Theory of the series
In it together
My vision isn’t just for a book, but a trilogy. The opportunity to keep going will be contingent on the success of this initial offering, so I am going to need your support to probe the farthest reaches of scale. Moonbound begins in a village; the trilogy’s destination is the cosmos, with meaningful stops at every zoom level in between.
But why write a series?
Because series are fun.
Okay. Why are series fun?
In my estimation, it has almost nothing to do with capacity. You don’t write a series merely to obtain access to more pages. You write a series to write a series.
What I mean is that the series is a genre unto itself, and its genre properties are mainly temporal. The series is a work-in-time: THAT is what makes it fun.
Let’s back up, and begin with the case of a standalone novel. It is definitionally true that, by the time a reader encounters a standalone novel, the writer has exited its world, and probably moved on to another project.
By contrast, the series, read in realtime, as it is being produced, puts writer and reader fully “in it together”.
I don’t think there’s anything else in publishing quite like the buzz of a multibook project underway, shared and anticipated. It’s wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to play in that sandbox?
There are other ways to do it, of course. Tolkien didn’t consider The Lord of the Rings a trilogy; for him, it was a single work, one that was substantially finished when The Fellowship of the Ring was published. The next two volumes appeared over the course of just one year: a standalone novel on an installment plan. (The Return of the King arrived a bit late because Tolkien was still finishing the appendix. See, that’s why I’m publishing my appendix —
Likewise, Jeff VanderMeer’s pathbreaking Area X trilogy arrived in the space of just eighteen months —
Yet I can also remember the pleasure of waiting for the Harry Potter books as they arrived, one every summer or so, over the course of ten years. What a way to spend a decade!
You might object that you can still read and enjoy a series many years after it’s been completed. That’s true, but remember: the series would not have succeeded —
Of course, we also have to consider the series that linger … and stretch … and slow … and stop. These are the great cautionary tales. Returning to my premise above, I think these series are so disappointing —
The novel titled Moonbound is finished, but the larger project is only beginning. This mini-site is my way of showing the degree to which this story and this world occupy all my thoughts.
I am in it, and I can’t wait for you to join me here.
First published: October 2023
Last updated: November 2023