I am, generally, a discovery writer, but there if you’re writing a series, being a discovery writer could hurt you. No matter how much you may loath outlining, series need to be well thought out. There’s nothing worse than reading book 3 of a series where the climax is malnourished or the author sweeps debris under the rug because they don’t know what to do with it.
I’m not saying that you can’t be a discovery writer, because that would make me a hypocrite. My current project is a three book series. I discovery wrote book 1 and am in the middle of re-writes, but after reading two series from self-proclaimed discovery writers – where the series’ endings were lacking cohesion – I decided to plot book 2 and book 3.
Once the rest of my series was plotted, I was able to see what minor changes I needed to add to book 1 to foreshadow and have my story make sense. Book 1 will be better for it and the series will feel like it’s been tied up with a pretty red bow. Plus, it helped me to see what was truly needed to make my story function.
Understanding the overall arc of the series, helps you better determine how much and how little of the magical world building and backstory reveal is necessary in Book 1.
So, for the sake of your readers, be sure to outline your series whether it’s three, four, or twenty-four books. Take pride in your work. Make the series’ arc fluid by pulling elements from throughout. You will be happier, you won’t upset your readership, and your book sales will be much more pleasant because of it.