C. Michelle Jefferies is a writer who believes that the way to examine our souls is to explore the deep and dark as well as the shallow. To manipulate words in a way that makes a person think and maybe even second guess. Her worlds include suspense, urban fantasy, and an occasional twist of steampunk. When she is not writing, she can be found studying and teaching about structure, on the yoga mat, hand binding journals, dyeing cloth, and serving ginger tea. The author and creator divides her time between stories, projects, and mothering four of her seven children on the wild and windy plains of Wyoming.

The How-To Structure Workbook For Trilogies, Series and Parallel Worlds by C. Michelle Jefferies


They are fun to read, lots of authors write them, they're great for large worlds and big stories, some publishers love them, and if you do it right, you can create a loyal fan base. Yet they are hard to stay consistent in. Why is that? And how do we do the idea of an epic story justice? Think a sagging middle in a standalone book is hard to avoid, try not writing a whole sagging middle book or two.

That's okay. Series writing is not as hard as it can appear. Being successful in writing more than one book in a series, is doing the footwork ahead of time. And this is where this workbook comes in. With plenty of workbooking space for several series, this book is bound to become a planning favorite.



  • "The How to Structure Workbook for Trilogies, Series, and Parallel Worlds is informative and easy to follow. Descriptions of each kind of series are written in detail and followed with helpful instruction and guidance on how to write each one.

    I've been stuck writing my trilogy for months but after reading this guide I knew exactly what my book two was missing and how to fix it! And the work sheets are incredibly helpful!"

    – Konstanz Silverbow
  • "This workbook is super easy to understand and would be a helpful tool for writers who create series, trilogies, parallel worlds, etc. I liked that it was so easy to understand. The author defines what each is and the important parts of making the story work. The examples she gave lent to understanding the concepts. The workbook portion leaves plenty of room for note taking and lays out the things so you can keep story facts consistent and make sure all those loose ends are tied up."

    – Peggy Urry
  • "I really like this workbook! It's very easy to understand and helpful for beginners like me. The focus on trilogies is great because it gives detailed information and practice specifically for this. One person found this helpful"

    – Star R. Thomas
  • In the spring of 2018 I took a class from C. Michelle Jeffries and wanted everything she was saying in writing. Well, this is it. She explains everything in an easy to understand way. If you have been writing for a while you will have discovered that structure and plot can be very different beasts depending on the person you are talking with. I like that she goes over the basics so I was on the same page as her.

    In this book she talks about the different types of series, not just trilogies. She deals with the open ended series, the close ended series, shared worlds, and parallel worlds. She talks about different structures found within each series type. And I love that she touches on how to deal with the antagonist within each type of series.

    The examples that she uses throughout the book were well known to me and I think most readers out there will know the books and TV shows she references.

    This is a worthwhile book to be added to any writing craft library."

    – Carol Costley




Trilogies use a very different structure than series books. There are plenty of series that have three volumes that have been mislabeled as trilogies just because of the number, but true trilogies are one story told through three books that go together.

Trilogies are typically written as follows. Book one, the writer presents the protagonist and other characters, setting, and story problem. Book two is to add to the protagonist's knowledge, add friends, and up the stakes. But, the bad guy is still winning until the end of the book, where the good guys get some knowledge that bolsters their confidence. Book three shows the protagonist's renewed faith, and the bad guys are defeated.

While you can read them out of order and alone, they are meant to go together. Often times, while they follow Hero's Journey, a firm seven-point structure is not there. Sometimes they even end on a cliffhanger. Some people say that the "father" of all trilogies is The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien originally planned on publishing the story as one big book, but the printers couldn't bind a book that big so the story was split into three parts and published as three books instead.

Trilogy examples are, of course, Lord of the Rings, Reconners by Brandon Sanderson, Lisa Mangum's Hourglass Door, and Charlie Holmberg's Paper Magician. Although the movie preceded the books by a long shot, a great movie example is the first three Star Wars: A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.