Making Serials Work for You
by Immortal Angel
When I say I’m an author, most people think I write novel-length books. And surprisingly, there are still a great many people who don’t consider me a “real author” if my books aren’t in print. However, there are many other types of online writing which people have discovered and developed into income streams, such as fan fiction, flash fiction, story blogging, and my personal favorite — serials. So I say if you write weekly content of any sort, you’re an author.
Now, on to serials. What’s the difference between a serial and a novel? Well, a lot of things. A book format serial is very much like an episode of television; unless you watch the pilot, you aren’t going to be fully introduced to the characters and the plot setup, and the story is always “to be continued” until the end. The pacing is fast, the action furious, and the cliffhangers brutal.
I love serials because the word count doesn’t pile up on me like it does with a novel. I only write three serials ahead of my current week. So, while I can’t decide in the middle that the heroine is going to be a BBW or that I want to go more sci-fi than fantasy, it also removes the burden of making those types of decisions and editing around 100,000 words of text to make changes for continuity. Writing serials is also very organic. I’m writing as things are happening, and there’s only three weeks until it appears in print, so to speak.
With serials, readers are looking for weekly reading with a great story, plot and character development, and a cliffhanger that keeps them thinking about it until they get the next episode. For myself, it takes the pressure off because I’m not trying to write the next award-winning novel and allows me to focus on delivering characters, stories, and exciting action with strong entertainment value.
Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing how my writing partner and I have made serials work for us. I’ll also be offering tips on word building; plot, character and relationship development; and writing effective cliffhangers that make the reader preorder the next three serials before they put down their tablet for the night.
So for now I’ll just say…
To be continued…
Immortal Angel writes weekly science fiction and fantasy serials which are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and at many other online retailers. Her romances in space are meant to take readers on their own adventures, imagining new and exciting places. With hot men. And maybe a few sexy aliens too. You can follow her on Twitter at @immortal__angel (two underscores) and online at fallenpress.com/immortal-angel.