It’s never easy writing a series, but sometimes it can be downright tricky! In my Reality TV Romance trilogy, a few of the characters continue through the whole series, which is great for readers who love (or hate if we’re talking Zoe Oliver!) the characters from the first book. But for the writer, having return characters can add a whole level of complication to the writing process.
In Falling for You, we met Cassidy, Paige and Zoe as contestants on the reality TV show The One. And we also met some production people like Chip, Evan and Spencer. When I started writing the second book in the series Stuck on You, I thought it would make life easier to have these characters appear in the book. I mean I already knew who they were, and how they acted, and what they looked like.
Boy was I wrong.
Sure, I thought I had these characters all figured out, but in reality, I only really knew Cassidy and Evan. Every other returning character needed more development. I didn’t know nearly as much about them as I thought. What was their job? Where did they live? Did they have any quirks or pet peeves in the first book? Um, what color eyes did they have?! I couldn’t even remember the simple details I’d put into Falling for You.
There were so many things I had to remember and when I couldn’t, I had to research my own work! While writing Stuck on You, I referred back to Falling for You many, many times to fact check myself about different character related things. I researched everything I could about the characters I knew I would see again in Stuck on You and Lost Without You. Along the way, I made detailed notes about what I learned, then took a little time to fully develop each character so I wouldn’t have to stop again later when I wanted to be writing. By the time I wrote book 3, Lost Without You, writing was a breeze because I knew exactly who I was writing about and if I forgot anything, my notes were by my side. So much easier!
I know I’m not the only author who has had this issue while writing a series. I won’t name any names, but a pretty big time author I follow on social media recently asked her readers for some research help about her previous books in a series because she couldn’t remember all the little facts about her characters. I thought it was awesome that her readers responded quickly and were very knowledgeable about her characters, setting and plot points.
Loyal readers are the best!
So as a READER, have you ever caught mistakes in a series? Have you ever read a later book in a series and found characters with a wrong physical or personality trait? What about the wrong job or hometown? I *hope* you don’t say you’ve found that in Stuck on You!! LOL. But if you do, I blame my research expert. *ahem*
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Heather Thurmeier is a lover of strawberry margaritas, a hater of spiders, and a reality TV junkie. Her passion is contemporary romance—writing stories filled with laugh out loud moments, uber-hunky heroes, sassy heroines, and always a happily ever after. Author of romantic comedies: Meadow Ridge Romance series, Bunny Hills and Bikinis, and the Reality TV Romance trilogy. You can find out more about Heather’s books, news and giveaways by visiting: