IWSG — Out Of Order

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here. Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Now that I’ve finally gotten Book 2 in my Trouble series out into the world, I need to get back to work on my next project. There will be a Book 3, but the trouble is (sorry, no pun intended) that up to this point I haven’t done much with it. Instead, I’ve been working on another story that’s not at all related to the series.

This story, called The Road Once Taken, is also a fantasy adventure, but it takes place in another imaginary world with new characters and has an entirely different feel to it.

I’m about three-quarters of the way through the story, and the characters have been clamoring in my head for a while now for me to finish it.

I’ve already decided that this will be my next project, but I’m a little concerned about switching gears in the middle of a series. I don’t want to annoy those readers who enjoyed the first two books and are looking forward to the next in the series.

So my question is: As a reader, how much would it bother you if an author of a series you were following interrupted the series to write an unrelated — but still in the same genre — book? I’d love to know what you think.









© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

40 thoughts on “IWSG — Out Of Order

  1. You HAVE to write the story that calls to you. I jumped out of one sci-fi world to another after 2 out of 3 in a series. That book has been my #1 bestseller. I think because the characters wouldn’t leave me alone. I did finish the 1st series immediately afterward, but that book hasn’t done as well as the others in that series. Maybe my readers tried to tell me something. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I’m afraid of. I don’t know a lot about Book 3 yet and it’s hard to focus on it with this other story so strongly in my head. I think I’d be doing a disservice to both if I jumped into Book 3 right now.


  2. As a reader, I might be a little disappointed if I read books one and two, loved them, and had to wait longer for book three. But if I really love a series, then I will keep checking back to when the next one is released. As a writer, I get having another book you want to write first. It sounds like your brain isn’t ready to write book three either, and in that case, it’d be better to take some time and figure it out than writing to have it written and published. Of course, marketing-wise, it’s better to finish a series before starting another one. Some people don’t start reading a series until all the books are out. It gives you more marketing room to have an entire series finished too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a reader, I think it depended on how the last book in the series ended. For example, I recently finished Flesh & Blood by Patricia Cornwell (a Kay Scarpetta thriller). This book dragged me through 450 pages of “what if’s” and never resolved any of them. I was so frustrated I’m not sure I’ll read the next book. So that’s a long winded way of saying, I think it depends how you ended the last book.

    I wonder if you the wrote the free-flow draft of the new book if that would satisfy the calling? Then consider your options. Finish the new book or write the third in the series. You’d probably know exactly what’s right for you at that point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be frustrating! The second book ties up a lot of the loose ends and only leaves a couple hanging that send the story off in a different direction. It doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, so at least that shouldn’t irritate readers.

      I only have about a quarter left to finish in the book I’m working on now. Reassessing when I finish it sounds like a good idea. Thanks!


  4. Follow your heart. It’s better for a reader to wait slightly longer than expected and receive a project that had 100% of your focus. I know, as a reader, I haven’t lost interest in a writer just because I had to be patient. Wishing you lots of continued fun and success. You’ll do the right thing, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a great question Lori. I just finished my first book in my series and feel like I should tackle another book instead Of pushing through the series. I think you should do what feels best for you though because maybe, when you decide to return, you will have a newer and clearer perspective 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I like what the writer writes, I wouldn’t mind, as it’s another book I can enjoy. If however people only read that series, yeah, they might be peeved. But you have to go where the creativity takes you. If the new project feels right, then do that. The series will still be there after. Congrats on finishing book 2. I’m in the process of the 2nd book in my series and it feels like I just can’t finish it. Wishing you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As a reader, if I’m enjoying a series, I want the next book now! Which is ridiculous, and I know that. Honestly, if the other story calls, go to it. Readers will wait and be happy they did because forcing yourself to write a book will show in the story. And they can always read this one while waiting for the next.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Depends. Christine Feehan does it all the time. She has several series but she is very prolific and writes more than one book a year, so don’t feel too shafted as I like all her series. Another big author I love Nalini Singh does it. Many authors keep more than one series going.

    It would give you variety in your writing life and a way to shift it when you need a change.

    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a conundrum. As a marketing tool, write book 3 for your readers and sales. As a heart-filled work, continue writing the book you are writing now. I think it will do you good to finish the new book. You may gain insight for your third book. Wishing you all the best in all your writing projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think with the way that book 2 ended, you can definitely work on another series and give book 3 a little more time. As a reader, I don’t mind if a writer switches from one series to another as long as I’m not left with a huge cliff-hanger, and you wrapped up each of your novels so well, and with book 2 especially, that I think it will work out just fine. I know I’ll keep looking for book 3, but I’ll also be happy to read anything you write. I’m so impressed by your writing, Lori. I think book 2 is even better than book 1 and I think that’s tough to do in a series. Anyway, I think I finished book 2 literally about ten minutes ago now, and wow. I loved it! (I posted a fast and furious sort of review at Goodreads.)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As a reader, I have trouble (hehehe) staying caught up with the stuff that’s already released, so it wouldn’t bother me too much to have to wait for the next in the series. It just builds up the anticipation!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lori,
    Some of my favorite authors have done that and it’s awesome. Sometimes as a reader you want something a little bit different but the same author. It’s kind of like in a symphony where all of a sudden there’s this awesome countermelody that comes in part way through and it’s even better. Happy writing and, again, congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A lot of authors do that, Lori. I just read Book #2 on David Baldacci’s ‘mental man’ series. He’s only on #2 because he writes for other series, too. Truth, I don’t like it (I want MY series), but didn’t stop me from buying his book!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So I finally made it to your blog! 🙂

    If I like the author’s writing, then I don’t mind a new series. A change is good for the writer as well as the reader.
    Congrats on your second book! Awesome!
    (So it took you nearly 30 years, from inception to final draft, to get your first book published? Wow, now that is grit and determination!)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.