We all have our own personal problems. Do not minimize them...they are as big to you as they bother you.
We can look at the huge problems in Houston from the flooding of Hurricane Harvey, or the expected destruction and hardships from Hurricane Irma, and shrug off a bad back as insignificant. But it isn't.
Yes, it's pretty terrible to be without electricity or potable water for days or weeks. But someone can mitigate those circumstances for you. It's tragic and devastating to have your house under water and virtually all your possessions ruined or washed away. But you can get help finding a new place to live and possessions, as valued as they are, are still only things.
But, if you can't pick up anything below your knees or above your shoulders because of a bad back, or you can't take more than a few steps unassisted before you fall down, or become completely out of breath, and there is no fixing your condition short of the grave, that is not insignificant. Not to you, not to your family. So don't minimize your own real, (emphasize that word), real troubles just because thousands of other people have troubles, too. Their troubles may make the prime time news and inspire help from the Red Cross and the government and total strangers, but your own personal problems are just as debilitating and significant to you as one of those others.
I don't have any of those problems, by the way. My wife has her fair share of physical health problems, but she is getting better, not worse; none of the remarks above apply to family or friends. Those are just observations.
Now, as to preparing to write a serial. I mean, a series. I am writing a serial and have been for over two years. As far as the Mascot Serial is concerned, I had only one plan and the story is getting there. Our fearless mascots will have arrived at my goal by the end of the year. After that...well, we'll see.
But writing a series is a different animal. I have read a lot of series. Very early on in my reading habits I read The Hardy Boys series. But it wasn't too much of a series. Each mystery novel was a stand-alone story featuring the same characters. Occasionally one episode would reference a past episode, and the boys got older as the books progressed, but there were no cliff-hangers from one book to another. Note: I'm writing here from memories about fifty years old. So I could be wrong.
The Hardy Boys books were written by several ghost writers, none of whom were the creators of the series. So The Hardy Boys doesn’t really qualify as a book series. If you want more info on the series look it up in Wikipedia. The same formula—and the same creator—applied to The Nancy Drew Mysteries as well.
There is a difference between a series of books and a book series. Robert Heinlein wrote a series of short stories in the 1940s that came to be known as The Future History series. That term was preferred by the readers. The publisher called the stories the history of the future. These were also stand-alone stories, unrelated to each other in terms of plot and characters, but all happening against a backdrop of the same culture and technological history of future events. Later, Heinlein wrote a few novels that fit into the same future historical framework; these novels featured the character Lazarus Long.
None of those had what I believe are the primary features of what constitutes a book series. That is, there is a definitive Book One and a definitive Book Last, be that number three, four, nine, or whatever.
Stephan King's Dark Tower series is like that. Terry Brooks' Sword of Shanara series and subsequent Shanara stories qualify. David Eddings (some co-authored with his wife, Leigh) has published several fantasy book series.
Curiously, (or perhaps not) The Lord of the Rings, technically, is not a series. At least, it was not intended as such. Tolkien wrote the entire series as a single book. The publishers found it necessary to break it into three separate volumes due to the length; there was a shortage of available paper to publish that many pages in a single volume with any kind of wide distribution.
My own books, Just Lucky, Book 1 and Book 2 were originally written as a single work as well. I have enough for a Book 3, but whether that ever gets written as a separate book is very much in doubt at the moment.
One of the most famous series of books is the Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, who also wrote the Barsoom series novels.
Westerns came in series form, too. The Hopalong Cassidy books (also known as The Bar-20 stories) written by Clarence E. Mulford, are another example of a series of books featuring the same characters and the same setting, and maintaining a clear chronological order, yet each book is a stand-alone story. If you like Westerns, I recommend them. When Mulford was ready to retire from writing Westerns he hand-picked the author he wished to continue the Bar-20 stories. That author was Louis L'Amour. He only wrote two Bar-20 stories before creating his own characters and settings.
Anthony Wedgeworth's Altered Creatures fantasy series was planned out as a book series. In fact, he spent two years plotting out about thirty different books that fit into the make-believe world of the altered creatures. He has published the six-book series for readers thirteen-and-up and the three-book series for readers under age thirteen, and he is now working on the next batch...a new series but with some of the same characters.
I recommend the Altered Creatures series. Book 1, Fate of Thorik the first volume, is an excellent series starter; the others are very good at continuing the pace and the plot and bringing in new characters and new concerns. Each one has at least one special scene that will stay with you for a long time, plus the characters are all strong. And it is highly unlikely that any reader will anticipate the ending of Book 6, Plea of Avanda.
Okay, so much for the introduction to what is or might be a book series and what might be a series of books.
Continued next time.