Dilemma regarding the direction of my serial

11 years ago | Miranda Sparks (Member)

Hi all,

I come to you with a dilemma.

My serial, Shimmer, is a contemporary superhero tale which heavily explores identity, gender and family. There is a lot of action and some fantasy/sci-fi elements, but a good deal of it revolves around the protagonists personal struggle.

After issue #75 (I've named them in the same manner as a comic book) the story veered off in a new direction when the main character and her best friend were propelled into the 31st century for a saga titled "Glimmer Girl and the Galaxy Crusaders." Initially it was designed to be a short break from the emotional intensity of Shimmer, but after 30+ issues it's evolved into a beast all of its own.

While I am having a lot of fun with this new story I also feel that continuing it would be at the cost of the original premise. That leaves me with three choices:

(The following part is lazily copied from my LiveJournal.)

Firstly I could keep going as I am, let Glimmer Girl and the Galaxy Crusaders play out to it's proper conclusion and ignore the rest of Shimmer until I eventually get around to it.

Secondly I could put a hurried finish on Glimmer Girl and the Galaxy Crusaders for the sake of returning to the mainstream canon, but ultimately feeling unsatisfied by it.

Finally (and this is the option I'm most in favor of) I could write both stories parallel to one another. Shimmer picks up where it left off right after issue #75 and returns the missing cast back to their everyday lives implying that they'd just come back after their adventures in the thirty-first century. Glimmer Girl and the Galaxy Crusaders in the meanwhile continues and functions as a chronicling of what happened during that time. As a spin-off to Shimmer it also allows for focus to be placed on other surrounding characters.

That way we can have our fluff and our drama too! Though the drawback comes in the form of an increased workload and potential confusion from the readership. Then again if DC can put out Supergirl and Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes at the same time then why can't I do something similar? (Yes, I just compared myself to DC comics.)

Any opinions or suggestions would be immensely appreciated.

Read responses...


  1. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 11 years ago

    I say if you've got two stories you want to tell, tell them both. :-)

  2. apocalypsenovel (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Randy; Anyone who asks a question and gives their own answer is asking for validation. So here it goes: its your story, do what you want to do. I think your preference is perfectly sensible.
    I am not one of the veterans here so I would listen to them first, but I'd like to think that part of writing is surprising yourself. I know I enjoy when I am amazed by what is happening as I write. It's a thrill.
    If you plan and layout your story and then as you write you don't find surprises and bifurcations along the way, it's not much of a creative process, is it?
    Sometimes you find your story, the story you really want to write, is completely different from your right-brained plan.
    I think most of us write because it is a true HIGH when you realize that you have the ability to put down on paper, very simply, what happens next.

  3. Miranda Sparks (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    It's true that validation is part of my motivation, but I'm not an author who writes exclusively for myself. All I'm trying to do is be more accommodating towards my readership and I need to know if a radical timeskip in the narrative just complicates things to the point where new readers might give up on it.

    As for the thrill, you're right. Fulfilling that kind of personal literary ambition just can't be beat. ;)

  4. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 11 years ago

    As a reader of your serial, I'd say go ahead with the third. As a writer, I tend to say, "Holy crap, that'd be hard." I think a bit of Tales of MU. For a little while there Alexandra Erin did manage to run two MU serials simultaneously, but for the most part, it's been somewhat unpredictable lately as to which serial of hers will update. This week has been better than most, but that's because she updated the original MU serial and didn't bother with the other.

    That's the hazard of running two simultaneously.

    Personally, I've started running "prequel" stories interspersed with the present day stories in my serial. I'm not planning to make the prequel stuff all that common, but once in a while I'm planning add that in just to add depth to a few things that have happened.

    Since I've just started doing it, I've no idea whether it's a good thing or not. Also, it's not quite the situation you're in, but alternating timelines might allow you some variation without adding substantially to your workload.

  5. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 11 years ago

    One more thing...

    Another option might be making (for example) two days of one serial per week and one day of the other serial. That might also allow you to do two without overloading yourself.

  6. Miranda Sparks (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Thanks, Jim. That's actually what I was thinking. Although since the Shimmer stories are eventually going into print I feel obliged to make sure that the Glimmer Girl and the Galaxy Crusaders arc finishes first before pulling together another planned Shimmer volume. (1-75 is the first volume, Glimmer Girl and the Galaxy Crusaders makes up the second, 75-150 makes the third, etc.)

    I should be able to handle the workload. Shimmer is the easiest thing in the world for me to write, and when those rare times come that my muse runs dry it effects everything, not just one story.

  7. Alex McG (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    You may have done this already, but one thing I would suggest is that you sketch out the basic storyline of GG and GC before picking the main story up again. That way you'll be sure not to make continuity mistakes.

    Myth... Magic... Midterms...
    Children of the First
  8. Miranda Sparks (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Way ahead of you. ;)

  9. Miranda Sparks (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    UPDATE: I've decided to go with the popular vote on this one. Thanks for helping to ease the creative process, all.


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