Booking Through Thursday: One or Many?

Series or Stand-alone?

You might think that, as someone who bleeds fantasy, I’d prefer series, but, honestly, I prefer stand-alone novels. The problem with series is that few people really know how to do series, which I personally think comes from the fact that people mistakenly think that The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy, rather than a novel, and it’s perfectly okay to crack a novel in thirds to make a trilogy, which it absolutely isn’t. The other problem is that series, especially open-ended ones, often tend to plateau. Much like comics or television shows, you can’t get into really meaty end-game stories, because you have to put the characters back on the shelf in more or less the same condition as you found them. And since stories should be about the most important thing that happens to a character, why bother?

12 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: One or Many?

    • Actually, The Lord of the Rings in one volume isn’t too heavy at all; honestly, I think some of the middle novels in A Song of Ice and Fire are longer. I’ve got one or two one volume editions, and they’re delightful.

  1. Hmm, that’s a really interesting point. I guess it makes sense, how unless you want your story to be going on forever, then each book in a series (or TV episode) has to be wrapped up nicely. And what’s this about The Lord of the Rings not being a trilogy? I’m not arguing, I just never heard that before! Enlighten me! 🙂

    • I have a video rant on the subject, but to cut a long story short: Tolkien was writing a massive novel, his publishers, due to paper shortages in the UK after World War II, balked at the page length, and decided, for economical reasons, to publish it in three installments. The Lord of the Rings was always intended to be a single novel.

  2. I like series, but I appreciate being able to see the full story of a character in one volume. In an ideal world, all series would be written where each installment could stand by itself, but I know this would cut out works like A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE and NEVERWHERE. I’d just like it if there was more that just series books to pick from.

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