Happy Monday…or is that an oxymoron? I’m over at My Book Addiction today, taking part in a talk about serial novels (with a giveaway, so check it out), so I thought I’d bring that discussion here as well.
Just to bring you up to date, a serial novel is a full-length novel released in “episodes,” usually a week apart. Think of it in terms of a season of your favorite TV show. The story continues from week to week, probably ending on something of a cliffhanger to ensure that you’ll tune in next week to see what happens. Anywhere from nine to thirteen episodes makes up a television season. In the world of serial novels, those episodes add up to a full novel.
I have written two serials. The first, Storm Force, was a paranormal romantic thriller, released in nine episodes of about 10,000 words each. The second, Lovely, Dark, and Deep, a romantic thriller minus the paranormal elements, released in eight episodes of about 12,000 words each. Both came out as regular novels after their serial run, or LDD will, as of late June.
They were So. Much. Fun! I loved the writing process, which plays to my style as a writer who plots books out ahead of time, at least in rough outline form. I also write pretty clean, which is good because the pace of a serial–where the author is often writing the back part of the book even as the first chapters are already in readers’ hands–eliminates the opportunity to revise.
Would I do another? I’m honestly not sure. They might be fun for me, but I’m not sure people who read paranormal fiction or romantic fiction–people like me, in other words–will ever love the format. We want to lose ourselves in a story, which is hard to do when it’s coming in thirty-minute reads a week at a time. Great for commutes or lunch hours, but not so much for the whole “lost in a good book” experience. I’ve had readers who balked at the format who ended up enjoying them (thank you!). But they’re hard to market and ultimately I had two books I really loved that sort of got lost in the shuffle.
But I see more publishers dipping a toe into the serial novel waters. What say you, authors and readers? Would you want to write a serial? Would you want to read one? Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of Storm Force or Lovely, Dark, and Deep–and don’t worry…they’re full novels now so you get the whole thing!