Lurker No More

2 years ago | Skye Noir (Member)

First, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Skye. Though my last name isn't Noir, LOL -- using that as a 'pen' name. IDK, I thought it was interesting. So I've been thinking of doing a serial for a long time. I've been reading them in eBook format for awhile now when I finally realized, like a moron, that they were actually on the internet. What I mean to say is that (because I just realized that didn't really make sense), I realized that not only do people write serials and publish them in eBook format (without posting them on the internet for free) but that that serials were also on the internet for free and in eBook format (some of them). Okay, still not sure that made sense. Wow, I really need to work on that -- the making sense part, LOL.

So I decided, why can't I do it too? I love to write, so why not me? :)

So I've spent the last few months trying to decide on the idea I want to use to make into a serial, and then planning, outlining, etc etc. I've kind of hit a brick wall though with that because I have 5 big ideas, 4 I'm comfortable with working on right now and I haven't been able to decide on one of them yet. I know, I know --- most people tell you go with your gut, pick the one that calls to you the most, writes the easiest, etc etc but that's just it, they all do. What do you do when that's the case? :)

Hmm, what else to say about myself? LOL, well IDK, what would you really want to know about me? I'm not sure you want to know about me personally, would you? Like I have 4 dogs :) I love to read (shocker, I know), write (even bigger shock), and watch TV shows (I have an obsession, weird I know).

I hope you all don't mind but I had a few questions while I had you here (sort of).

1. Do any of you use Scrivener to write your episodes/chapters/arcs/whatever? Or other programs like Aeon Timeline, Scapple, etc? (and if so, what programs do you use and to do what -- I'm always on the look out for new ones!)

2. Do most you who write serials more or less just publish your serial on your own website and/or blog? Or do you try to get the most exposure/fans/etc and post your chapters/episodes/whatever in as many places as possible such as;

Archive Of Our Own (known more or less for fanfiction, but it has an Original Fiction section too)
EpiGuide
FictionPress
Goodreads (directory listing - inital post)
JukePop (if you're approved)
LiveJournal
Online Novels (directory listing - inital post)
r/Webfiction (not actually posting anything but posting a link)
SparkaTale
Text Novel
Tuesday Serial (not actually posting anything but posting a link)
Twitter (#tuesdayserial & #fridayflash)
TVTropes (directory listing - inital post)
WattPad

Although, if anyone has any other places I missed, please please suggest them.

3. I know this, too (like the above question), has been asked many times before on the forum but... what do you usually do for advertising? (and I don't mean like posting links to places like above but like, actual ads or exposure in

other ways besides the above). For example;

Facebook Ads (ads)
Fiverr (ads, and many other things)
Project Wonderful (ads)
Word of Mouth

4. I've often wondered, how do you know if your idea is 'serial' friendly, as in, can be serialized? I always believed anything could be serialized really, it was all in the writing, so even the oddest things could, you just how to figure out a way to make it work in a serial format but I wondered what others thought?

5. What do you think an approx word count would be good for a weekly serial? I've read a lot of posts already on the forum (I've been a lurker for about a month I think) and most of the people in previous posts on this topic usually state you should go with whatever works for your chapter/serial/you. I personally totally agree and would give that advice to others as well, if asked. That said, I'm still asking, because I'd like to know if people have an approx in mind for those that have serials already and a kind of I don't know, understanding? of readers of serials. I know a lot of times whether it's a book you're reading (paperback or eBook) or content on the internet, people have a short attention span so I was trying to get a fix of the serial readers attention span, especially the ones that usually read weekly. Is it 1,000 words? 1,500? 2,000? 3,000? etc... So, anything would be helpful :) Not that I still wouldn't go with what fits the story and myself best, but I'm still interested in the 'stats' as they were, so to speak.

I have tons more questions, but my mind suddenly went blank, LOL. So I'm sure I'll be back.

Read responses...

Responses

  1. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    pick one at random and start writing, only way to know if you can write it is to try.

    i use pen page and google docs.

    I post links a few places, or, when i was writing i did.

    ANYTHING can be serialized. even if its just cutting at normal page breaks, you don't have to go all micro tension on it.

  2. alex5927 (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    1. Nope, sorry. Google Docs all the way. Was Word, but my old computer died (RIP) and I've been getting by on a Chromebook..
    2. Wordpress.com site. One per serial. I list it here, but thats pretty much it.
    3. Again, I post it here, and I got a spike from April Fools, but that's it. I don't have enough time or money to advertise hardcore.
    4. It depends who you are, your writing style, and a million other variables. Some people probably couldn't write a serial to save their life, because literally nothing happens for like half the book. They might be an amazing writer, but if you're doing pointless melodrama and expecting me to wait weeks or even months for the plot to even kick off, sorry, but I'm not good with that. Maybe for a TV show, because you can just turn that on in the background of something else and just space out, but if you're reading, you have to actually concentrate. What I'm trying to say is, if the story can't be serialized, it's probably not the idea, it's the one writing it.
    5. Again, depends on the writer. I try to keep it at least 1,500 words, but in a pinch, if it won't bring the average down below 1,500 words, I'm not terribly upset if I have to cut off the last 500, but that's because I have a shitload of real life stuff going on. Just do what you can keep up with, and you'll be fine.

  3. Dennis N. Santana (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Hiya Skye

    1) I just write directly into the Wordpress text post box. It's got basically everything I need. For my Patreon, I produce ebook versions using Word to make HTML and Calibre to convert to epub. I've tried getting more organized but it feels like too much work.

    2) I've got my own site on wordpress. It feels kind of exploitative to post like one chapter on another service for advertisement and not do anything more (and it feels like too much extra work to keep my serial updated on multiple services).

    3) I post stuff on twitter and tumblr in addition to being listed here on WFG. I posted a link on the subreddit a while back, and someone added my link on TVTropes (I don't peruse that site much so I don't really know how it works wrt that kind of thing). I've never been on goodreads but I might link it there once I become acquainted enough with the place.

    4) I didn't really think about it, I just did what I wanted to do and forced it to work.

    5) Whatever the author feels comfortable doing. I think for weekly stuff (I don't do weekly myself, but I've read a few) 2000-3000 words seems good. Enough to dig into, but it won't break most people's back to write it. Just think about the amount of work you can realistically get done. If you have an hour to spend writing every day for 7 days you can probably write 2000 words.

    I tend to do just do whatever feels right to me and it works or it doesn't.

  4. Taulsn (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    1. I use Scrivener, not so much for writing I mostly use Pages for that. I use it for organisational purposes I eventually plan on turning all of my serials into Ebooks and Scrivener makes that very easy.

    2. I have one WordPress blog for two serials. Once they are done, I'm going to switch to two blogs one for each of my new serials.

    3. I don't, a couple other serials link to me; I'm on here and now and then I will throw a link onto Reddit.

    4. I didn't my current two serials are basically novels that go up one scene at a time. My next two, however, will be a lot of more capable of long-running serial format.

    5. I do two posts a week 1000 words each. So 2000 weekly, but it doesn't matter too much. What matters is consistency post a schedule and stick to it.

  5. Nina Santucci (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    1. I've never heard of any of those programs. I used a good-old-fashioned notebook for writing out the drafts, typed it into Word where I did all my edits, and used Google Docs to share it with beta readers.

    2. Right now I only post the story on its website, and share some of the illustrations on my original DA page. I never posted it to FictionPress but I did use 2 of the beta readers on there who agreed to read my story anyway. Sometimes I pimp it out a bit on my DA and Tumblr but I haven't actually posted the chapters anywhere else, I don't think it's really occurred me to share it on multiple sites.

    3. I don't do ads.

    4. Anything can be serialized, just make sure the breaks between updates are natural. You'll see all kinds of things serialized here. What will really make or break a serial is not the content but the writing style.

    5. I'm usually around 2000 words and update, but I only post once a week. My serial is already completely written but I'm posting it in installments (which I believe is fairly atypical for serials). I think there are other people who post 2000-word updates daily but that isn't my style.

    Fooled - Never underestimate the Jester!
  6. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Welcome, enjoy diving in! On how to pick from a bunch of ideas... Hm, maybe choose the one you think is most unique, or uniquely you?

    1. I wrote in WordPerfect 5.1 until the late 2000s. Not even kidding. I knew how to pace myself, and every entry would go about 13 pages. Then I upgraded to a Mac, now I write everything in TextEdit. (You kids, with your italics and boldfacing, get off my lawn!)
    2. I post on my blog. From there, I tweet, and add myself to TuesdaySerial. I've started exploring Wattpad. Thing is, if you just post up in a place and forget about it, they'll forget about you. You need to engage with the locals. Actually, that's why I never filed any of my writing here at WFG until this year.
    3. I suck at self-promotion. It's mostly consisted of random remarks online and a series of in-person business cards. Doing it right would be it's own full time job.
    4. I think Alex summed up "serializing" well (uh, both of them). Also Nina's remark about natural breaks.
    5. Different people have different attention spans - and reading speeds! (Seriously, when I was archive diving on Jim for the 'April Fool', I was over two weeks in when I saw someone comment "Read through the whole archive this weekend" and I'm thinking "Who the hell ARE you, Yomiko Readman?!") My prior serial was 2,000 words per week. My new time travel one is closer to 3,000 - I debated splitting it into two updates of 1,500 for the week. I'm not. I guess we'll see.

    Writing a Time Travel serial: http://mathtans.wordpress.com
    Writer of the personification of math serial: http://www.mathtans.ca
  7. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    that might have been me, lol. I have a tendency to seriously archive binge on new things I find.

  8. Fiona Gregory (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Welcome Skye!

    You could post your four ideas here, and we could tell you which sounds most interesting, for what its worth.

    Many of us here have read A LOT of serials, so at least we'd have a sense of what's been done, what's popular, and what sounds fresh.

    Fiona

  9. Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    1. Google Docs is a necessity for me, since I write on a couple different computers, and I HATE losing info when a computer crashes or whatever. I've heard good things about Scrivener, but I'm 100% in love with Google. One caveat: paragraph spacing gets real wonky when you copy and paste a Google Doc into a Wordpress box. It's not impossible to fix. You just have to keep an eye out for it and adjust things manually.

    2. I appreciate webfic authors who post on Goodreads, since I like being able to remember what online serials I've read. That said, I haven't post my own books on Goodreads yet. (Probs waiting until I turn them into ebooks.)

    Jukepop turned me off for a while, but now that they've stopped requiring sign ins after the first chapter, it's become much more appealing. The community as a whole seems friendly, and you might get more readers if you go there. Some people don't like the site, though. So you're going to want to explore that one for yourself.

    r/Webfiction got me some traffic, so I'd recommend throwing a link up there.

    I don't think Tuesday Serial ever got me a single reader. I'd be the first link, last link, one of the links in-between. I kept at it for a few months, but didn't see ANY results. So yeah, no harm in trying, but don't expect much.

    Wildbow says he got a lot of traffic because of TV Tropes. That's big. Caveat: make sure not to get spammy, since that might ruin things for everyone else. Make sure to follow their rules for posting things (an author IS allowed to post their own work, fyi), and you should be good.

    3. Word of Mouth. I think advertising could be interesting down the line, but I'd wait until I already had some degree of success. When the writing has proven that it can get a bunch of readers by itself, then you might want to think about advertising.

    4. Anything can be serialized. If you're looking for as many eyes as possible, I'd recommend superheroes, since there are a number of readers here who only read that stuff. But seriously, write what you want to write. Passion for your serial will get you through good times and bad.

    Also, don't be worried about your serial idea being too weird. I mean for pete's sake, mathans wrote a math pun serial. And it made me laugh. I hate math. What the heck.

    5. This is another one where it's more important what you're looking for from a serial. The number one thing is to make sure that it's an update schedule you can handle, because consistency is important above all else.

    That can be frustratingly vague, though. So I'll try to give you some ideas about what various lengths would mean.

    If you only want to update once a week, 1500 words or more is the norm. But there's a lot of variation there. Rule of thumb: if you like setting mood/scenery, go long. If you're heavy on plot twists, go short.

    Moving away from weekly posts and speaking more generally, one school of thought says the more words the merrier. The aforementioned Wildbow, for instance, has had tremendous success posting 7,000ish word posts two to three times a week.

    Zombie Knight, on the other hand, posts 500-word posts five times a week (probably more at this point, but let's just say it's a solid five days a week, since that's how he started).

    The shorter your posts are, the less focused on scenery, description, and backstory you can be. Shorter posts are plot, plot, plot, with maybe some character work thrown in if you're good. Longer posts are better at establishing mood. They give you time to describe scenery, and set up plot lines filled with mystery/suspense.

    If you're only posting once a week, you're going to want your post to be at least a thousand words, since any less than that and there won't be enough substance to bring readers back week after week.

    Hope that helps!

    Web Traffic Expert, my SEO business
    "Any number of hitlers, are still not my problem." -Tempest
  10. Kess (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Hi Skye, and welcome! :)

    1. I use yWriter for mine (very similar to Scrivener). It doesn't run very happily on my Mac, so I'll be moving over to Scrivener. I love it because you can save each post as a 'scene' and arrange into parts (chapters) or books as needed.

    2. I use self-hosted Wordpress with my own domains on private hosting.

    I put my first serial out through LiveJournal as well, but didn't get any noticeable pick up there (not that I advertised it there), and I haven't bothered with it on my current serial. I am considering putting my next one out through a Wordpress.org blog (as well as my own site) to see what gains the network there might get me.

    Starwalker has its own TV Tropes page, thanks to one of my readers: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Website/Starwalker
    I get a pretty healthy set of click-throughs from there every month.

    3. I'm terrible at advertising. I always mean to, but...
    Mostly, I rely on word of mouth and WFG. Topwebfiction is also good for click-throughs.

    Project Wonderful is also worth looking into. I've never bought advertising through them, but I do host them and get a few visits from there.

    4. The concepts of my serials are, so far: a fictional blog written after the end of the world; and ship's log as written by the ship. They both lend themselves nicely to serialisation.

    What would make a good serial is pretty subjective. I've got a novel that I'm working on that I might serialise, but that'll be quite different to my existing serials. I guess it depends what you're looking to get out of it!

    5. There are no real rules around post length, but I did a blog post series about the guidelines for pacing a web serial recently, one of which focussed on the posts (frequency and length): http://www.melanieedmonds.com/pacing-a-serial-the-posts/. It's all pretty tightly woven together with how you pace the writing of the posts (http://www.melanieedmonds.com/pacing-a-serial-the-writing/).

    Hope that helps! Good luck. :)

Reply

You must log in to post.