Why are authors repetitive in extended series?

Avatar for demecafe
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Registered: 04-08-2008
Why are authors repetitive in extended series?
4
Fri, 06-27-2014 - 2:36pm

I just started Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evonovich. That's TWENTY ONE. 21! Twenty-one books. Why then, do we have to spend almost two chapters on rehashing who's who in the books. It drives me nuts. If I'm not quite smart enough to start a series off with book number one, then I don't derserve to be told the history. I can understand maybe book 2 or 3. But really? We need to rehash it all in book 21??? Especially when book 20 just came out this past November. 

I admit that this is the longest series I read. I do read The Black Dagger Brotherhood books, but JR Ward doesn't repeat the history in each book (and they are only at book 13). 

Do you read any long series and does the author do the same. Do you like that it's done or does it bother you like it does me? 


demecafe

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2000
Mon, 06-30-2014 - 12:07pm

Evanovich probably wants to get more readers (customers) for  her series books. I don't often read a series right through, at least not from the beginning.  When I see a book labelled "Book One of the --- Saga", or Trilogy, or another term that tells me the book is just a section of a longer work, I'm  often suspicious that I'm being recruited to read the entire series.  If I recognize a favourite writer, I might read a book that's part of a series if Ifind it in the library, but I might not find the first of the series right away.  If the book begins with a synopsis of the story so far or at least a list of characters, and contains a few explanatory phrases thoughout the novel, I might look for more books in the series and eventually read the entire series.  If the story doesn't make sense  I won't bother to go back to the start of the series, so that author has lost a reader. A good writer doesn't  need to confuse or bore her/his  reader.

Avatar for demecafe
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 07-01-2014 - 10:34am

robertas3 wrote:

A good writer doesn't need to confuse or bore her/his reader.

Exactly, which is what she's doing to her long standing readers. I'm bored before I even get into the 5th chapter. It would be great if she says "I'm heading to meet so and so, who is my old boyfriend from way back when." But running down the history from book one to book 21 is a bit ridiculous. Basically, you won't need to read the previous ones. ;)


demecafe

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2000
Tue, 07-01-2014 - 11:57am

She sounds like a lazy writer. Maybe she wasn't lazy when she started the series, but now you should write to her and her publisher demanding that tthe covers of each new book dislose how much of the text  is repeated: Contains 40% NEW material; 60% responnsibly recycled backround info.

You've hired her to entertain or inform you - even if you borrow her books from the library, you're creating more demand for the library to buy more copies. If she's not doing a good job, fire her, or at leat that series. Find a better wordsmith, perhaps even a local  or emerging writer.

Roberta

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008

I was thrilled to read the last in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris last year. I got bored with her, her story and her situtation.

I've fired that writer!

Similarly, I'm looking forward to the last of the Tremaire series by Naomi Novik. I'm not ready to fire Novik, but I'll be glad to read a different setting, characters and plot from her.

Let me reframe the question: which auhors, for you, continue to work over the long haul?

I'm hoping that's Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I haven't read the newest one yet.

Julia