Writing Can Be Murder

August 9, 2010

Series or Stand-alone?

Filed under: Uncategorized — love2wryte @ 5:36 pm

I grew up reading series of mystery/suspense books — whether it was The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, or The 87th Precinct or Spenser novels. I’m still reading them, whether it’s Jack Reacher’s adventures or Isabel Spellman’s misadventures.

The appeal of a series is that you get to know the characters intimately as you visit their world again and again. Even the minor supporting characters who only show up once or twice a book become more real when you start looking forward to their appearance.

Yet most (if not all) so called “great” books are one-shot, stand-alone novels.

I’m guessing this is because, for the most part, series occur in Commercial Fiction, while Literary Fiction tends to be self-contained.

Which do you prefer?



  1. I like series because I love to get glimpses of characters lives after their story has ended. In a good series you get to see what previous protagonists are up to – but a series can get overwhelming too, if it’s too long, or requires a flow chart to keep all the characters straight after a while.

    Comment by Jennifer Colgan — August 10, 2010 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  2. Jennifer — lol, I know what you mean about a flow chart…that drives me nuts (short trip, I know)

    Comment by love2wryte — August 10, 2010 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

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