Stephanie Laurens, historical writer of romances set in the British regency period, has done this in her series, the Bastion Club.
It makes sense, because if a book is part of a series, there is often a theme which unites them. In the case of the Bastion Club, it was the return to civilian life of a number of young aristocratic men after the Battle of Waterloo that marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars. They were civilians now with an interest in settling down and marrying. But because they had been out of British society for so long while they were fighting overseas, they felt at a loss. How and where might they meet eligible women? Their goal was to lend each other support as they went about dating. That was one series I really enjoyed. Her recent work, set a generation or so after that period, just can’t compare.
In the case of the series I’m imagining, the shared prologue will center around the wedding which I spoke of earlier. The main characters in the first novel see their wedding as a means of setting up some of their favorite friends and relatives. Not all are interested, of course, because they already have their own lives and partners. But those who are interested, the message is, feel free to go for it!
This prologue would have been alluded to in the first novel, but would only be developed a bit more in the subsequent novels, and from the different partners’ perspectives. This is where I differ from Ms. Laurens approach. Her prologue was the same for each of the books.
But developing different perspectives means that as I started to write the second novel (which should have been the fourth), I had to go back and forth regarding certain details. What made sense the first time around, might not make any sense now, and so there might have been inconsistencies that I had to correct in order to be certain about all the details.
Moreover, some characters are just not conducive to my plans! Like I said previously, fiction writing for me is like an ongoing episode of the Pirandello project, Six Characters. My characters have their own lives, needs and interests. It is just up to me to listen to what they are telling me as I see what they are up to.
Copyright Barbara James. All rights reserved.