In one of his newsletters (for which you can sign up here ), David Farland gave a number of questions you should ask yourself when starting or when writing a series. He also made some very good points, including:
- A strong series has a persistent world with persistent characters
- Don’t change settings too much
- The strongest series have persistent conflict, and, in a ‘tight series’ the conflict must continually build and escalate until the end
- A central conflict will bind the story together
- When I look at these questions and my first try at a premise sentence for The Ruon Chronicles (at least their start…), I can at least see that I already have most of these bases covered.
After the Vidolf Elame’s prison breaks and set free the Vidolf within, a young Ruon, Selena Tellah, must find a way to use her Talent and the almost-forgotten charms of the Ruon Ruaha to prevent the Third Sundering that will bring her world to ruin.
Looking now at Farland’s points, I can see that I do have the following:
Persistent world with persistent characters
Yes, the series takes place in the world of Airtha-Eyrassa (the ‘Land Beyond the Veil’). The characters, like Selena Tellah and Reisa Querna, are also persistent characters.
Don’t change settings too much
Parts of the story takes place in different countries, etc. so I will need to make sure that it doesn’t become confusing to the reader. While maps are nice, I don’t want the reader to refer to them every five minutes.
The persistent conflict is that they must stop the Third Sundering from taking place.
The central conflict
The central conflict will change from book to book, but the overall conflict will remain locked on the Third Sundering.