a stranger with a serial novel

Hello all! My little brother has been a fan of this site for some time, and he finally persuaded me to join. I'm looking forward to finding new things to read and meeting other writers!

I'm new to the concept of online serials, but I've been working a serial called Angelverse for 3 years now. I always called it a short story series, but serial is a better term. It's a post-apocalyptic sci fi epic set in the near future where the laws of physics are failing, children are developing strange powers, and a large cast of human and non-human characters are struggling to save the multiverse before it collapses. It has a planned ending and will conclude in a year and a half, at roughly 60 episodes.

After posting it on my website for years, I'm finally releasing it in ebook form on Amazon, so it wouldn't be welcome here, I'm afraid. Still, if anyone's interested, the first four episodes are available for FREE here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/403269

It doesn't have a very good review on Smashwords, but the Amazon reviews have been great.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I2HMIYE

There are 16 episodes up on Amazon now, in three volumes for 99 cents each. I post a new volume every 2 weeks. But I gather ebooks are not the thing here, so I will set my shameless self-promoting aside. I'm really eager to meet other serial writers!


I'm not personally sure if it's outside the criteria, but I'll leave that discussion up to the people who know. Hello there, lizy. There's certainly no shortage of stories of all genre, except maybe for those tagged "super villain". Still, make yourself at home and have fun getting your brain word drunk on our concepts and ideas. I know, I know. Poetic. What can I say, other than that my mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention. Now where did my ducky go?


Yay, a stranger! My parents always told me not to talk to strangers, so I naturally try to strike up a conversation with everyone I see.

Hello, whatever-your-name-is, I'm the resident teenaged asshole. To prove that this is true: #selfie, #yolo, #mileycyrus (this one might just be an American thing). Just so ya know, you should read my current serial (the sorta-kinda sacrilege one, not the Twitter one) and give it a (five-star) review, you know, just for fun.


Welcome Lizy Newswanger! A serial is a serial whether it be here or on amazon, so you're sure to find a lot to talk about here!


Speaking of Amazon...Wow, all five-star reviews? I don't think I've ever seen that happen before in a written work! I'm actually planning on eventually turning my serial as an ebook as well; out of curiosity how did you settle on releasing in 4-episode chunks?


Maddirose,the beautiful thing about telling everyone you know to read your book is that they tend to write nice reviews :) A couple of those reviews came from total strangers, but a couple were also from very kind friends. As I said, I got a less than favorable review on Smashwords. I settled on 4-episode chunks because I felt that 50-100 pages was a good deal for $0.99 and because the episodes happened to divide up well that way (one volume contains only three episodes because they're particularly long and all tie together.

Alex5927, nice to meet you. I've never heard of a Twitter novel before!

Psycho Gecko (love your username), no stories on super villains, huh? That's a shame, villains are the best. The whole concept of my serial came out of wanting to write a villain who succeeded in destroying the world, hence it being post-apocalyptic.


No, there are stories about super villains. Just not an awful lot with that particular tag. There's a few, though. Take, for instance, World Domination in Retrospect, in which a wacky villain blogs to another dimension (because he's smarter than Dr. Horrible at least) about his ongoing violent and comedic exploits. Perhaps not the most solid writing, but some people consider the unrepentant villain's tale to be pretty enjoyable. Very much a case of "Your Mileage May Vary".


I find it amusing that Worm, a very well known story around here, features a heroic figure struggling with morality and villainy, but is so much darker than the story of the guy who murders people for fun and profit. I do recommend Worm too, but you'd better have time. Now completed, it's long enough to make Tolstoy go "What the hell? Don't you ever get tired of writing?" It's very well written, but the story's emotional content can mostly be recreated by taking a puppy, a kitten, a baby seal, and a fluffy bunny wabbit, lining them all up, and having people kick the crap out of them over and over again. Then, some big badass heroic looking guy walks up to stop them so that HE can kick the fuzzy wuzzy animal brigade instead.


So there's that. A number of people have also expressed enjoyment at the antics down in the comment section, though it's less active now that the story's finished.


If you prefer sci fi, then my biggest recommendation...is to stay away from Subjugation. The number of problems I had with the story is longer than even the longest review on this site, which at least tried to be nice and account for differing tastes. One of them basically involves that the main character is supposed to be a hero, but suffers from a case of Fridge Villainy.


I like your cover pic. This character looks pretty happy to be living at the end of the world.


Reviving this thread because of new developments. Hope that's okay!

Fiona, I'm glad you like the cover. Yes, she does look a little too happy for the end of the world. I think if I were in the apocalypse, I'd find a quiet place to hide and stay there.

Psycho Gecko, if there's one thing I hate, it's a writer telling me "oh, this guy is a hero" when I can clearly see the character is a grade-A jerk. So yes, I will stay away from Subjugation. Thanks for the tip!

Sales on Amazon have been good, but I want to try branching out and list my stories elsewhere online as a serial for free! The problem is, I'm completely new to all this. What kind of site do people use to host their serial? I have no coding experience, but my best friend is a software engineer at Amazon so she might be able to help. Can anyone recommend some site to me? Thanks so much :)


Wordpress is very popular because it's easy to use. It also allows for all the convenience options, such as "next chapter" links at the beginning and end of a chapter.


Yeah Wordpress, the online version instead of the self hosted is free, has a large number of themes and is generally the go to of the serial. Its very easy, I'm computer clueless, in a way that is almost criminal, my kids laugh at me and the oldest is 8. So yeah nice and simple.


Thanks Chrysalis and Tempest! I've run Wordpress sites in the past and it was pretty easy.

Do you think there's any stand-out examples of good serial layout, either using Wordpress or a different site?


I've only just started looking into Wordpress myself, and would really love to hear some suggestions for themes / layouts as well.


I love the 'Book Lite' theme, but it does depend on what you want. There doesn't seem to be anything designed just for serials.


Most would recommend, that it be easy on the eye, as in not insanely busy or bright, and that the navigation is simple. Most themes do trade offs, versatility vs inbuilt functionality. Once again it is an issue of what you want it to do for you.


For examples: A Grey World, is easy to read. http://agreyworld.wordpress.com/

I think my own is fairly simple to navigate but thats my own preference more than anything. I do like Pact's table of contents on the side. http://pactwebserial.wordpress.com/

Its a personal choice for most things, clear navigation never hurts though.


A word of warning though, if you decide on Wordpress,when you change themes and customise appearances you will break stuff. It happens, most of the time it is fixable, but there are times when you won't be able to make it go back how it was before.

Even if its something small such as the header text colour, you wont be able to figure out what you did. Try not to panic. Its not a big deal, I've been told after my own freakout about the header text colour, so yeah there is that.


Tempest, I've done the same thing on my tumblr page. One small tweak and it all goes to pieces. Thank you so much for sending those examples!


I really like your site design and especially cover design Tempest, works really well. Did you draw it yourself?


I find WordPress pretty easy to use, but there are only a limited number of styles to pick from. I found one I was happy with, and stuck with it - introducing a bit of personalisation with a fancy, but hopefully not too intrusive background. I'm a sucker for design, so I wish I could play with everything.


All the stat reporting/control you get in general is very good with Wordpress. As a reader, I much prefer WordPress to Blogger or actual sites (unless very simple) because I know where everything is and where to look.


There are so many Wordpress themes to choose from it can be bewildering. At the moment I have a different one for each of my websites - with Bushwick my current choice for my new web serial www.journaloftheliving.wordpress.com. It has black text on a white background, which is easy to read, though not as nice to look at as some other themes. It does have navigation down the side, though.


I wish I had drawn it myself but my abilities in that area are horrific. Jason Chan is the artist, that dude can draw. http://www.jasonchanart.com/


He is totally my guy if I come into money and want some art.


I'm in the middle of converting my site from WordPress to Jekyll (http://jekyllrb.com). If your friend is a programmer, it might be an option for you. WordPress is fine, but is unfortunately growing ever more (needlessly) complex. You can host your Jekyll site for free on github.com, if you want (though, I'm not sure how compatible their terms of service are with anything even a little racy).


I might open source my Jekyll theme when it is finished. Haven't decided yet. Anyway, there are lots of options.


Chris


Thank you everyone for your helpful responses! I started building a WordPress site but I've been slowed down by my book going free on Amazon (it's in the top 20 post-apocalyptic sci fi books!)so I'll get back to the site when I have time.