I love to challenge myself when it comes to writing. I enjoy writing a novel (50k words plus), but I challenged myself by writing a novella. Much shorter, so I didn't have a lot of wiggle room. I absolutely enjoyed that! Next, I figured a short story in an anthology. Brutal and much harder. Yet again, I enjoyed the experience and it also gave me material to further write Antoine and Vivian's story.
So, how could I challenge myself once again? No safe writing for me. I went ahead and began a six book paranormal romantic suspense series (Magnolia Valley Series). Not only is it a challenge to write each individual story, but I need to have the overall series arc figured out as well. Not to mention keeping my characters straight ... and my town and surroundings. Seriously, I bought big poster boards, taped them together edge to edge and mapped out Acadia, roads, buildings, parks, cemeteries ... everything. If I don't have a map, I will never remember what the name of the restaurant my heroine's father owns and where it's located in relation to the police station. I would be completely lost.
What am I learning with writing a series? Well, first off, since book one is written, I can't go back and change anything in order to make books two through six work. I had set the stage and there are no do overs. It has released over on Amazon. Click here to grab your copy for $2.99 if you haven't done so already.
Two: I'm finding as I think of new and exciting stuff for my overall series arc, I have to incorporate them into book one. Not every single thing, but book one sets the stage. Very very important to keep that one in mind. That was no easy task. Not every single little detail as it would just give away the entire series. I need to keep some surprises of course.
Three: I have introduced every member of both the Moore and the Pacelli family in book one. Now I have to make sure if one likes the color blue in book one, then he/she had better still like the color blue in book four. I keep a detailed character sheet for every person.
And finally, in just one book, you have to make sure everything is tied up into a nice little bow ... all questions have been answered and/or settled. And there are quite a few for one book. I have to do that consistently over six books and ensure nothing is left hanging around at the end of book six.
I always like a challenge. After all, nothing can be gained without good hard work. I look forward to this long journey.