Why I’m writing a series and not a stand-alone book

When Colour Became Grey is the first book in the series but in the beginning it was supposed to be a stand-alone book.

[To my lovely readers, I’m working on the sequel, but it will take me a little while still before I’m finished. I’m trying to write it ‘quickly’ but it’s still a longer process and takes time. I’ll update you when I approach the end.]

When I started, it was much more of a ‘simple’ romantic fantasy story. But as I started writing it out, I realized I didn’t want to write another book of a human falling in love with a vampire and then the vampire telling her what to do until she realizes her true power and she takes over as the leader. The story didn’t want to be that (because yes, you as an author are writing it, but the story also has a life of its own and sometimes it takes over and I have no choice but to cede control).

As the story advanced I realized there was too much material and the story was getting too big for a stand-alone book. So I planned two. And then even that became too restrictive. Currently I’m planning the series to be three, maybe four books. But this can change.

My goal is not to write a set amount of books in the When Colour Became Grey series. Otherwise I would either stretch the story or condense it to fit a certain number of books, and I need to have the freedom to let the overall story play out at its own pace and in its own volume. I have a broad idea of where the series will go, although the ultimate ending is not clear in my head, and a lot of the finer details are either not worked out yet, or I’ve left them purposefully open for me to figure out further down the line.

I’ve seen an author advising aspiring authors to write series to build a following and a fan base. While I can understand that if you write several books within a series it’s easier to engage with your readers and create a following, I’m against the idea of planning a series simply for that reason. Because if your goal is to write whatever readers want to read, then you should research what the most bought genre is and simply write in that genre, and publish books at quick intervals. And if you’re able to do this, hats off to you. But I can’t make my head think inside a given box and at the same time write something original. I think you should leave yourself the creative freedom to write a stand-alone, or a series. If you force yourself to do a series, you might end up with books that are just dragging out the ending and you could end up losing the trust of your readers. There are many examples of movie sequels that have done just that.

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