The Joys and Struggles of Writing a Series – GUEST POST by D. A. Mucci (IGNATIUS AND THE BATTLE AT DINAS AFFARAON)
The Joys and Struggles of Writing a Series
D. A. Mucci
The Ignatius series is my first time writing a series versus a standalone story, and that certainly has brought a lot of joys, as well as struggles. Writing a series of any genre requires much more planning than for a single book. You need careful plot planning so that each book has a unique story line while being a part of the overall series plot you have designed. You need to tell the reader enough in a single story to make that story exciting, but not so much that they don’t want to return for the next book in the series — there has to be something left unanswered that makes the reader want to come back for more. Which means you have to make your characters interesting enough so the reader is invested in wanting to see what happens next. You have to define the motivation for each character before you begin the series and use that to drive your characters’ actions across all the book so the characters don’t appear different from one book to the next. Thus, character planning as well as plot planning is essential when you undertake writing a series.
Getting a chance to develop a character that grows, and readers are truly invested in, is one of the joys of writing a series. When I first started writing about Ignatius, nicknamed Iggy, it was during the pandemic while I used writing as a means to escape and relieve stress, from all that was happening in the Emergency Room as an emergency room physician. Ignatius took on the role of an unlikely hero facing an impossible mission, a relatable feeling for many trying to survive the unprecedented circumstances in 2020. So many readers enjoyed some time relaxing from their stressful days following Iggy as he advanced through his difficult challenges. I am honored that the story won awards from Readers Favorites, Independent Press, and NYC Big Book, so readers and critics alike enjoyed the story.
In the second book of the Ignatius series, I was challenged with ways to help ensure readers could connect to the characters and the storyline. So, I had to be creative with giving my characters some settings and nuances that would help the reader relate even better to the characters. In Book Two I not only have Iggy growing into facing new challenges but have the strong characters around him growing to new levels also. For example, Iggy meets up with an incredibly diverse cast of characters in Dinas Affaraon, a land that embraces weary travelers and outcasts from a variety of other lands, which rings true in the hearts of many readers in 2022. And Raraesa takes on starting a whole organization of “women helping women” and I even used a white daisy with yellow center as a symbol for that group in the book, a symbol used by the Women’s group PEO (PEOinternational.org). Many women across the country who belong to the Philanthropic Education Organization will appreciate what Raraesa is accomplishing, the same way the PEO ladies help raise monies to assist other women in reaching their higher education goals. Madam Trinity showcases her incredible knowledge, often hidden behind her silly façade. Medyr the dwarf is back in book two and steps up to the considerable challenge of protecting and assisting Iggy, as many in the Kingdom of Skye keep him at arm’s length because he is a dwarf. I do hope every reader in the book finds one or more characters they can relate well to.
The biggest joy I get from writing is getting to see the remarks from readers as they finish the next book in the series. That’s how I know I’ve hit the mark with the adventure plotted, as well as the character development. The next question I typically get though is inquiries about when the next book will be out. I’ve learned I have to start writing the next book in the series before the prior book comes out, to keep my readers excited about the story. So, Book Three is well underway.
Thanks for making the time to talk to me about the Ignatius series….
Book 1: Ignatius and the Swords of Nostaw; Book 2: Ignatius and the Battle at Dinas Affaraon.
After 40 years as an Emergency Room physician, D.A. Mucci turned to writing fantasy fiction in his spare time as an enjoyable escape from the pandemic stress. Mucci’s two adult children inspired his love of the fantasy genre during their younger years. His first book in the IgnatiusTM series was well received,winning an Independent Press award, that he now spends most of his time writing and only part-time with patients in the Emergency Room.
Mucci calls both Connecticut and Florida home, and with his wife Jeanne by his side, he’s constantly dreaming up new, fantastical creatures, daring escapades, and witty one-liners. He looks forward to writing more adventures for Iggy in this series, and hopes they provide readers the same delightful escape it brought him during the pandemic when Iggy’s adventures began. Learn more about the author and get excited for more adventures at damucci.com.