I’ve blogged before about the challenges of writing book two and those challenges haven’t diminished as I work on the third book of the Haven Chronicles. What I haven’t written about is the rewards of writing a fiction series.
Writing a series isn’t easy, but it can be incredibly satisfying. It’s certainly given me a sense of accomplishment, but it’s also helped me to grow as a writer.
So in this blog post, I want to share with you some of the rewards that I’ve enjoyed while writing my series. These aren’t the only rewards, of course, but they are some of the most important ones for me.
Exploring the world of the Haven Chronicles
When I wrote Haven Wakes, I fell in love with both the futuristic and magical aspects of Caercester and Darkacre. In Magic Bound, I got the chance to extend that world beyond the city limits and dive deeper into the magical culture.
Building a world that has elements of both fantasy and sci fi is an absolute joy. I have the chance to play with robots and technology that is being developed in our world right now or is only theorised about at the moment. I can also indulge my love of all things folklore and magic, including characters from the mythological tales I devoured as a child.
Writing a series allows me to wend my way through that world, further and further afield with each book, and explore the intricacies of both the magical and workaday** cultures. With each new instalment, I can return there and share those locations with my readers.
Revisiting the characters of the Haven Chronicles
It’s not only the world of the Haven Chronicles that I can revisit; there’s the characters too. Writing a series allows me to follow the journeys of Steve, Hartley, Blessing, and the darkling, plus some well-loved side characters like James and Frobisher too. With each new book, I can explore their development, their relationships with each other, and how their views of the world change over time.
What’s more, I can create companion stories that feature those characters too. Hartley Keg and Frobisher turn up in my short stories, The Hidden Knowing and A Shadow Falls in Darkacre. And I’ve plans to write a novel about Hartley’s adventures long before he meets Steve in Haven Wakes.
Serving the readers of the Haven Chronicles
Before my novels were published, I always worried about how they’d be received. Would readers like them and want more? Or would they post horrendous 1* reviews and my books die a literary death? Thankfully, the feedback I’ve received from beta and ARC readers, bloggers, and book reviewers has been encouraging.
And instead of simply accepting the praise, I’ve done my best to listen to what readers want to see in future books too. More action. More future tech. The most common question from readers has been ‘where are Steve’s parents?’. I’ll answer that in the third book in the series.
Challenging myself as a writer
Writing a series has meant continuing an overarching storyline and making sure that my characters are consistent but also develop with each new adventure. It’s also meant:
- planning ahead for the entire series, not just one novel
- learning how to keep my characters acting like themselves but changing over time too
- planting seeds that will reach fruition in future books
- keeping the plot of each novel relevant to the overall story arc of the series
- making each book bigger than the one before
- keeping track of what’s happened in previous books so I don’t make continuity mistakes
It’s a completely different skillset to writing one stand-alone story but it’s a challenge I’m enjoying immensely.
Writing a series has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life as a writer. I’ve loved exploring the world and the characters of the Haven Chronicles, serving my readers and listening to their feedback, and challenging myself to grow and improve as a writer. I can’t wait to share the third book in the series with you.
** a term used to describe non magical people in my novels