A series of books is a good way to bring in an audience, and then keep them around. If they get hooked on book one, your return readers are ready and waiting rather than having to build up interest from fresh. But making sure your first installment ends in a way that makes them want to keep exploring your world and your characters is key.
Your Protagonist needs to be motivated throughout your story. They want something, they go after it, and your story follows that journey. However, what they want might not always be the thing they need. I’ll be exploring that and the impact it’ll have on your story.
Most people have a friend. At least one. Someone they talk to and share their fears with, reflect on their options with. The same is true of your Protagonist. I’ll write about how to write a friendship that feels both real, and is also beneficial to your story.
When you’re planning your story, one of the first jobs is to establish who your Protagonist and Antagonist are. Your Protagonist is your main character, the person who you are travelling with. They want something and are motivated to get it. Your Antagonist is the person who wants the opposite, and is motivated to stop them. I’ll be writing about the balance between them in strength, ability, and determination.
The stories that stick with you, make you think long and hard after they’re over, will often blur those lines between good and evil, and show the rich complexity of life. I’ll be explaining how and why we blur those lines in stories.
Your Protagonist, the main character, of your story usually need to be likeable. I say usually, because having a Protagonist who is unlikeable happens occasionally and it can work, but it makes it harder for your audience to connect to their journey. A likeable Protagonist will draw your audience into following their story, and make them invest more easily.
Sometimes as part of your story, you’ll have information that needs to be delivered in order for the story to make sense. This could be rules of magical lore within your Universe, details of a quest your character goes on, world building about the environment they live in if you’re writing in high fantasy or sci fi, or politics of the time such as a war they’ve been engaged in or who is in charge. But, ultimately, either your audience, or both your character and your audience, need information to be delivered to them in order for you to tell your story.
I’ve written before about how your Protagonist and your Antagonist both have to be motivated to go after what it is they want, but it’s important to remember that your audience has to understand why they want it. If they don’t understand why it matters, they’ll have a full disconnect with the character and stop caring if they achieve their goals.
A coincidence in a story is an event that happens that has no foreshadowing and no intent, it wasn’t something the character looked for or is a consequence of previous action, it just happens to them and impacts them and they react to it. Coincidences can trigger an interesting story, or progress an existing story, but they have to be handled with care. Having too many coincidences in your story can make it weak, and it shows a lack of planning and intent. I’ll be writing about why coincidences are a problem, and how to avoid writing them.
If you are writing a scary story, or a thriller or a mystery, suspense is one of the key things you need to make your story appealing to your audience. It will keep them excited and intrigued so they will want to stay with you and keep watching or reading to the end.