1. Late Starter
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    Late Starter Member

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    Serial novel or not?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Late Starter, Mar 16, 2012.

    What's the general consensus on serial novels?

    I'm unsure whether the serial format is the way to go for my first attempt at fiction. On the one hand it breaks the work down into more manageable chunks and allows more frequent and regular feedback. On the other hand I think it'll be easy to write myself into a corner and end up going down a path which I'd probably have rewritten if I'd got a couple of chapters further down the line.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    Stand-alone novel would be the best choice for the first attempt, just to get the experience and feeling of writing a novel and to know more in depth of what you are getting yourself into. Most successful writers/authors began with a stand-alone novel and moved on from there, if I'm not mistaken. It is what I will do. Although I myself will probably put something inside my story that will allow further novels, in case I would one day feel like writing another one in that particular world.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends a lot on your genre. Certain genres lead themselves to series better than others, also with some genres are writing a series will go towards selling your book when it is finished.

    I write my series with a collection of stand alone novels. My fantasy is based on balancing elements and has five books, the time travel that follows on from that has several more. My detectives are a series of stand alones - the only story arc connecting them is the relationship between the two men etc I've drafted later stories before trying to sub the earlier ones because it will make deadlines easier and it allowed me to rewrite earlier novels if I needed to, to make the series work.

    However it is fine to write a standalone book.
     
  4. Late Starter
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    Sorry guys it appears I've used the wrong terminology. By serial novel I meant the kind of story where you release one chapter at a time online via blogger, wordpress etc.

    Writing a series of novels is way beyond me.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd finish it first - you may want to go back and change things. However I think in our modern world releasing it like that is a great idea.

    It didn't do Dickens any harm ;)
     
  6. Late Starter
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    You said it as a joke but for some reason I read it as "You're as good as Dickens".

    So thanks for that, unpublished yet critically acclaimed!
     
  7. Kaymindless
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    I may be out of the times, but is there an audience for that? I realize that is a lot of what is done in fan fiction, chapter by chapter but, in a novel, I'd personally prefer to have it completed before I start reading just because I know there are so many things that can happen to cause it not to be finished.

    In honesty, I'd suggest, at the very least, finishing a rough draft and then you could release it that way if you wish.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Revision is important, especially for new writers. Not just rereading paragraphs for typos, but full start to end revision.

    You can't do that with a serial novel, unless you fully write it before you deliver the first installment.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    There appears to be a couple of new epublishers have started up doing just that. They seem to be doing quite well. I was offered a contract with one.

    The one thing we have in common with the Victorians is limited leisure time. A lot less than the previous generation and that is why it worked then.

    I agree with completeing the rough draft, but also doing it with an eye of how to serialise it.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    see what cog has to say on this... i can only ditto that!
     
  11. Late Starter
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    Cheers guys, I did think that doing it the traditional way might be best but kind of wanted to get the ongoing feedback of the seriel format.
     
  12. Kaymindless
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    Oh, see I didn't even realize it was out there. It's an interesting idea but very easy to alienate the reader, in my opinion. But it is a great way to make sure I don't stay up until 4 in the morning reading a book when I really should be sleeping.

    Yes, definitely with the eye of how it's going to serialize it.
     
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    That was why i decided to turn it down, because I didn't feel my novel split into eleven parts well.

    Had I know I was going to serialise it I'd have written it in eleven parts. My husband has a story he is releasing that way and he's sold a few copies with no real effort.
     

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