Arcs, Not Arc of the Covenant

(I’m likely dating myself with a reference to the first Raiders of the Lost Ark…)

I’m currently reading an advice book about writing a series (appropriate. I’m hoping that my Indiegogo project will be the start of one). The portion that I’m currently reading talks about the differences between story- and series arcs.

A story arcs are easy to follow. They are the way that every piece of fiction are structured: a beginning, a middle and an end.

Such an arc can flow through several books if the story calls for them. That’s how I intend to structure my first story: the first book will be the beginning, the second the middle, the third the end.

(This doesn’t mean that each book won’t have it’s own such arc. There will just be one overall as well.)

The words "Bad Wolf" as aerosol graf...

The words “Bad Wolf” as aerosol graffiti on the TARDIS in “Aliens of London”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next is the concept of the series arc. This is a similar concept, but goes through all of the books in a series. It is sometimes just hinted at by subplots until the ultimate payoff in the final book.

This is a concept often used in television series, so it’s a bit easier to grasp using that comparison. Actually, this is used in some of the best series, like Babylon 5.

My overall series is intended to have such a structure, with each individual story inside of it.

In order to sustain it for a while I’m building up a cast of supporting characters, so that I’ll have more to draw on when I run low on ideas for the main ones. These will likely be one-shots, less ‘heavy’ than the main stories, connected by the fact of them working at the same place.

I’m drawing close to starting my project soon, BTW.