I am starting a new serial. It’s a Russian Mafia Romance. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Cambria, aren’t you already writing a serial? Yes. Cambria, aren’t you already working on TWO serials? Yes. I’m writing To Aurum With Hate for Dreame and The Anointed for Kindle Vella. So the real question is why, Cambria, are you writing a new serial already?
- I want to play with genres on Kindle Vella and see what types of stories work.
- A writers back catalogue is the best way to make money. The more you write, the more books you have for readers to go back and enjoy.
- I just want to.
So how do I start a new serial? Well first, I get an idea, obviously. In this case my idea was: a girl visiting her family’s home country gets mixed up with the mob and discovers there might be a family connection.
I focus on the characters first. I feel like until I know who my characters are, I can’t even begin to focus on the plot. Good things to consider when creating characters:
background i.e. where they are from, what they like, what they don’t like. You might not necessarily use all of that information but it might help inform other choices you make when you are writing. Also, I recommend keeping AT LEAST a basic details list: eye color, hair color, etc. Its surprisingly easy to forget something like this. Or to confuse their age or something. That way you can refer back to it while writing.
I also sometimes do things like make pinterest boards or playlists, because all of those things help with world building. If you check my pinterest, you can see the one I’ve made for my main character Alyona Vorobyov.
Pinterest boards also help with plot ideas too sometimes. And just general over all aesthetic and feel of the characters. Same goes for playlists. They’re not something you have to do as a writer, but they’re cool things that can get you into your characters headspace.
Even if you don’t use everything from those, you might use bits and pieces in your writing.
Part of developing my characters because it takes place in a different country has also been research. I have watched a lot of documentaries on Russia and yesterday googled “russian mafia tattoos” which I’m sure put me on a watch list if I wasn’t on one already for the weird stuff I google. Writer problems, ha ha.
Once I feel like I’ve got enough info, then I’ll start writing. I’ve written a few things already. Just some rough draft ideas. But nothing serious yet. Usually if I don’t have a good feel for the characters, its harder for me to start. Sometimes I know right away. Sometimes it takes longer. Just depends on how much I like the idea.
Anyway, I just wanted to write down some thoughts on this subject as I start a new project. I’m trying to share as much as possible about my kindle vella journey on here and this seemed important.
2 thoughts on “So you want to write a serial for kindle vella, part 1: Character Development”
Oh yeah, it’s SO easy to forget hair colour and even height! I’ve botched that multiple times. Now I keep a character list. Anyway, thanks for this post!
Yeah and with weekly updates you don’t really get the luxury of going back and rewriting because I usually write as I go and so I try to keep references for even tiny things. Glad you liked the post! 🙂