Minna-san, konnichi wa!
In today’s post, I am going to be discussing some of the different types of series that you may have come across when reading a series and I will be tying them into the type of series that I am going to write.
This post will be a follow-up to a previous post where I discussed my current WIPs and I will be discussing them a little more in this post as well.
So with that being said, let’s move on to today’s post.
Ikimashou! (Let’s go!)
Types of Series
From what I have seen myself and from what I’ve heard from other writers. there are three main types of series out there: Dynamic, Static, and Anthology series.
While I’ve seen these types of series during my time as a reader, I didn’t know the name of the series until recently. It’s always good to know and understand these types of series before writing them.
A dynamic series is a series of books where each book in the series has its own plotline with a beginning, middle, and end; however, there is an overarching plot that extends throughout the series that needs to be wrapped up with all the questions answered by the series’ end.
This type of series leaves lots of room for personal growth and character development, especially for the MC of your novel. And your protagonist should not be the same character by the end of the series as they were from when the series started.
An example of a dynamic series is Harry Potter. Each book in the Harry Potter series follows its own plotline and conflict that Harry must navigate and overcome by the end of that particular book, such as finding the Sorcerer’s Stone in book one, discovering the Chamber in book two, learning about Sirius Black in book three, competing in the Triwizard’s Tournament in book four, forming a secret army in book five, uncovering the identity of the Half-Blood Prince in book six, and fighting in a final battle in book seven.
Each book focuses on a specific problem/conflict, which will lead Harry one step closer to resolving the overarching plot of the novel, which in this case is the return and defeat of Voldemort.
So in this case, the overarching plot within Harry Potter is when Harry must first prevent Lord Voldemort from returning. In my opinion, book four becomes the turning point in the series and it is where things take a darker turn for the storyline after the return of Voldemort and Harry must now shift his focus from preventing the return of Voldemort to defeating Voldemort once and for all.
Other dynamic series include The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, which focuses on Frodo’s quest to destroy a powerful ring and his journey to Mordor, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, which centers on the battle for and control of the Iron Throne, and The Young Elites by Marie Lu, which is a trilogy that depicts how one girl descends into darkness after a plague sweeps the nation gifting certain residents with powers.
Dynamic series from what I understand is a very popular type of series among fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi, and YA novels, though not all.
A static series is a series of books where each book in the series has its own plotline with a beginning, middle, and end, follows a specific character or characters around but doesn’t necessarily follow an overarching plot.
The MCs in this case may grow a little bit but it isn’t a significant growth as seen in a dynamic series. Characters can also remain static throughout the series as well with little to no growth.
These types of series are often seen within TV shows, but can be seen among novels as well, and are most common within the mystery, crime, and supernatural genres. Some static series can contain an overarching plot that leads to some sort of showdown or final battle by the end, which are especially prevalent among TV shows.
Some examples of a static series are Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Supernatural.
Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew are the title characters of their respective series of books as each book features a different event, situation, or plot that takes place. Each book also features its own respective antagonist with no overarching plot or recurring villains that extend throughout the series.
In the case of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, each episode contains a different plot, event, or situation that the MC must resolve by the end of the episode; however, during the season, there has been a big bad or a looming threat that the MC or MCs involved must face by the season finale.
An anthology series is a series of books where each book in the series has its own plotline with a beginning, middle, and end, and does not follow an overarching plot.
Many anthology series from what I’ve seen can also follow or feature different characters. where each book in the series will focus specifically on a different character with a different story/plotline that takes place within the same location, setting, or world as previous or subsequent books in the series.
Typically an anthology series can be seen as a collection of short stories compiled into one book from various authors or a sole author, but I have also seen anthology used in the context of both a novel series as well as a TV series, so I’m just going to go with it.
Some MCs, in this case, may grow ever-so-slightly by the end of that particular book in the series but it might not be as dramatic a change as seen within a dynamic series as readers usually aren’t given too much time to spend with a particular character during the series; however, the main character of one book may make a cameo appearance or may be featured as a supporting, side. or minor character in either a previous and/or subsequent book in the series.
Anthology series are most common in, but not limited to, dystopian, sci-fi, horror, and romance. Some examples include Goosebumps, The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror, and the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy, where each book or episode in the series follows a different character and plotline set within the same world, setting, location, or atmosphere. Series like these can often be read out of order as they don’t need to be read chronologically to understand the full scope of the story.
I believe The Chronicles of Narnia is a good example of a series that strays outside its usual genre as it is a fantasy series that can feature different characters outside the Pevensie children and from what I understand the series wasn’t released chronologically either as it can either be read in chronological order that the books are set in or it can be read in the order that the books are released.
For example, The Magician’s Nephew is technically a prequel to the Narnia series and can either be read as the first book in the series where the story picks up or can be read as the sixth book in the series from when it was released.
So now that you know the different types of series out there, which series do my WIPs fall under?
The Foreshadowed Series
Let’s start with my current main series, which is the Foreshadowed Series.
The Foreshadowed Series, which is an adult paranormal mystery series is a dynamic series that will follow an overarching plot that extends throughout the entire series.
Each book in the series will follow its own plot with some questions still left to be explored in later books in the series. However, the Foreshadowed Series will feature a main antagonist and a plot that needs to be overcome by the series’ end.
The Evergloom Series
My second main book project The Evergloom Series is an adult paranormal mystery series and is an anthology series.
Each book in the series will follow a different character, plotline, and city, but take place within the same world and some characters from previous or subsequent books may make an appearance in other books in the series.
The Serenia Chronicles
The Serenia Chronicles is a historical fantasy series, which takes place within the same world.
I have yet to determine the type of series as I have not gotten ahead in the outlining process so I don’t have much information to convey. But I will keep you updated once I figure out the direction of my series.
The Confessions of a Murderess Series
The Confessions of a Murderess Series is an adult paranormal mystery series and will most likely be either a static or anthology series.
I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but it will most likely not be a dynamic series. I will update you once I have the type of series figured out.
Here are some sources that I found helpful when learning about series types.
3 Types of Book Series: Writing Best Practices (ignitedinkwriting)
Exploring Three Ways to Structure Your Book Series (well-storied)
How to Plan and Write a Series: Different Types of Series (heartbreathings)
So there you have it, the types of series that are out there for novels and the types of series that I’m planning for my novels.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my post on the different types of novels out there and learning a little more about my WIPs.
If you want to stay up-to-date on new posts, including when I will update on my WIPs and other topics about writing, then be sure to follow me or any of my social media links below.
I will be back with another post next Friday at 10:30 AM PST. So stay tuned!!!
What are your favorite types of series to read? And what are your favorite series to read/watch? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, ja mata ne,