to tell you!
What happened to me last week that I can turn into a lesson for you?
Last week I got the first book of a duet approved. For those of you don't know, Harlequin will frequently let us write connected books. Last year I did a 3-book series. This year I'm doing a duet about brothers who hate each other.
And why not? Brothers who like each other would be boring.
So does writing a duet differ from writing a series? Only in the fact that you have to tell your overarching story in two books instead of three, or four, or five.
I still have a story that encompasses two books. I solve the hero and heroine's problems in book one, get them together and sufficiently solve the "bigger, broader" story in book one -- enough that it appears resolved. But I always leave a little thread of doubt at the end of book 1, too. So that readers aren't surprised when book 1 isn't the end of things. That book 2 picks up with that whispy doubt and turns it into a story.
The most important thing to remember about connected books, though, is that primarily at their cores they are still standalone romances.
And what is a romance? It's the story of a hero and heroine who overcome a serious internal conflict to commit to each other for life at the happy ending.
So each of my stories, as it tells the story of these brother reuniting, has to tell a compelling story of a hero and heroine overcoming a serious internal conflict to commit for life at the happy ending.
The story of the hero and heroine has to take center stage. The story of the brothers reuniting has to impact the hero and heroine's story somehow, but never upstage the romance.
All elementary stuff, right?
You'd be surprised how many people "accidentally" work it the wrong way because the bigger, broader story seems more interesting to them. Or the bigger, broader story more or less takes over.
Resist the urge to let your bigger, broader story do that. LOL
Even if you're writing single title romances, at their cores they are still romances. Your bigger, broader story will be important, certainly, but don't shortchange the romance...Unless you want your book to be called a book with romantic elements.
If that's case, carry on! LOL
But if you want it to be a romance, category or single title, make sure the romance gets its appropriate page time!