Wondering whether you can write serial fiction? I often receive questions about serials and series, and the difference between them… and about the difference between a novel and a serial.
We’ve just released Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks. It shows you how to plan and write serials quickly.
Writing serial fiction: is it for you?
We’ve discussed serials, and said that a serial isn’t a novel:
… if you’re writing a novel, and want to turn the novel into a serial, you’ll probably need to trash what you’ve written, and plan carefully, before you go on writing.
Equally, if you have a novel, and want to turn the novel into a serial, yes, it can be done. However, you’d need to plan carefully, and do a lot of new writing.
A serial isn’t a novel. Although a serial has an over-arching plot, a serial is not structured like a novel, because it’s episodic.
Serials are easy to write. In some ways, they’re much easier to write than novels. You can publish faster, for example. If you’re the kind of author who takes months to write a novel, writing a serial may help.
It will definitely help you to publish more quickly.
Serial fiction: plan, and write
Wondering how to get started? Here’s a short excerpt from Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks.
Readers often ask how I get an idea for a serial.
Usually an idea for a serial develops from something that I’ve written.
For example, my latest serial developed from a minor character in a novel I’d published to Amazon KDP. While I was writing the novel, the character intrigued me, and I gave her more scenes than I should have done. I deleted most of those scenes, because they unbalanced the book.
I kept the scenes I’d deleted, and made some notes on this character’s early history. In the novel, she came to a bad end. Being the sort of person she was, I saw that she’d eventually recover. So, the serial is about this character’s redemption. Over time, she changes, and by the end of the serial, she becomes truly admirable.
Another serial I wrote last year developed from a novella.
That novella was meant to be short, with all loose ends neatly tied up within 30,000 words. It didn’t work out that way — there was no way I could corral all the loose ends. So I decided to turn the novella into a serial. It meant that I needed to rewrite completely, but they were delightful characters, and I enjoyed spending time writing about their adventures.
A serial is easy: relax, and write
There are two kinds of fiction writers: the plotters, and the pantsers.
The plotters love to plot. They write long outlines. Pantsers on the other hand, can’t write this way. They need to discover the story, just as their readers do. Serials are perfect for both plotters, and pantsers. So if you want to plot your serial, go ahead. On the other hand, if you just want to write, start writing.
I’m a pantser by nature, and love serials because I can surprise and delight myself as I’m writing. There’s only one rule — keep readers reading.
Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks is available now.
Why write serial fiction?
Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.
It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.More info →
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels.More info →
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