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  • Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Crime/Mystery
  • Historical Fiction
  • Children’s/Young Adult

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How compelling are your characters? Image credit: Will van Wingerden via Unsplash

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  • Does my plot follow a single narrative arc, or does it contain many separate threads that can be woven together?
  • Does the timeline of my plot span a short or lengthy period?
  • Is there potential for extensive character development, world-building and subplots within my main plot?

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  • Can you see how they will undergo a compelling journey, both physical and emotional?
  • Do they have enough potential for development that can be sustained across multiple books?

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Choosing standalone or series is a big decision best made before you begin the writing process. Image credit: Anna Hamilton via Unsplash

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  1. How much you love writing
  2. How much you love your story
  3. How badly you want to achieve the goal of creating a series.

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Grab your notebook and get planning! Image credit: Ian Schneider via Unsplash

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  • The inciting incident, which will kick off the events of your series
  • The ending, which should tie up the majority of your story’s threads.

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  • Does it raise enough questions? And, more importantly, does it answer them all? If not, why? Will readers be disappointed or will they understand the purpose behind any open-ended aspects?
  • Does the plot have potential for creating tension? (Tension is one of the most important driving forces in fiction, and without it, your series is likely to fall rather flat. Take a look at these is for some inspiration and ideas.)
  • Is the plot driven by characters’ actions? Can you spot any potential instances of yi?

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Structuring your novel well is essential to a sustainable writing process. Image credit: Jean-Marie Grange via Unsplash

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Where does the tension rise and fall? Keep your readers glued to the page. Image credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash

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Get to know your characters before you write them on the page. Image credit: Brigitte Tohm via Unsplash

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  • What does each character want? What are their desires, goals and motivations?
  • What changes and developments will each character undergo throughout the course of the series? Will their desires change? Will their mindset and worldview be different by the end of the story? What will happen to put this change in motion?
  • What are the key events or turning points in each character’s arc?
  • Is there any information you can withhold about a character, in order to reveal it with impact later in the story?
  • How will the relationships between various characters change and develop throughout the story?

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Invest time into exploring your setting with detail. Image credit: Cosmic Timetraveler via Unsplash

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  • Magic or technology
  • System of government/power structures
  • Culture and society
  • Climate and environment

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Speculative fiction opens up a whole new world. Image credit: Lili Popper via Unsplash

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When all the planning is done, it’s time to simply start writing. Image credit: Green Chameleon

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