What the Heck is a Tetrology?

slide_208667_680364_hugeMaking a Splash

Now that I’ve written and published three books that are considered a trilogy: (Reichold Street, One Way Street and Street Light) what do I call a fourth book in the series?

This recently became an issue, when I mentioned on social media that I’m writing another book featuring some of the characters originally found in the first three books.

Now, technically, four books in a series is called a tetrology.

Does that mean I have to change the covers for the three books that comprise the original trilogy? Particularly any of them that make reference to a trilogy (like Street Light)?

Well … in a word … probably not.

OK … that’s two words, but authors and publishers have done things like this before. Publish multiple books in a series, I mean.

Some authors have their characters go through changes, and make references to past events (like my series). Typically such series are published in the order of their internal chronology, so that the next book published follows the previous book.

The changes may be minor – characters might get engaged, change jobs, etc. – but it does not affect the main story line.

Besides my books, examples of this type include Tony Hillerman’s award-winning Navajo Tribal Police books.

In other series, the changes are major and the books need to be read in order to be fully enjoyed. Examples of this type include J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

There are some book series that are not really a proper series at all, but more of a single work so large that it must be published over two or more books.

Examples of this type include The Lord of the Rings volumes (including the prequel, The Hobbit) or the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

Some authors, like C.S. Lewis, make it difficult to list their books in a numerical order. In his Chronicles of Narnia series, he jumps back in time to early adventures of the characters, writing works that must be placed before or between previously published works.

This was likely done intentionally, as C.S. Lewis was a medieval literature scholar, and knew medieval literature does not always tell a story chronologically.

Now, I’m not using any of this information to make light of those who might question my announcement that I’m working on a fourth book in what they’ve come to know as “a trilogy.”

It’s not something I planned … but neither was the trilogy in the first place. It just happened.

Now, I’ve discovered the characters have more to say … months after I thought they were done.

I’ll find some way to account for it with the title of the new book, which is still up in the air. Hopefully, you’ll just enjoy the read.

Either way, I hope you’ll take a moment to take a short survey about the whole issue.


My books have all garnered some terrific reviews. You can see the stories I have available by using the Amazon link below.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.


Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

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2 Responses to “What the Heck is a Tetrology?”

  1. T. W. Dittmer Says:

    It seems to me that it’s a good thing when the characters of your stories are so strong that they won’t fade away.

    Keep up the good work. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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