I am writing a historical fiction series that will be about six books. It’s a saga chronicling events surrounding significant points in the evolution of early man, each book separated by thousands of years. The second book in the series is overly long and I must separate it into two books. The second book (of the two) will immediately follow the first with no ‘thousands of years’ separation.
Here’s my question: How do I describe the two books within the series? Are they a diptych? And would I then describe them as a diptych within a series?
Nothing will scare off editors faster than telling them you've got a six book series.
You think I'm joking?
I've got rejections letters on that very topic. (I revised the pitch promptly.)
Book One must function as a stand alone.
You query that.
If you get a two book deal, you tell your editor about what you envision as Book Two and Son of Book Two.
It may come as a surprise to you that editors might not want a book that happens several thousand years later as a sequel. For starters, all those characters we loved in Book One are dead. Long dead.
While series are certainly common, what you describe here doesn't really sound like a series. Series are connected by something other than significant points in history.
You do have something here that I've never seen before (but perhaps I'm missing something; if you think so, let me know in the comments column) and that's a plus.
I had to look up diptych cause it's one of those words I never remember the exact meaning of, and it seems to describe visual art more than how books relate to one another.
If at some point you need to describe the first three books in your planned six-title series, you call them books 1, 2 and 3. I like the power and clarity of plain words in a query (but I also love Jackson Pollock so there's that.)