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Stand-Alone Epic Novel or Series?

Just curious as to what y’all prefer: A single volume that is 800+ pages (original LOTR Tolkein had prior to being split; Battlefield Earth) or do you like your books in smaller, bite-size chunks (like LOTR in the three separate volumes)? Is it better to break things into smaller volumes even if there isn’t really an “end” to that part of the story or do people not really care much?

If you’d be so kind as to answer the poll that would be super awesome (all in the interests in science of course) Β  πŸ˜‰

AND if you comment with some of your reasoning and what you prefer, I’ll pick a commenter at random and send over a free e-book copy of Organ Reapers!!

25 Comments on “Stand-Alone Epic Novel or Series?”

  1. symplysilent October 27, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    It’s funny you should ask this. In my just completed first draft, I’m struggling with what to do. My goal was 100,000 words, and I wrote 170,000. In truth, I feel like I could write even more. But, maybe, I’m just in my explain everything mindset and need to trim, trim, trim. Silent

    • drshaywest October 27, 2014 at 10:30 am #

      I’m considering re-vamping the Portals of Destiny series and doing it as one giant volume (like Battlefield Earth) with 3 sections rather than 3 separate books. I have the opposite problem: I need to add stuff to it, flesh it out a bit more

      • symplysilent October 27, 2014 at 11:32 am #

        More characters…more subplots…more villains…more more more

  2. Wendy Garfinkle October 27, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I much prefer series – whether they be epic volumes like the Outlander series, or smaller chunks like your Alexis Davenport books. It’s all good! πŸ™‚

  3. blazemcrob October 27, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    In my ghostwriting days, I wrote both, depending on the book and the author. Now, I write series novels. People seem to prefer them. Most of mine now run around 85,000 words. That also happens to be what I prefer to read. A complete story in shorter versions leading to the next tale always gets me going.


    • drshaywest October 27, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      Awesome food for thought as always, my friend!!! πŸ˜€

      • blazemcrob October 27, 2014 at 10:40 am #

        I wrote one for one of the horror greats that was almost 1,000 pages. Too long for me. Now, your idea above of putting them all into one giant volume is good, but consider the price. People are cost conscious these days. Just saying.


  4. Ally Bishop October 27, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    Always prefer series. πŸ™‚

    • drshaywest October 27, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      I do too, especially if they are like 800 pages long LOL

  5. KM Randall October 27, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    I honestly will read anything if it’s good. With a series it may not seem as daunting, but I’m not easily daunted. While a long book with different sections works just as well and then you don’t have to wait for the sequels. πŸ™‚

    • drshaywest October 27, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      Oooo, I like that aspect of it. I get so antsy having to wait for the next book in the series

  6. William Rusho October 27, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    I initially wrote, Legend of the Mystic Knights, as one large epic volume, I had to change to a series. This is because I am still deciding how my characters will evolve, it seems the novel has taken on a life of its own.

  7. A. L. Waddington October 27, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    I’m a sucker for a good series that I can’t put down.

  8. Michael G. Munz (@TheWriteMunz) October 27, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Ideally, I like for a book to have some sort of ending, even if it’s only a single closed arc. If that’s not possible, I’d prefer everything to be in a single volume.

  9. kehacakes October 27, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    I love a good series! Looking forward to the next book is exciting. I think that each book in a series should have an ending. I don’t like series that are obviously one book chopped into sections that end randomly in the middle of a thought. I feel ripped off when that happens.

    • drshaywest October 27, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks for the input! Did you feel that way with Fellowship of the Ring? It sort of ended with no resolution. I can’t remember ever being upset when I first read it but I tend to like cliffhangers

  10. cpbialois October 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    I can go either way, but there really is nothing like holding that giant book in your hands, though. πŸ™‚

  11. Carolyn Ridder Aspenson October 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    I’ll pretty much read anything but I will be bummed if I really liked the book and it’s not a series. πŸ™‚

  12. lostbraincell October 27, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Really if the story is good I don’t think it matters! I just love good books! Sometimes it feels like books in a series were cut off at awkward parts just so they could be broken into other books, when really it being one book all together would have flowed better.

    • drshaywest October 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Thanks for the comment πŸ˜€ I sort of feel that way too sometimes.

  13. A.M. Donovan October 28, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    I hate a series that is really only 1 book split up. I prefer a series that each book can stand on it’s own, but reading the previous books adds more depth to the series.

  14. chaiann November 12, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    I am a sucker for a long series. I can’t explain it, I am just drawn to a huge stack of large books.

    • drshaywest November 13, 2014 at 7:42 am #

      I look at it as the story that will never end πŸ˜€

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