Discussion: 3 Types of Series

I’ve been thinking lately, have you ever noticed the different kinds of book series out there? Because I was looking at my bookshelves recently, and I have realized there are three distinct series formats.

Type #1: The Standalone

This series is probably the least common, but it’s definitely out there. These are the ones where you can read any book in the series, doesn’t matter what order, and not be spoiled. Because the characters never reappear in the other books!  They are typically related only by the time period they are set in. Essentially, this is the series that comes without the commitment. If you don’t like the book for some reason, then you’re not really attached to the rest of the series. You can just be over it and move on.

How is this even a series really? I don’t really know but there are some good ones around. Books from Jody Hedlund (Michigan Brides) and Tricia Goyer (World War II Liberator) fit quite nicely into this category.

Type #2: The Connection

Next we have the series where each book is focused on a specific couple, but the supporting characters reappear as main characters in subsequent novels. They usually live in the same town and all the characters are either relatives or friends. This series is one I always enjoy because the characters will show up again and you get little glimpses into their lives after happily ever after while getting a whole new story with new people.

This is the most common series we see today, and Becky Wade (Porter Family) and Sarah Sundin (Wings of the Nightingale) are quite the experts at it.

Type #3: The Classic

What is the classic series, you ask? This is the one where you follow the main character through the entire series. It is typically written in first person, so you experience everything through their eyes and get to know that one character very well. You follow the arc of their growth and character development over three books.

I call this one the classic series because you are most involved and committed to this one. This is probably the hardest one to not finish because it is essentially one story told in three parts. How can you not finish the story? Don’t you want to know the final resolution?

Think Jessica Dotta (Price of Privilege) or Hillary Manton Lodge (Two Blue Doors).

Now that I’ve probably used the word ‘series’ way too many times in one post (I mean, the word is starting to lose its meaning), it’s your turn.

What kind of series do you prefer? What is one of your favorite series?

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13 thoughts on “Discussion: 3 Types of Series

  1. This is such a great discussion post!!!! I was thinking recently about how there are different types of series…and I love them all!

    You know you’ve mentioned one of my favorite series 🙂 “Price of Privilege”. The Classic type is more rare, but I do love it when we get 3 whole books following the same characters. It offers so much depth and room for story to develop.

    A few favorites that come to mind in the Connection category are:
    -the Christiansen Family series by Susan May Warren
    -the Walker Family series by Melissa Tagg
    -the Penned in Time series by Pepper Basham

    The Standalone category, hmm. I’m not many to mind other than Jody’s. Maybe Sarah Ladd’s Whispers on the Moors series. Sometimes Connection series can read more like Standalones, too.

    Yet again, great post!

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    1. Oh, yes! I couldn’t write this post without mentioning Jessica Dotta! I am dying for a new novel from her. When do you think we’ll get one??

      I really wanted to include Melissa’s series in this post (because I love her), but I really wanted to show all the covers, and she’s still in the midst of writing said series. I can’t wait to see all the covers together, though!

      I’ve read a little Susan May Warren but am interested in trying another sometime. And I’ve heard great things about Pepper’s books, especially over on your blog!

      I definitely agree that Connection series has the feel of the Standalone. I really just stumbled over that series type. I don’t think it’s a very popular way to write a series, but it can work.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Courtney! I loved reading your comments!

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      1. Who knows when we’ll get something new from Jessica! I remember reading somewhere that her series was an idea she had as a teenager and finally developed/wrote. So, it might be a while! But I’ll gladly read ANYTHING she writes. 🙂

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  2. This is a great post! While I enjoy all three types, I suppose I prefer the classic series the most. As you mentioned, that is the one you get the most engaged in. The Lowlands of Scotland by LIz Curtis Higgs is a good example of a classic series.

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  3. I like all three! 😉 In the Standalone Series, I like seeing how the setting/community changes and grows. This works especially well in historical fiction. Two series that come to mind are Elizabeth White’s Gulf Coast Chronicles and Tracie Peterson/Judith Miller’s Bridal Veil Island series.

    Great discussion!

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    1. Yes! I especially think of Lauraine Snelling’s series set in Blessing. So many stories and you really do see the community change in so many ways!

      I’ve not read much of either of your suggestions, but I’ll definitely be taking a look on Goodreads in the next few moments. Thanks for coming by and being a part of the discussion!

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  4. I like all three types as well, but my favorite type by far is the Connection series. I love seeing what’s happening with the former main characters in future books and with each book, I usually feel more and more connected with the overall family or circle of friends. I’ve definitely loved connecting with the Porter Family in Becky Wade’s books, the Walker family in Melissa Tagg ‘ s books, the Christiansen family in Susan May Warren ‘ s books, the Mckinley family in Denise Hunter’s books, the McKenna family in Dani Pettrey’s books, the Monahan family in Debra Clopton ‘ s books and the list could go on and on if I started listing historical romance!

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    1. I love several of the series you mentioned, Brittany. So many good stories out there!

      Dani Pettrey is a great example of a series, I wish I had included it in this post, so I’m glad you mentioned it for other readers to check out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know which I prefer. For me, I think it largely depends on the story/author/character. Generally, I’d rather NOT read a first-person novel, but then something like Hillary’s series comes along and I adore it. So… yeah, it depends on the author’s style and whether or not they can make me forget I’m reading a genre I wouldn’t ordinarily. 🙂

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