I will admit to only doing brief searches, but it is something that has come to mind as of late. There are many people out there that may feel a novel is too large an undertaking, but this came to mind as an alternative way to tell a story. How common is it to have short stories written that when you read them all, they combine to tell one large tale, aka a novel length story? This could be where the term "serial(s)" comes into play. But that would be sequential story telling, what if they weren't written/published in any particular order? Do serials require a finite ending to each piece, or can they have open endings due to their nature of not being a complete tale?