I am just about done writing the first book in a series. I have an idea for the next book in that series (let's call it "book a"), but I also have another idea brewing in my mind which takes place in another universe (let's call it "book b"). I want to write "book b" badly, but I feel I should get my first series over and done with. I feel like starting another before then might confuse me. To be clear, I do enjoy writing about the universe of "book a" a lot, so I'm not quite sure what to do right now.

Is it advisable to begin writing a book in an unrelated series before finishing my first series?

If my wording was too confusing, let me know and I'll try to help. :)

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    According to his son, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his worldbuilding prequel, The Silmarillion, before he ever wrote The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings. So you can definitely write your books out of order! As long as you make sure to finish them :)
    – Sciborg
    Sep 27, 2020 at 23:05

3 Answers 3


It's Probably a Good Idea!

Having followed a number of your questions, I have to say that until you get a literary success with a series, you don't need to stress too much about producing a sequel. Once you are recognized and followed for a series, you may not want to disappoint fans. In the meanwhile, a completely different storyline is an opportunity to gain fame and success that could boost your other works. A good standalone story that gains you attention means people will be more likely to want to read an AnnWriter story like your series. Plus, if your first novel doesn't get immediate acclaim, you have the other story well in process.

Take it as an opportunity to percolate the story for your series, and gain some writing experience outside your series. You may come back to your series realizing there is something you want to do differently. You may reread your first story after a second book and say "OMG, what was I thinking!" and rewrite parts of it, making it a lot better. Meanwhile, work on the edits and feedback from your first novel while expending that burning passion on the new one (editing and writing can be very different).

Don't let passion go to waste! The book A universe isn't going anywhere, it will be there when you return from universe B.


Of course you can do that.

Many top authors have several series going at once.

Some authors may write 20+ novels in a series, but that does not mean they have to finish all of them before they can write books in a separate series, or even a stand alone book.

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    Hi pro writer, welcome to writing.se! Now that you have a registered account you can request for all your other accounts to be merged into this one. See the help centre for instructions. This will give the you the reputation you need for things like commenting on other posts by combining all the rep of your various contributions. Let us know if you need help or have any questions.
    – linksassin
    Sep 28, 2020 at 0:34

This happens all the time.

Brandon Sanderson currently has over half a dozen book series going on that he's already started on: Mistborn, Stormlight Archives, Skyward, Alcatraz, Rithmatist, Elantris and Warbreaker. And I'm not even including the books that he has plans for outside of these series.

Jim Butcher is working on the Dresden Files and Cinder Spires alternatingly and has expressed desire to write a sequel series to Codex Alera.

Agatha Christie wrote 66 detective novels spread over at least 5 series.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Write what you want to write. In fact, writing a book in a different setting can be a good place to introduce some ideas you don't think you can fit in your first setting.

  • Sanderson was actually my first thought, but mostly because the lack of a Rithmatist sequel (cue wailing and gnashing of teeth)...it's fine if your readers trust you to continue, it's probably going to result in angry mail if you leave them hanging. Sep 29, 2020 at 20:53

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