Black Magic Part Five: Novel v. Series, One
I know I want to write novels. I don’t know if I want to write series. I get that the series is the dominant mode of delivery for written fantasy (and science fiction). However, I have issues with the concept of the series.
Let me be clear, there are two kinds of series: the standalone adventures and the super novel. The James Bond series is a collection of adventures that, though later novels reference earlier novels, can stand alone. A Song of Ice and Fire is a super novel. The Harry Potter series is, honestly, somewhere in the middle.
I love series and yet I don’t. I enjoy immersing myself in fictional worlds with multiple plots and levels of complexity. But I feel that so many series become bloated over time, if not outright lost in the wilderness (I’m looking at you. . . Naruto [what, you were expecting me to say A Song of Ice and Fire?]).
As a writer, I would love to explore a lone universe and all the myriad protagonists I choose to follow. But, I recognize that I don’t have the best attention span. I am easily bored and would find writing a series of seven novels finally torturous, if not dehumanizing. The money from a successful series is enticing, but I don’t want to sacrifice myself.
Ultimately, the decision of a project’s length should be determined by the project itself. Black Magic is a novel, even if there is enough material to produce a never ending series. I just don’t see the project going beyond the one book, no matter how successful it is.
However, will I change my tune when it comes to the portal fantasy?