Tricky! One of the issues with writing a series is keeping the relevant information flowing without upsetting past storylines, various surprises and/or spoiling the climaxes that have come in the books before – It probably doesn’t much matter for those readers following the series in sequence, but what about those who choose not to read the books in order?
This is where it really becomes vital that each book truly stands alone.
I didn’t think about any of this when that first concept of a book expanded into a series. One book. Many books. Sounded great (it is great). I did realize early on that I didn’t want to produce a serial where a story just goes on and on with no ending. Fortunately, there is no problem giving each book of the series its own story, lead characters, plot and climax. Keeping the ties in place however, from one book to the next, takes a little fancy penmanship.
I don’t use prologues or epilogues. As a reader, I don’t mind a prologue and an epilogue always feels like something extra – I just don’t use them. Nor do I want to stop the story to explain anything. The line and flow has to remain strong and gripping.