’m drawn to something I’ve longed to write — a series using an approach similar to those bingish short shows Netflix and others keep trotting out. An overall arc unfolds, often in six or twelve episodes, each less than sixty minutes. By binge watching, we get through them in two or three nights.

So, let’s focus on writing episodes. We can discuss series-arcs another time…when I have an answer. Ha

Consider episode lengths on American TV. One-hour shows typically use less than forty-five minutes of air time. And, if we use an old film measure of one page per minute, that’s forty-five pages. If each page has 250 words, that’s 11,250 words…which rounds to 12,000.  Since commercials come on the hour, half-hour, and both quarter-hours, episodes break into four parts. That means 3,000 words for each part.

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Life After Editing

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Life After Editing

What’s Next?

My adventure in self editing draws to a close, and I’m relieved I’m nearly done. Not that I haven’t learned a lot. How humbling.

At this point, I have no idea if a market exists for fantasy stories from a Native American’s perspective. Based on best seller lists, not many. Too bad for me.

For fun I tried to make an e-cover, and spent an afternoon realizing I’m less skilled in art and covers that I am with writing. So, I need professional help. Helpful sites suggest starting with an existing pictures. Otherwise, pay a photographer and model. Yikes.

But some would say I should post it to Amazon and hope readers buy it. But that involves marketing, something else beyond anything I’ve done. But, most business experts suggest offering a series. After all, readers binge read, devouring an entire series before moving to another series. No one waits years until another book comes out anymore, if it ever does. Besides, using this WIP as a measure, I might be another Lee Harper, getting my second story out after I’m dead. Ha.

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My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (11)

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My WIP’s Fourth Revision

What Did I Learn?

I looked at listening.

go to leekah 1Hooray for anyone who made it all the way through these endless editing steps.  Along the way we talked about edits of the verb BE, one with edits to filters, another editing adverbs, still another editing pronouns, not to mention repetition, plus listening.

But…as long as it took to read, it took even longer to do it.

How long?  Over two months, chipping away at it day after day.

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My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (10)

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My WIP’s Fourth Revision

Hearing Is Believing

I looked at repetition.

go to leekah 1I will continue to use a discarded scene from my First Draft as an example for editing.  A prior post includes the original text alongside edits of the verb BE, one with edits to filters, another editing adverbs, still another editing pronouns, not to mention repetition, plus this one  This time I will start with the edited version and then look at repetition.

Exciting?

Nope.

Listening

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My WIP’s Fourth Revision – Editing (9)

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My WIP’s Fourth Revision

Eliminating Repetition

I looked at common words.

go to leekah 1I will continue to use a discarded scene from my First Draft as an example for editing.  A prior post includes the original text alongside edits of the verb BE, one with edits to filters, another editing adverbs, still another editing pronouns, plus this one  This time I will start with the edited version and then look at repetition.

Exciting?

Nope.

Repetition

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