by Jude Mason
Another topic that's got me thinking and wondering how in heck I can explain myself. So many things to think about with this one.
All righty, here goes!
I didn't actually read a lot of serial type stories or books when I was younger. Nancy Drew didn't do it for me. The Hardy Boys were more my style, but I honestly didn't go for them a lot either. Besides that, I had eye sight issues. By the time I really got into reading, I was in my mid-teens and ready for the naughty stuff.
I was really into science fiction and things like John Carter of Mars books. The Gor series was the first real D/s I'd seen and I loved them, although I often rooted for the females to rebel and enslave those nasty men. I think that's when I realized I was a tad different from the girls I knew.
Back to series or stand alone books. (Notice how easily distracted I am. Ugh!)
When I really got into writing for myself, the stories I created where sort of a series. They all happened to a single person, but the stories weren't connected in any other way. I adored writing about the same woman. I knew here like I knew myself and if I'd allowed anyone else to read the stories, I'm sure they'd have thought I was nuts. LOL But, that aspect of serial storytelling is incredibly attractive. You get to delve into every aspect of a character's life and show it all to the world. You've got time to dig into bits you might not have in one book or a short story. Each new story, you can just dive in. There's no need to describe the setting or what the character looks like, or where they live. You've already done that. A quick skim and you're good to go.
Now, a stand alone has its own special advantages. The first for me is, I don't have to remember all that's come before. You might laugh, but when you get to be my age and have written as many stories as I have, it's an issue.
The chance to create new scenarios, new characters, new games and such is also very big with me. I love the challenge of putting it all together. Characters have to meet, they have to have a place, a job, a style, they're like my children. I have to make sure they have everything they need to live and breathe and tell their stories. I also get to chose their sexuality, or share it with others if the characters have already formed in my thoughts.
See that's what happens, sometimes. I'll be doing something and out of the blue, BAM, a story will strike. Often it's the outline, or part of an outline and I have free reign to decide the rest. I may have only a genre and one character, a place maybe and that's it. Other times, I'll get like a flash and it's all there. The entire story, or even the basics for a series. Each time is different and each time I wonder, where in hell did that come from? But, I'm always glad it arrived.
Of course, there are always the characters who began as secondary who cry out for their own story to be told. Sammy was one of those. He was born in An Acquired Taste, wound up in Yes, Ma'am and then in his own story, Sam the Man, in the anthology, Phaze Fantasies VI. I love it when a character is that strong.
So, series or stand alone, are in some ways the same, they both need to be filled out, the beginning middle and ending have to be complete. It's just a matter of how much 'story' there is. How much time do I have to spend on it? Am I answering a call or do I have freedom to work as I please? Am I writing with my partner, Jamie, on some sexy new addition to our Kindred Spirits Series?
My preference? At this instant, stand alone, because that's what I'm working on. But, ask me in a few days, or even tomorrow, and the answer may be completely different.
Guess that really didn't tell you which I prefered. I'd love to know what you think, what are your preferences?