New DIY MFA Article on Themes in a Book Series


Who doesn’t love a good book series? If the first installment draws me in, I can’t help but continue on with the next book, and the next, revisiting characters that have become old friends,  getting lost in their world and predicaments, and (in some cases) connecting with their themes. Which got me thinking: How do literary themes present themselves in a series? You can find the answers to that question, as well as what writers should consider when it comes to “serial themes,” at my latest Theme: A Story’s Soul article at DIY MFA.

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Chronicling The Craft: 55,000 Words

Wounds, Lies, & Flaws: Using Character Arcs to Propel Your Story

Chapters Completed: 14

Chapters In Progress: 6

Chapters Left to Start: 14

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with writing my current work-in-progress (WIP), which is a fantasy novel. Every 5,000 words, I let readers know what I’ve accomplished since the previous article and share advice, discoveries, techniques, etc. Besides the word count in each article title, a “chapter ticker” at the top also tracks my progress as I use the skip-around / “writercopter” method to write the novel. Today’s installment celebrates the book reaching 55,000 words in length.

Reaching each 5,000-word milestone on this WIP has become a ritual that I look forward to very much. It allows me to look back at what I’ve done since the last update and at how far this story has come since I started writing it last year. And, it gives me an opportunity to look ahead and alternate between thinking “Yay! Another step closer to finishing!” and “Jeez, Sara, are you crazy?” (Ha ha!) I’m willing to bet, though, that many writers feel that way when they’re in the middle of a first draft. All I can do to move forward is to keep imagining, planning, changing said plans, talking to myself (I do that A LOT when I write), and typing until the entire book has been written. And with each writing session, I’m indeed another step closer to that point. Continue reading