I saw these, which were partly helpful:
- How to plan for splitting a novel into a series?
- What changes should be made to the story if a single book becomes a series?
I have an idea for a fantasy book with a lot of content. So far I don't have much written, more formulating the rough outline of what could go into it. There is so much to write about, I am not sure it would fit into one single book. Not only am I am starting to wonder if I should break it into a multi-part series, where each subsequent book follows in a linear timeline of events. I am wondering too if I can have offshoots of books (smaller books or even regular sized books) which delve into particular topics at a deeper level.
I haven't read much fiction in my life, I am mainly a software engineer who likes to read research papers and math stuff, but would now like to write a fantasy book for the mainstream, so hoping to learn what the best of the best do in their multi-part series so to speak.
So for example, the Goosebumps series all seem to be from the same author, but are various unrelated stories, so that's not quite what I'm going for (sorry, Goosebumps are probably the last books I actually chose to read, when I was a kid). Lord of the rings, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter all seems to be series with a linear temporal progression, which is partly what I want to do. But I'd like to find something of inspiration which not only has the multipart temporally linear series of several books, but has offshoot stories like if you were in a video game and go on side quests.
Star Trek or Star Wars might be a good example, where each story is separate but they overall have the same underlying theme. I don't know for sure though, not a die-hard fan necessarily.
What I'm wondering is, how do writers of things such as these successful series decide to break their concept/world into a set of books? Do they decide that in advance / up front, or do they figure it out as they go, writing the first complete book, then figuring out a new thing to evolve it into, write the next book, etc..? Or does it vary by author? If every author has their own approach, what are the key things you should figure out if you are in a similar boat to me?
Each book (after starting to watch Dan Brown's Writing Thrillers Masterclass) should have a clear question the reader tries to answer, which the story answers at the end. But if I just go about writing a single book at first, how can I make sure it can evolve into a series potentially? That is what I'm unsure about, how to know if what you would make would be good as a set of books or a single book basically.
If I had to narrow this question down further, how did JRR Tolkien do it, what was his process? I point out him because he was into making his own conlangs, which I have also done for this book.