Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Maybe It's Just Me

I have a thing about series.  As a reader, I can't seem to continue to read about the same characters for overly long.  Without fail, the quirks I thought were cute in the first books steadily become annoying.  I think it's a case of 'familiarity breeds contempt'.

One series I was reading... Well, the last book I picked up in it, all of the characters were irritating the hell out of me in the first few chapters. I closed the book with a heavy sigh and swore off any others that may come out.  I'd rather remember the joy I felt reading those earlier books.

I managed to make it all the way through the StarDoc series, but that was probably because I read them out of order and because the author threw a wrench into the middle and made the MC into a totally different person.  (Seriously damaged brain that takes even a super-healing person several books to get over.)  I stopped reading the Dresden Files at book 11 (meant 12... shoulda looked it up).  Don't look at me.  He's the one who wrote it the way he did - like he was sick to death of writing Dresden and wanted it all to be over.  Except it wasn't.  I think I went a bit farther with the The Cat Who books, but I'd bought a collection of them and was determined to read all the ones I had, even though those last few were meh for me.

Oh, it's not that I don't like series.  Usually, I want to know more about the characters after the first book.  Up to a certain point.  Once I pass that point?  Meh. 

As a writer, I find myself getting to a point where I just don't care enough to continue to write in the same world with the same characters over and over.  Which is why Once Upon a Djinn stopped at four.  I was done with that world.  And it's also why the SCIU series is only a series because of the organization and some mentions of characters or events in other books.  I was done with the Jace and Ben storyline.  Moved on to the Teri story and was done with that.  And Ned.  I'm almost kind of done with the whole SCIU organization.  Maybe one more book.  I'm still planning at least one more book in the Dennis Haggarty mysteries, but who knows when that'll happen.

You see, I get bored.  Probably why I can't seem to want to write anymore Sleeping Ugly books.  SU was loads of fun to write, but carrying that idea further?  :yawn:  This may change once I've put some more distance between me and the characters, but I'm not promising anything at this moment.

I know the readers aren't bored with my series.  They've told me.  And they seem to be clamoring for more.  And as I said the other day, I don't want to disappoint them.  But I think writing in a world that's no longer that interesting to me would be doing them a disservice. 

Except readers like series.  Series sell books.  It's a quandary.

I have absolutely no intention of making Evil Space Bunnies a book 1.  When I'm done with it, I'll be done. :Fingers crossed:

How about you?  Do you have the same problem with series that I do?  I guess a lot of people don't because series are so popular.  So maybe it's just me.


  1. Absolutely nothing wrong with a standalone. Just sayin'.

    I like series. Up to a point. Usually, the author "jumps the shark" and I drop the series. The one exception is JD Robb's In Death. #48 comes out in a couple of weeks. I always go into my own series with the idea that they will end. Moonstruck ended at 9. That said, I love the Moonstruck world so I have other books set in the universe, that often include cameos from those characters. I even expanded the uni into other author's worlds.

    Penumbra Papers has a set number, though I'm not quite sure just how many. Each main magick will get their book--which I hope keeps the books fresh rather than centering on Sade and Sinjen. They will probably get more intervening novellas before the final book. Some of the other minor secondary characters might get novellas at some point. Maybe.

    My Red Dirt series? Meh. I still have five more brothers/cousins to go. Not my smartest idea though it seemed like a good one at the time. If/when I get this set done and HQN still wants me, I have plans for a 4-book family series. After that, who knows? I learned my lesson though on long series, even if not following one couple.

    So yeah, I get where you're coming from as a writer and as a reader.

    1. I think that's what happened with the Dresden series - Jim jumped the shark, imo. So sad.

      I haven't gotten bored with any of your series yet, Silver. Keep 'em comin'. I think the Red Dirt books are spaced far enough apart that they're still holding my interest. Well, and there's enough of a difference between them. I totally get what you're saying there, though.

      I wondered whether this would resonate with anyone. Thanks!

  2. I LOVE reading series -- until I get tired of them. A bit of a balancing act, I guess. But yours have always kept me turning the pages!

    I feel about the same as you on the Dresden Files. I read the one before Ghost (title long forgotten) and thought, he's so tired of this series he's crawling in the mud. And then he wrote another one? If I ever find Ghost in the used-book store I *might* pick it up... but probably not. I felt rather betrayed.

    Hmm. I wonder if my fiction woes are because I'm tired of the characters. But I'm still in love with Viper!

    1. Bingo, Deb. And thanks!

      I went back and looked up the Dresden titles. I stopped at Changes (#12), which is the one before Ghost Story. So, we stopped at the same place. And for the same reasons.

      I still love Viper, too! And I haven't gotten tired of your series. Keep 'em comin'. I mean, if you can and you aren't thoroughly done with them. Then I'll totally understand. :hugs: