Serial Story?

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Back in the late summer of 2015 I serialized a novel, The Halley Branch.  For the first couple of weeks I wrote a chapter and posted it the next day.  Later I spent a weekend and finished the whole thing in one sitting ( about 20,000 over the weekend) and then posted at my leisure.  I found some very good and some very bad points about posting like this.

One good part about it is that I always have a post ready!  When I start a new writing project, I stick with it (or have over the last 4 or 5 years, before that, no ;) ).  It is also great to get immediate feedback.  I actually wrote two of my best chapters for The Halley Branch in response to comments, chapters that added depth to the overall story.

But then, what about my blog readers who don’t want to read a serialized novel?  My guess is that the majority of you out there really don’t want to read a new 2,000 word chapter every day, or even three of them a week. And also, when it’s time for me to start doing revisions and pounding it into shape, is it good thing to have the first draft lying around?

For that last question, I have started to dismantle The Halley Branch.  It will eventually be totally removed from my blog, long before I get ready to publish it.  I have already taken down every short story to appear in Seasons of Imagination.

Of course, there are people out there who have started to read my new series, The Old Mill.  Should I let them down?  I really don’t want to,but…

Today I made a Table of Contents for The Old Mill stories.  I also added navigation to the stories to make it easier to get around.  So I will continue for at least a while.  I’ve also decided that I will put up at least one post a day that isn’t part of the series so people who don’t want to read it but do like my blog will have something to look at.  (Also so my stats don’t take a nose-dive ;) )

I’m curious on how you feel about it.  What do you think?  Is it wrong to put up a first-draft, serialized novel, or do you think i should keep going with it?

 

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16 thoughts on “Serial Story?

  1. ~M

    Just my thoughts… I think breaking the chapters down into 500 words or less would receive more of an audience. Most people just don’t have the attention spans for much more, while perhaps sipping their morning coffee before work. Lunch breaks are another popular time, and still even less time for reading then. By night, people are tired and want a quick read to end their hectic day. I like to read flash fiction, as it affords me the time to read plenty of other blogs. Good luck with your story! ~M ;)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      That might be a good idea. I’ve thought about how I can do it – typically I write a scene in my mind and then write it as a chapter. So I’d have to divide that chapter down, find natural break points or create new ones… It might be doable, just more work for me ;)
      I totally get the time/attention commitment. Often even my flash fiction gets a bit wordy which is why I like Friday Fictioneers – it forces me to stay under 100 words.
      Thanks for your input!

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  3. mickwynn2013

    It’s a hard call. I have found people don’t commit/respond to longer stuff. If I’m truthful neither do I, mainly because of the time involved. When I post short flash fiction people read, whole short stories, they don’t, even when the story is an extended version of a piece of flash fiction they liked. I started a story in 100 word chapters which seems to have been successful. I don’t post it too often but it seems these small chunks are manageable for people to fit into their busy lives. So my answer would be small pieces and not every day.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is exactly the time that I’m worried about. I sit down and write out a chapter, but perhaps I need to break each chapter into several manageable chunks. But then, if I post them twice a week, this will go on for a long time, maybe years. Hmm, I’ll have to think about it.

      Thanks for the input!

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      1. mickwynn2013

        I think the time factor is unsolvable and to get people to red you have to publish in small chunks, maximum one screen’s worth I’d say. It may be you finish the whole before half is up on the blog but that may then encourage people to buy the finished book to get the ending.

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          1. Michael Wynn

            It’s hard to hold back but leave them wanting more is perhaps the motto plus, better they read a small portion than nothing at all. If I’m typical, I follow a lot of bloggers, I read most of those with short, sharp posts and often intend to get round to the others but never do. If the next instalment comes through before I’ve read the previous ones, I tend to shelve the lot. And as I say, if you’ve posted only a small part before the whole is complete, those that have enjoyed what has been posted will naturally want to have the rest. Your short posts will act as trailers to the complete work. That’s my theory anyway.

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              Yep, I understand. The problem for me is finding the break points. What I might end up doing is writing two totally different versions, one for the blog and one that will eventually be the book. I’ll figure something out that works for this.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I did the same thing when I published a book of short stories – I took them down a couple of days before I went live. I’m sure I’d do the same thing with a book. I guess one of my concerns is if anyone is going to actually read it, or are they going to say, why doesn’t Trent post something else?

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      1. The Chaos Realm

        I read what you’ve been posting so far. I don’t really comment…you want peeps to comment/give feedback, right? If so, maybe ask people or encourage people. Because I’ve just been reading what you’ve been posting for fun.
        (I’m a little weary from being in school with teenagers all day, so forgive me if I’m a little muddled and didn’t read your blog clearly enough LOL)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I’ll admit, that is a little what this post is about ;) People don’t have to comment all of the time, but since I’m asking a lot of people to read something like this, I need to be sure there are people out there actually reading. So I put up this post to see if there is any interest.

          I think most of us read posts to relax and it is a big commitment to read something that is very involved. A few times a blogger that I’ve followed posted a long story like this, and I’ll admit that most of the time I lost the thread at some point and gave up. I feel a little selfish to ask for such a huge commitment of people’s time, but if people are enjoying it, I have no problem to continue.

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