Sunday, September 4, 2011
One of my many writing deficiencies, discussed
I don't really write series. I'm not built for it as a writer, I don't think. I have difficulty constructing and working with very long narratives. In truth, I like things short and lean and sleek, and a series aims for the opposite. As a reader, however, I like them well enough. I've torn through massive multivolume epics time and again, from my first great literary love The Lord of the Rings on to more modern fare like Steven Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen. But in the main I agree strongly with this article, in that it's all too easy to go astray. A Game of Thrones is doing it; the Wheel of Time did it but might somehow still be salvaged (though I doubt it), and the Malazan series, clocking in at 10 books, should have stopped at 8. But I keep trying them, keep reading them and seeing if a writer can make it work. There are successes, yes, but I think they only work if they clock in at about three books; almost anything more manages to muddle things up. Perhaps some day I'll be bold or foolish enough to give it a try myself; I've had a notion here and there, but the execution always so far has failed me. If I do, though, I'll stick with tradition, and just do three books. Three is plenty.