Ash's Writing Blog
forevercty:

Calligraphy Username Giveaway Sort of
So here’s the deal everyone.  I’m SUPER bored, and I haven’t been able to write much recently so I want to do this as a gift for people.  The goal is to make a gif, like the one above, for everyone up to the first 10k reblogs (if I even get that high), of their username, or one other word that they want (just put what you want in the reblog, but keep it reasonable.  I don’t want to gif-write the entire declaration of independence.)
Likes are also appreciated, but to keep it easy on me try to stick to reblogs so I can keep count without going insane.  I will get to everyone in the first 10k and if I find that this doesn’t take too much of my time I’ll see about doing more.  But yeah.  Reblog away, and my ask is open for any questions.

forevercty:

Calligraphy Username Giveaway Sort of

So here’s the deal everyone.  I’m SUPER bored, and I haven’t been able to write much recently so I want to do this as a gift for people.  The goal is to make a gif, like the one above, for everyone up to the first 10k reblogs (if I even get that high), of their username, or one other word that they want (just put what you want in the reblog, but keep it reasonable.  I don’t want to gif-write the entire declaration of independence.)

Likes are also appreciated, but to keep it easy on me try to stick to reblogs so I can keep count without going insane.  I will get to everyone in the first 10k and if I find that this doesn’t take too much of my time I’ll see about doing more.  But yeah.  Reblog away, and my ask is open for any questions.

ratchet-jean:

alliaofrph:


I save a helpful links so I think “ow,i should made a masterlist”. I only found the link from my bookmarks.
**maybe i renew/add a new link that i found

WRITING HELP/CHARACTER
writing a bitchy character (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
writing a cocky character (1,2,3,4)
writing a emotion character (1,2)
How to play a hippie
Playing the quiet character.
Portraying the shopaholic.
Portraying a mute character.
Portraying a kleptomaniac.
How to play the stalker.
Writing distant, indifferent characters.
How to write a character who stutters.
Writing a character who is sassy.
A guide to playing a southern character.
Portraying characters with crushes.
How to portray a teen mom.
How to play a character who is mean.
How to portray a character high on cocaine.
Writing a character who is high on amphetamines.
Playing an efficient male character.
Portraying the asshole.
Playing a character who suffers from shyness.
How to play a mentally ill/insane character.
Writing a character who self-harms.
Writing a happy character.
Writing a character who suffers from night terrors.
Writing a character with paranoid personality disorder.
How to play a victim of rape.
How to RP a blind character.
Writing a leader.
Writing a character with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Writing a character with depression.
Writing a character who is homosexual.
Writing a character with schizophrenia.
Playing a fe/male character.
Writing a character with Nymphomania.
How to write a worry wart.
How to write a character with HPD.
How to write a bad ass character.
Playing a pansexual.
Tips on writing a drug addict.
Tips on writing the pregnant female.
Writing insane characters.
Playing a character under the influence of marijuana.
Portraying a character with diabetes.
How to play a prankster.
Playing a character who has been adopted.
Portraying a vampire.
Playing a character with an eating disorder.
Portraying a character who is anti-social.
Portraying a character who is depressed.
How to portray someone with dyslexia.
How to portray a character with bipolar disorder.
Portraying a character with severe depression.
How to play a serial killer.
Writing a tomboy.
Playing a pyromaniac.
How to write a mute character.
How to write a character with an OCD.
How to play a stoner.
How to write an asexual character.
How to play a bitchy/vicious character.
How to play a character with HPD.
Playing a pregnant woman.
Playing the burn-out.
Writing a “nice” character.
How to play a gentleman.
How to play a shy/introvert character.
How to play a naive character.
Playing characters with memory loss.
How to write a character who smokes.
How to write pirates.
How to write characters with PTSD.
How to play a character who isn’t ready for sex.
How to play the geek.
Playing the manipulative character.
Portraying a character with borderline personality disorder.
Playing a character with Orthorexia Nervosa.
Writing a character who lost someone important.
Playing the bullies.
Portraying the drug dealer.
Playing a rebellious character.
How to portray a sociopath.
How to play a swimmer.
Portraying a ballerina.
Playing a promiscuous male.
Playing a character with cancer.
How to portray a bubbly character.
How to portray a power driven character.
How to portray the shy character.
Playing a character under the influence of drugs.
Playing a character who struggles with Bulimia.
Portraying a hippie.
Portraying sexually/emotionally abused characters.
Playing a character with asthma.
Portraying characters who have secrets.
Portraying a recovering alcoholic.
Portraying a sex addict.
How to play someone creepy.
Portraying a foreigner.
Portraying an emotionally detatched character.
How to play a character with social anxiety.
Portraying a character who is high.
How to play a strong, female character.
Writing a character with a hangover.
Playing angry characters.
Playing a character who is smarter than you.
Playing and writing autistic characters.
Portraying a trans character.
How to portray a dominant character.
Playing a character who is faking a disorder.
Playing a prisoner.
Playing the opposite sex.
Portraying a character who has PTSD.
Playing a character who stutters.
Portraying characters with Aspergers Syndrome.
How to play a depressed character who selfharms.
Portraying the “dumb” character.
How to portray a lesbian.
How to play a blind character.
How to play a sexual assault victim.
Writing a compulsive gambler.
Writing a closeted character.
Playing a werewolf.
Writing a character with an addiction to sex.
Writing a character who is drunk.
Portraying a character who is British.
Playing a Brit.
Portraying a character with amnesia.
Playing heroes.
Portraying a witty character.
How to play an INTJ.
How to play a vampire.
How to play a character who is manipulative.
Portraying the natural born leader.
Portraying the character who is flirtatious.
Writing a nice character.
How to portray a character who has asthma.
Playing a character with ADHD.
Writing characters with anxiety.
Amnesia
Children
A Death Scene
Loosing Someone (2)
Old Persons
Physical Injuries (2, 3)
Sexual Abuse (2)
Fight Scenes (2, 3, 4)
Horror
Torture
How to Describe the Body Shape of Female Characters
Character Apperance Help
Words to Describe Voice
Body Language Cheat Sheet
Character Development Exercises
101 Character Development Questions
Art of Character Development
Introducing Characters
Characters You Need to Reinvent
Making Characters Likeable
Heros and Villains
Describing Clothing
Understanding Body Language
100 Positive Traits
Mental Illness in Writing
Conflicts and Characters
JOBS/HOBBIES
Actors
Ballet Dancer (2)
Christianity
Foreigners
Gamblers
Hinduism
Hitmen
Satanism
Smokers
Stoners
Taoism
Journalists
Vegetarians
LOCATIONS
Australia
Boston
California (2, 3)
England/Britain (2, 3, 4, 5)
New York
Prison
London
The South (2)
GENDERS
Females (2)
Males (2)
Transgender People
NAMES
Female Names (2, 3, 4, 5)
Male Names (2, 3, 4, 5) 
Last Names  (2, 3, 4)
QUOTES
Song Lyrics Masterlist
Songs for Biographies
Favorite Quotes: TV and Movies
Favorite Quotes: Notable Authors
Favorite Quotes: Celebrities
Favorite Quotes: Popular Books (2)
Quotes From Songs
Character Quotes
Masterlist of Bio Lyrics
Masterlist of Bio Quotes
Masterlist of Song Lyrics
Biography Lyrics
A Masterlist of Quotes
+130 Quotes
SMUT
Smut Guide: Casual Sex
Smut Guide: For Beginners
How to: Write a First Time Sex Scene Romantically
How to: Smut - The Bare Bones
How to: Smut (For Virgins)
How to: Write Lesbian Smut
How to: Write Smut (2, 3)
How to: Write a Blowjob/Prepping for Smut
Smut Guides of Tumblr
Tips on Writing Sex Scenes
A Guide to Language in Smut
Domination and Submission
Making Love
A Smut Guide
KISSES
How to: Write a Kiss (2)
Different Types of Kisses
Writing Out the First Kiss
GRAMMAR
Placement of Speech Tags
Grammar and Spelling
Grammar Slammer!
American vs. British Grammar
HyperGrammar
Grammar Girl
Punctuating Dialogue
How to Use the Semicolon
Introduction to the Basic Rules of Punctuation
Comma 101
All About Dialouge
11 Grammar Tips
Comma Usage
Correct Use of Apostrophe
Proofreading
Transition Words
40+ Tips to Improve your Grammar and Punctuation
Better Writing: Grammar & Spelling
Semicolons and Colons
Underlining and Italicizing
Dashes and Parentheses
Hyphens
Apostrophes
The Ellipsis
List of 1000+ Adjectives
ART
painting tutorial
colour palette (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
drawing clothe folding
avoiding drawing the same face
draw ice
anatomy help
free drawing program (1) (2)
sai brushes (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
draw hair
drawing ref
dont know what to draw?
draw 3D room tut
drawing eyes
lip tutorial
how to draw jeans
how to draw arms
expression tutorial
drawing hair and fur
drawing cats
pose reference blog [its actually a blog full of references i-]
download photoshop
paint blood
color blender
draw hands
hands 2
photoshop help (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
remove backgrounds from images online
clouds
brush setting ref (SAI)
kissing ref 
how to draw curls
realistic woman body ref
draw knees
draw feet
shadow help
male body
lips ref
contouring and highlighting
draw wings
change images using blur (PS)
gray
hat ref
glowing stuff
pastel colors
draw grass
eyeliner ref
Painting tutorial
Female/male arms
Kneeling + Sitting ref
Dragon head view tutorial
SAI brushes 86786
Drawing expressions
Sai Brushes 1
NGE colour palette 1
100+ colour palletes
Avoiding same face
Face contours/highlighting 
free art MyPaint
Body anatomy help 1
How to shift images using blur in PS
Drawing clothe folding
How to draw ice
Colour palette 1
Colour palette 2
SAI brush settings 2
SAI/PS pixel brushes
Warm/Cool gray
Flower crown tutorial
Skin colour palette
Pink colour sheet
How to draw butts&thighs
The male torso
Drawing glowing stuff in SAI
Drawing horse/animal legs on humans
Drawing clouds
Muscular male with bow stock photos
Pastel colours
Drawing grass fields in SAI
Expressions&Legs
All about the human body
20+ colour palettes 
Colour conversion
Kissing ref
Creature design 
Colour meanings
Creating expression
Tutorial masterpost (100+)
Lineart
Canine
How to colour
Pose studies
Feline comparisons
How to draw penis
Leaf pressing
100+ anatomy references 
How to draw folds
SAI brushes 3
Sitting poses
Colour palette 4
Cloud painting
How to draw 3D rooms
Colour info
Colouring ref
Hair tutorial
Clothing ref
Bodies and poses
SAI brushes 5
Colour scheme designer
Folding ref
Heads&Angles 
Paint tool SAI masterpost
Drawing ref masterpost (10+)
Hair+Fur
How to draw faces
SAI brushes 4
Anatomy of mutant humans
What should I draw?
Free art software
pastel colour ref
Mass art ref
Soft SAI brushes
ways to draw stuff
SAI brush settings
baseball cap ref
Penis ref
Drawing human wings
Cool free art software
Huge art ref
Colour blender
2 SAI brushes
Photoshop for free 
MAKEUP
eyeliner
how to apply blush
how to draw eyebrows
ombre eyeliner
lipstick trick
the kitty eye ^.^
nude lips
smokey eye make up
what you need to know about beauty
5 of the best foundations 
best powder foundations
quick foundation tip
how to apply liquid foundation
breaking it down
makeup highlights tutorial
blush for your skin tone
how to apply bronzer
how to contour your face
apply blush like a pro
blush according to your face shape
d.i.y. gel liner
get the perfect winged liner
get winged liner using tape
awesome eyeliner tricks
9 different eyeliner looks
different eyeliner styles
guide to applying eyeshadow
suit your eyeshadow to your eyes
glittery smoky eye
get the perfect smoky eye
a shade for every occasion
kool-aid lip stain
best lipsticks for blondes
hot red lips
how to get gradient lips
lipstick shades for fall
how to make any lipstick look matte
get soft kissable lips
long lasting makeup tricks
victoria’s secret model tips
saving face
beginner’s guide
when will it expire?
10 makeup tips from mac
best tips from professionals
18 beauty essentials
basics you should own
make-up brush tutorial 
brush tricks
clean your makeup brushes
make-up brush guide
make up hacks
easy make up tips
BODY CARE
the runaway to gorgeous skin
winter dryness
acne foundation routine
wash your face correctly
how to wash your face 101
HAIR
messy bun tutorial
different ways to braid
three-braid updo
waterfall braid
how to fishtail
romantic curls
braid + bun updo
how to do pastel hair
8 ways to wear a bow
4-strand braid
braided bun
braided headband
dutch braid crown
pin curls!
how to contour
everyday makeup routine
lipstick using crayons
eyeliner ref wow
filling in eyebrows
banana facial mask (moisturizes)
strawberry facial mask (acne prone skin)
avocado facial mask (dry skin)
yogurt facial mask (sensitive skin)
list of oils to add to your face masks
already made masterpost :*
OTHER
sleep calculator
survive nature
rain
tumblr music
calming rain
need a hug?
like the sound of a coffee shop?
can’t remember the name of a song?
the thoughts room
how to love yourself
upload anything from your iPhone etc. to your laptop
learn another language
make HUGE unpoppable bubbles
play some piano
draw a stick man and watch the story!
thousands of stars (you can zoom in/out and learn about them)
check if a username is taken (any site! twitter/tumblr, etc)
draws stuff as you move your curser
tell your thoughts to no one
play with cob web
make music with balloons
learn to play the guitar
learn to build a ship in a bottle
learn origami
learn some yoyo tricks
make your own stuffed animals
how to decorate iphone cases
make a candle
important things you should remember
how to kill your anxiety
how to help someone with their anxiety
look for literally any book you want (free)
waterproof your shoes
know what your emotion is
how to love yourself
ultimate writers resources masterpost
learn how to make punk edits without photoshop
dont know what to read?
learn a new habit 
how to answer the top 35 asked questions when applying for a job
want to draw?
The quiet place
MOVIES
Giant Movie masterpost
Disney movies masterpost
Superhero movies masterpost
Movies for when you’re sick
Scary movies masterpost
Tumblr dedicated to finding movie links
When to pee during a movie

HOLY FUCK

ratchet-jean:

alliaofrph:

I save a helpful links so I think “ow,i should made a masterlist”. I only found the link from my bookmarks.

**maybe i renew/add a new link that i found

WRITING HELP/CHARACTER

JOBS/HOBBIES

LOCATIONS

GENDERS

NAMES

QUOTES

SMUT

KISSES

GRAMMAR

ART

MAKEUP

BODY CARE

HAIR

OTHER

MOVIES

HOLY FUCK

happylifewiththemachines:

danwasonfireonce:

gunslingerannie:

europeansdomusicalsbetter:



stockade:



You’re welcome










This is the most useful thing I’ve ever reblogged.





i used to think when people said my cousin twice removed that their cousin must’ve did some fucked up shit to get kicked out of the family twice

When I found this the first thing I thought was “now I can find out how Count Olaf is related to the Baudelaire children.”

happylifewiththemachines:

danwasonfireonce:

gunslingerannie:

europeansdomusicalsbetter:

stockade:

You’re welcome

This is the most useful thing I’ve ever reblogged.

i used to think when people said my cousin twice removed that their cousin must’ve did some fucked up shit to get kicked out of the family twice

When I found this the first thing I thought was “now I can find out how Count Olaf is related to the Baudelaire children.”

Things almost every author needs to research

Limits of the Human Body by Soda Pop Avenue

Limits of the Human Body by Soda Pop Avenue

Shift
booksdirect:

"What to Read to Improve Your Writing Skills."

booksdirect:

"What to Read to Improve Your Writing Skills."

thewritingcafe:

Book series occur in all genres, especially fantasy and sci-fi, but how does one write a series? It may seem hard, having to come up with more plots for the same characters (in most cases) who you have to develop over the course of more than one book. If you like to plan things out before you write them, you may feel as though it’ll be impossible to organize the content of however many books you plan to write. Or may be wondering about the basics of writing a series.
Planning:

Some people like to plan. Some don’t. Some writers plan out every detail and keep characters, scenes, plots, and even dialogue organized. Others have simple outlines for each book. When writing a book series, it’s best to plan it out. It’s more time consuming than writing a single book and it takes a lot more work. However, free writing the first book may be a good way to get your series started and to see where it’s going.
Before you begin the initial planning process though, decide what your book will be. Decide on an idea and expand it. Try writing a few short stories with characters you have in mind to get a feel for them. While my story takes place in another world, I used to take my characters and write a few hundred words about them in situations we face in our world (like getting a flat tire in the rain). It really helped me flesh out my characters and develop how they would react to emergencies. 
Try free writing about your central idea. This may open up subplots or plots for more books. Keep a journal, or anything else you can document your thoughts in, with you to write down any ideas that may come. Play with these ideas and keep in mind that coming up with an idea doesn’t mean you have to use it. Even if your ideas don’t have anything to do with your main idea, write them down anyway. You may be able to find a way to incorporate them in your series.
Characters: Know which characters will be in what books. Know the role your characters play and how important they are to the story. If you have two minor character who can be mashed in to one, do it. It’ll make for less characters and therefore less work on your part or confusion to the reader. Your protagonist(s) is a different story. That character, or characters, has to be one whom readers will love. This character has to be the best you can make if you want your readers to read an entire series about this character. For all your characters, keep track of them. Keep a list of their names and any important information. I’m extremely detailed when it comes to my characters and I even have birthdays picked out for each and every one, no matter how minor, even though only a few characters reveal their birthday within the story. Keep track of their appearance, even the smallest blemishes if you mention them.
Plot: If it helps, make a chart of all the plots and subplots. Make a timeline, even. Or you can try a thought web to keep track of plots and how they roll into other subplots and such. I would recommend bubbl. What makes a series a series is the plot arc. This encompasses all the books within the series and connects all the main plots. Your first book will usually define this, but it does not have to be obvious right away because plots lead to other plots.
Setting: This is especially important if the setting takes place in another world. Draw a map first and keep track of where your characters are. Readers will notice if in book one you mention that the fireplace is made of dark brown bricks in the first book and gray stone in the second. Draw out floor plans of homes and buildings. Add in details, such as the location of doors and furniture.
Cause and Effect: This includes plot and character decisions. What happens in the first book will affect the second book and so on. If you plan out the entire series and change something in the first book, you might have to go through the other books and change that too. That’s why you shouldn’t completely write out all the books in their entirety before editing. Keep track of all the causes and effects in your series (again, using bubbl is good for this). You also need to keep track of how your characters change in regards to factors around them. Have they acquired scars? Have they gone through a significant change?
Foreshadowing: Plan small elements of foreshadowing that lead to other books. Perhaps mention a character that hasn’t been met yet in casual conversation or point out an unmet region on a map. Sirius Black was mentioned in the first chapter of the first Harry Potter book, but didn’t show up until the third. However, keep these light. Don’t make it so obvious that the character will start looking out for it.
The End: Have a sense of how the series ends while writing the first book. The ending could relate back to the first book or it could parallel the ending of the first book.
Motifs: Will you have any motifs throughout your book series? Why?

Writing the Rough Draft:

Don’t worry too much about the technicalities when writing the rough draft. Just write what you have planned (if you have a plan) and see how it feels. Keep track of any changes you made to your outline. If you don’t like it and decide to rewrite most (or all) of your rough draft, don’t delete what you first wrote. Keep it for reference.

Don’t worry about the length, spelling, or grammar. The rough draft is called a rough draft for a reason. It’s just a sketch. You can erase it. However, if something feels very wrong (mostly big factors such as POV) when writing your first draft, trust your instinct and stop. Don’t waste your time on something you don’t like.

And really, do not worry about length. I promise you the length of your novel will change as you edit and rewrite.

The First Book:

The first book is the most important, especially if you’re a debut author. This book will be the first glimpse readers have to the world and characters you’ve created. It has to be good enough that readers will be willing to read more. It’s the hook.
It should stand alone, but the ending does not have to be definite. At the end of The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta arrive back in District 12. There are no cliffhangers, but there is room for more. The ending does not guarantee a sequel. The reason for having the first book stand alone goes back to selling your book. If the first book doesn’t sell, publishers won’t want to waste money on more books. When self-publishing, you can do whatever you want, but it would be smart to make the first book stand alone in case the sales are bad.
Content:
Don’t feel like you have to explain everything in the first book. Only put in what is necessary. Spread out the information throughout the series when that information is needed or relevant.
Leave some blanks. Don’t give away everything about your characters. Give them secrets. Keep their back stories light if they show up in later books.
Focus on what is important to the first book. Don’t mention anything that might be in the second book (unless it’s very light, such as mentioning a name of a future character in dialogue). The characters who are only in the first book need to be fleshed out while main characters who spread out over the series don’t need to reveal everything about themselves.
Again, the plot should end in the first book. Of course, subplots may carry over in other books and the main plot may be part of a larger plot arc, but all the major questions need to be answered in the first book.

The Pitch:

When writing a query letter, do not mention that your book is the first in a series. Instead, say it has the potential to become a series, or that it is part of a possible planned series. Don’t say you already have all the books written and ready to go. Though you may write all the books first if you feel more comfortable with having every detail down, just don’t mention they’re all ready. Because they’re not. You’re probably going to change some things in the first book during the final editing process, and those changes may have an affect on the later books. Don’t set everything in stone.

Companion Books:

Companion novels are not series. They are books which take place in the same universe as other books (no, this doesn’t mean all books that takes place in England during the twenty-first century are companion novels). These books may have the same characters in one or more books that are not meant to be a series, or they may have completely different characters. However, there may be a series within companion novels. For example: Of six books, three are part of a series and three may stand alone, but they all take place in the same universe. You can also look at video games for another example. To play The Elder Scrolls series, you do not have to play all the games to understand the latest one, Skyrim. The Hobbit can be considered a companion novel to The Lord of the Rings, as it is not necessary to read one to understand the other and they can both stand alone.
In short, the setting, not the characters, bring your stories together. Plot may bring them together too (such as something that affects that universe, like war), but setting is the primary connection.

Keep in Mind:

Characters shouldn’t go through huge developments in each book. Some may not change in one book at all, and that’s okay because that character’s story is most likely not over.
Plots should connect to each other. All of the main plots in the Harry Potter books had something to do with Voldemort whether directly or indirectly.
The writing style should stay the same throughout the series, but the tone may change.
Determine other elements of your series:
POV: Will the story be told in first person? Third person limited? Will the POV switch between chapters or will you primarily focus on one character? Remember that when writing a series, you’ll be writing like this for the whole series. If you’re not too fond of first person, don’t write in first person. If you think third person is boring, don’t choose that either.
Characters: You’re generally stuck with your main characters throughout the whole series. Unless you’re experienced and talented enough to able to pull off something like A Song of Ice and Fire. Don’t write character that bore or bother you. Maybe, if you really like you protagonist, but don’t like writing them in first person, you can use another main character (the sidekick) as the main POV. Imagine how differently Harry Potter would have been if the story was told from Ron or Hermione’s POV.
Continuity: Don’t mess this up. One of the greatest examples of continuity I’ve seen has been in Arrested Development. The detail of it is amazing.
Information: Keep track of what information you let out and when. This will help a lot in later books when you’re trying to remember how much the reader knows about certain characters or places.
Structure: The structure of yours books should be similar. If the first book is split up in parts, so should all the other books. If all the chapters in the first book range between 4,000 and 6,000 words, so should the chapters in the other books. Keep the exceptions to this rule small. If your chapters get longer each book, don’t have the first two books go from 3,000 words a chapter to 8,000. Even something like that can take away the feeling of reading a series.
Does it Work?: Make sure your series works as a series. Most YA (without any elements from other genres (with few exceptions such as romance)) series take place in school and center around a group of friends. MG series are more often on the comedy side with soft plots (see: Diary of a Wimpy Kid). But do your plots work? Can they make a good series? Or would your series run dry of plots and elements to keep interest? Imagine if Looking for Alaska had a sequel. Would it work? Probably not. What else is there to know? What else does the reader want to know? What would the plot arc be? However, a companion novel could probably take place at the same school in that book.
Don’t Get Too Attached: One drawback of writing the entire series before submitting the first book for publication if getting attached to the other books. If the first book doesn’t sell, you’ll be more upset about the other books. If you think your book will be exactly the way it was when you submitted it, you’re wrong. Agents and editors will probably have you change a few things and that may affect the other books. Remember, your editor is trying to help you. Be open to changes and suggestions.

thewritingcafe:

Book series occur in all genres, especially fantasy and sci-fi, but how does one write a series? It may seem hard, having to come up with more plots for the same characters (in most cases) who you have to develop over the course of more than one book. If you like to plan things out before you write them, you may feel as though it’ll be impossible to organize the content of however many books you plan to write. Or may be wondering about the basics of writing a series.

Planning:

Some people like to plan. Some don’t. Some writers plan out every detail and keep characters, scenes, plots, and even dialogue organized. Others have simple outlines for each book. When writing a book series, it’s best to plan it out. It’s more time consuming than writing a single book and it takes a lot more work. However, free writing the first book may be a good way to get your series started and to see where it’s going.

Before you begin the initial planning process though, decide what your book will be. Decide on an idea and expand it. Try writing a few short stories with characters you have in mind to get a feel for them. While my story takes place in another world, I used to take my characters and write a few hundred words about them in situations we face in our world (like getting a flat tire in the rain). It really helped me flesh out my characters and develop how they would react to emergencies. 

Try free writing about your central idea. This may open up subplots or plots for more books. Keep a journal, or anything else you can document your thoughts in, with you to write down any ideas that may come. Play with these ideas and keep in mind that coming up with an idea doesn’t mean you have to use it. Even if your ideas don’t have anything to do with your main idea, write them down anyway. You may be able to find a way to incorporate them in your series.

  • Characters: Know which characters will be in what books. Know the role your characters play and how important they are to the story. If you have two minor character who can be mashed in to one, do it. It’ll make for less characters and therefore less work on your part or confusion to the reader. Your protagonist(s) is a different story. That character, or characters, has to be one whom readers will love. This character has to be the best you can make if you want your readers to read an entire series about this character. For all your characters, keep track of them. Keep a list of their names and any important information. I’m extremely detailed when it comes to my characters and I even have birthdays picked out for each and every one, no matter how minor, even though only a few characters reveal their birthday within the story. Keep track of their appearance, even the smallest blemishes if you mention them.
  • Plot: If it helps, make a chart of all the plots and subplots. Make a timeline, even. Or you can try a thought web to keep track of plots and how they roll into other subplots and such. I would recommend bubbl. What makes a series a series is the plot arc. This encompasses all the books within the series and connects all the main plots. Your first book will usually define this, but it does not have to be obvious right away because plots lead to other plots.
  • Setting: This is especially important if the setting takes place in another world. Draw a map first and keep track of where your characters are. Readers will notice if in book one you mention that the fireplace is made of dark brown bricks in the first book and gray stone in the second. Draw out floor plans of homes and buildings. Add in details, such as the location of doors and furniture.
  • Cause and Effect: This includes plot and character decisions. What happens in the first book will affect the second book and so on. If you plan out the entire series and change something in the first book, you might have to go through the other books and change that too. That’s why you shouldn’t completely write out all the books in their entirety before editing. Keep track of all the causes and effects in your series (again, using bubbl is good for this). You also need to keep track of how your characters change in regards to factors around them. Have they acquired scars? Have they gone through a significant change?
  • Foreshadowing: Plan small elements of foreshadowing that lead to other books. Perhaps mention a character that hasn’t been met yet in casual conversation or point out an unmet region on a map. Sirius Black was mentioned in the first chapter of the first Harry Potter book, but didn’t show up until the third. However, keep these light. Don’t make it so obvious that the character will start looking out for it.
  • The End: Have a sense of how the series ends while writing the first book. The ending could relate back to the first book or it could parallel the ending of the first book.
  • Motifs: Will you have any motifs throughout your book series? Why?
Writing the Rough Draft:
Don’t worry too much about the technicalities when writing the rough draft. Just write what you have planned (if you have a plan) and see how it feels. Keep track of any changes you made to your outline. If you don’t like it and decide to rewrite most (or all) of your rough draft, don’t delete what you first wrote. Keep it for reference.
Don’t worry about the length, spelling, or grammar. The rough draft is called a rough draft for a reason. It’s just a sketch. You can erase it. However, if something feels very wrong (mostly big factors such as POV) when writing your first draft, trust your instinct and stop. Don’t waste your time on something you don’t like.
And really, do not worry about length. I promise you the length of your novel will change as you edit and rewrite.

The First Book:

The first book is the most important, especially if you’re a debut author. This book will be the first glimpse readers have to the world and characters you’ve created. It has to be good enough that readers will be willing to read more. It’s the hook.

It should stand alone, but the ending does not have to be definite. At the end of The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta arrive back in District 12. There are no cliffhangers, but there is room for more. The ending does not guarantee a sequel. The reason for having the first book stand alone goes back to selling your book. If the first book doesn’t sell, publishers won’t want to waste money on more books. When self-publishing, you can do whatever you want, but it would be smart to make the first book stand alone in case the sales are bad.

Content:

  • Don’t feel like you have to explain everything in the first book. Only put in what is necessary. Spread out the information throughout the series when that information is needed or relevant.
  • Leave some blanks. Don’t give away everything about your characters. Give them secrets. Keep their back stories light if they show up in later books.
  • Focus on what is important to the first book. Don’t mention anything that might be in the second book (unless it’s very light, such as mentioning a name of a future character in dialogue). The characters who are only in the first book need to be fleshed out while main characters who spread out over the series don’t need to reveal everything about themselves.
  • Again, the plot should end in the first book. Of course, subplots may carry over in other books and the main plot may be part of a larger plot arc, but all the major questions need to be answered in the first book.
The Pitch:
When writing a query letter, do not mention that your book is the first in a series. Instead, say it has the potential to become a series, or that it is part of a possible planned series. Don’t say you already have all the books written and ready to go. Though you may write all the books first if you feel more comfortable with having every detail down, just don’t mention they’re all ready. Because they’re not. You’re probably going to change some things in the first book during the final editing process, and those changes may have an affect on the later books. Don’t set everything in stone.

Companion Books:

Companion novels are not series. They are books which take place in the same universe as other books (no, this doesn’t mean all books that takes place in England during the twenty-first century are companion novels). These books may have the same characters in one or more books that are not meant to be a series, or they may have completely different characters. However, there may be a series within companion novels. For example: Of six books, three are part of a series and three may stand alone, but they all take place in the same universe. You can also look at video games for another example. To play The Elder Scrolls series, you do not have to play all the games to understand the latest one, SkyrimThe Hobbit can be considered a companion novel to The Lord of the Rings, as it is not necessary to read one to understand the other and they can both stand alone.

In short, the setting, not the characters, bring your stories together. Plot may bring them together too (such as something that affects that universe, like war), but setting is the primary connection.

Keep in Mind:

Characters shouldn’t go through huge developments in each book. Some may not change in one book at all, and that’s okay because that character’s story is most likely not over.

Plots should connect to each other. All of the main plots in the Harry Potter books had something to do with Voldemort whether directly or indirectly.

The writing style should stay the same throughout the series, but the tone may change.

Determine other elements of your series:

  • POV: Will the story be told in first person? Third person limited? Will the POV switch between chapters or will you primarily focus on one character? Remember that when writing a series, you’ll be writing like this for the whole series. If you’re not too fond of first person, don’t write in first person. If you think third person is boring, don’t choose that either.
  • Characters: You’re generally stuck with your main characters throughout the whole series. Unless you’re experienced and talented enough to able to pull off something like A Song of Ice and Fire. Don’t write character that bore or bother you. Maybe, if you really like you protagonist, but don’t like writing them in first person, you can use another main character (the sidekick) as the main POV. Imagine how differently Harry Potter would have been if the story was told from Ron or Hermione’s POV.
  • Continuity: Don’t mess this up. One of the greatest examples of continuity I’ve seen has been in Arrested Development. The detail of it is amazing.
  • Information: Keep track of what information you let out and when. This will help a lot in later books when you’re trying to remember how much the reader knows about certain characters or places.
  • Structure: The structure of yours books should be similar. If the first book is split up in parts, so should all the other books. If all the chapters in the first book range between 4,000 and 6,000 words, so should the chapters in the other books. Keep the exceptions to this rule small. If your chapters get longer each book, don’t have the first two books go from 3,000 words a chapter to 8,000. Even something like that can take away the feeling of reading a series.
  • Does it Work?: Make sure your series works as a series. Most YA (without any elements from other genres (with few exceptions such as romance)) series take place in school and center around a group of friends. MG series are more often on the comedy side with soft plots (see: Diary of a Wimpy Kid). But do your plots work? Can they make a good series? Or would your series run dry of plots and elements to keep interest? Imagine if Looking for Alaska had a sequel. Would it work? Probably not. What else is there to know? What else does the reader want to know? What would the plot arc be? However, a companion novel could probably take place at the same school in that book.
  • Don’t Get Too Attached: One drawback of writing the entire series before submitting the first book for publication if getting attached to the other books. If the first book doesn’t sell, you’ll be more upset about the other books. If you think your book will be exactly the way it was when you submitted it, you’re wrong. Agents and editors will probably have you change a few things and that may affect the other books. Remember, your editor is trying to help you. Be open to changes and suggestions.
amandaonwriting:

 45 ways to avoid using the word ‘very’
Words to describe someone's voice
adenoidal: if someone’s voice is adenoidal, some of the sound seems to come through their nose
appealing: an appealing look, voice etc shows that you want help, approval, or agreement
breathy: with loud breathing noises
brittle: if you speak in a brittle voice, you sound as if you are about to cry
croaky: if someone’s voice sounds croaky, they speak in a low rough voice that sounds as if they have a sore throat
dead: if someone’s eyes are dead, or if their voice is dead, they feel or show no emotion
disembodied: a disembodied voice comes from someone who you cannot see
flat: spoken in a voice that does not go up and down. This word is often used for describing the speech of people from a particular region.
fruity: a fruity voice or laugh is deep and strong in a pleasant way
grating: a grating voice, laugh, or sound is unpleasant and annoying
gravelly: a gravelly voice sounds low and rough
gruff: a gruff voice has a rough low sound
guttural: a guttural sound is deep and made at the back of your throat
high-pitched: a high-pitched voice or sound is very high
hoarse: someone who is hoarse or has a hoarse voice speaks in a low rough voice, usually because their throat is sore
honeyed: honeyed words or a honeyed voice sound very nice but you cannot trust the person who is speaking
husky: a husky voice is deep and sounds hoarse (=as if you have a sore throat), often in an attractive way
low adjective: a low voice or sound is quiet and difficult to hear
low adverb: in a deep voice, or with a deep sound
matter-of-fact: used about someone’s behaviour or voice
modulated: a modulated voice is controlled and pleasant to listen to
monotonous: a monotonous sound or voice is boring and unpleasant because it does not change in loudness or become higher or lower
nasal: someone with a nasal voice sounds as if they are speaking through their nose
orotund: an orotund voice is loud and clear
penetrating: a penetrating voice or sound is so high or loud that it makes you slightly uncomfortable
plummy: a plummy voice or way of speaking is considered to be typical of an English person of a high social class. This word shows that you dislike people who speak like this.
quietly: in a quiet voice
raucous: a raucous voice or noise is loud and sounds rough
ringing: a ringing sound or voice is very loud and clear
rough: a rough voice is not soft and is unpleasant to listen to
shrill: a shrill noise or voice is very loud, high, and unpleasant
silvery: a silvery voice or sound is clear, light, and pleasant
singsong: if you speak in a singsong voice, your voice rises and falls in a musical way
small: a small voice or sound is quiet
smoky: a smoky voice or smoky eyes are sexually attractive in a slightly mysterious way
softly spoken: someone who is softly spoken has a quiet gentle voice
sotto voce adjective, adverb: in a very quiet voice
stentorian: a stentorian voice sounds very loud and severe
strangled: a strangled sound is one that someone stops before they finish making it
strangulated: strangled
strident: a strident voice or sound is loud and unpleasant
taut: used about something such as a voice or expression that shows someone is nervous or angry
thick: if your voice is thick with an emotion, it sounds less clear than usual because of the emotion
thickly: with a low voice that comes mostly from your throat
thin: a thin voice or sound is high and unpleasant to listen to
throaty: a throaty sound is low and seems to come from deep in your throat
tight: a tight voice or expression shows that you are nervous or annoyed
toneless: a toneless voice does not express any emotion
tremulous: if something such as your voice or smile is tremulous, it is not steady, for example because you are afraid or excited
wheezy: a wheezy noise sounds as if it is made by someone who has difficulty breathing
wobbly: if your voice is wobbly, it goes up and down, usually because you are frightened, not confident, or are going to cry