Story Arcs and Series Structure
The Orchard Hill stories have three different story arcs.
First there is the story of the matchmaker’s contest. Rival matchmakers Pansy and Misty set traps for would be couples, try to sabotage each other and find love themselves in unlikely places. That story develops slowly over the course of the series and concludes only in the final story Finding Joy.
Second, there is an individual story of a romance that concludes at the end of each of story. (Well, concludes to a certain point. Three of the stories have a “mini-sequel” offered as a free read.)
Finally, I divided the stories into sets of three. The first three stories - Saving Gracie, Entertaining Angel and Considering Lily - are about business owners in the downtown area of Orchard Hill. The characters tend to have family relationships or friendships linking them.
The second set of three - Keeping Faith, Enduring Hope, and Accepting Charity - are about the staff of the elementary school. The characters are teachers, therapists and support staff that share friendships as well as working relationships.
The last set of three - Disrupting Harmony, Losing Patience and Finding Joy - are set around church events. The characters are church members, volunteers and staff. This is a small church in a small town so of course everyone knows everyone else.
I chose these three “sub-communities” - business, school and church - because I believe they are a big part of small town life.
If you are a writer that is interested in creating a series, I suggest you think about some of the series you’ve read and try to determine the common threads and the structure that runs throughout. How would the series hold out if one or some of the elements were removed?
Tomorrow I’ll write a little about series characters and their relationships with each other. For more information on Orchard Hill please visit my website: http://sites.google.com/site/karalynnrussell/orchardhill