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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Does Series Order Matter?

I've been thinking lately about books in a series and their order. Can an author skip around in a series timeline? Or does that really bother readers?

Like in my Jarved Nine series, I wrote Ravyn's Flight and Eternal Nights in proper order, but then I skipped ahead to Troll's story in The Troll Bridge. I did it because I was invited to write a story for a collection, but I still had six other books that needed to come first.

Books that I hope to write some day. :-/ (I'd also like to go back and write the full-length version of Troll and Lia's story. It came flooding in while I was writing the short story, but I had to force it aside.)

But what if I skipped around more than that? What if the next story I wrote was say 20 years after Troll's book and then I came back and wrote the stories that happened immediately after Eternal Nights? Would that be annoying beyond words?

This is all hypothetical and I'm working in a completely different world in a completely different sub-genre, so I probably shouldn't even be asking the question now. But I'm curious. Would skipping around in a series timeline be a deal breaker?