How To Write A Successful Serialized Series — Tips by Boystown Author Jake Biondi

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Boystown Season 3 Book Cover

© Jake Biondi

Karyn Connor

Senior Writer @ GoneWithTheWord

The Boystown series by Jake Biondi began as an online story released in installments, but was published in book form with the third book released on May 1, 2015.

How much has reader feedback influenced plot or character decisions?

JB: I love hearing from Boystown readers and fans — and I continue to encourage them to reach out to me so I can hear their thoughts.  Fans have been very vocal about several of the books’ couples; they especially want to influence whom Cole ends up with. I read every single email and comment I get and consider the person’s comments and suggestions. While I haven’t made any huge shifts in plot because of reader comments, I have emphasized certain characters more or less because of fan input. For example, the character of Justin Mancini was only intended to be around for a chapter or two, but because readers overwhelmingly seemed to like him and want more of him, he has become a core character of the series.

Do you use any specific method for keeping track of the intricate plots and character arcs of such a large “cast” of characters?

JB: I have always been a huge fan of serialized stories — whether classic, like the novels of Charles Dickens, or contemporary, like Dynasty, Dallas, Revenge, and Nashville. I guess I have never had a problem keeping characters straight when I am reading or viewing, so it comes naturally when I am writing as well. Dickens’ novels have massive casts of characters, but I have always been able to remember who’s who. The same is true as I’m writing Boystown.  

As a serial writer, how do devise ways to regularly end with a hook or cliffhanger that are authentic to both plot and character? 

JB: I begin each book with the end in mind and then work backwards. I know where each character needs to be by the end of the book — usually in a cliffhanger situation — and then work from there.

Has it ever been hard for you to really emotionally challenge or torture your characters? If so, could you tell us why and what you did to that character in the end?

JB: Oh, yes. There was a rape scene in the first book that was extremely difficult to write. It had to be realistically described and it happened to one of Boystown “nicest” characters. That was rough. Plus, I had to make sure I realistically described the aftermath and the way the event “haunted” the character long after it was over.

Which is your favorite plot line? Or, which has been the most fun to write?

JB: Of course, I love all the Boystown characters and storylines. But from the beginning the relationship of Cole and Derek has fascinated and intrigued me. I love writing them. And since Emmett is the character closest to myself, I love writing his stories, too.

#BeBold, by Karyn Connor is available noweBook and Paperback

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