Monday, August 24, 2015

5 Ways Writers Can Find Inspiration for a New Book Series

Book series are extremely popular with readers. Readers get to know the characters and they anticipate the flow of the author’s writing.

Besides nonfiction, writing book series is another way to earn a good deal of money through Kindle publishing. Here are some ways you can come up with inspirations and ideas for a new book series.

1. Read a Few Series

To get a good feel of how an author develops his characters, holds back secrets to be revealed in a later book, and creates main plot with an underlying subplot, read a few book series. Study the books and find out how the author hooks the reader into the story and turns the reader into an addict.

2. Watch a Few Series

I am not a huge fan of television, but I do love to treat myself to an episode of a favorite show each night after getting the day’s work done. I love mystery series, such as Miss Fisher’s Mysteries and Rosemary and Thyme.

Watching television series and actively picking the plots apart is good exercise for a writer. If you want to study character development, begin watching MASH and study how the characters start off as comedic sticks and, after a season or two, develop into real people. Study plot themes, such as in Rosemary and Thyme where the underlying theme in all the episodes is gardening. You can learn a lot from television series, as well as use different series to spark your own ideas, with your own characters, and underlying theme.

3. Day Jobs

A few years ago, I worked at a local hospital. During my time there I learned a lot, especially why so many television and book series are set in the hospital. There are many other job settings that set the scene for series: law offices, court rooms, retail jobs, and more. If you work a day job, dream up ways to spin plots in your setting. If you don’t have a day job, you can use the settings of jobs you’ve had in your youth or the jobs of your family members.

4. Hobbies

Hobbies can also be an inspiration for a new book series. Hobbies can include ship building, dog shows, or painting. Imagine choosing a character that loves to paint. How would you get her out of the house? We could say that she loves to paint scenery. So, she travels throughout the countryside, painting beautiful scenery and historical buildings. Each new place uncovers a new mystery. It could be a murder mystery or a supernatural mystery. The mystery at each new location catapults the main character into a heavy plot of intrigue, observation, and action. That is how you take a hobby, give it a character, and begin building a plot skeleton.

5. Neurosis

Pick a neurosis: a person suffering from chronic depression, a hypochondriac, or a person with an obsessive disorder. If you want more ideas for a neurosis, was a few episodes of my 2-year-old’s favorite show, Figaro Pho. After you’ve chosen a neurosis, give it a character. For example, Adrian Monk in the television series suffered from OCD and other phobias. Decide what you’re character is going to do and begin to build a basic plot skeleton for the series.

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