Introduction!

Hi everyone! New to this site and serials, but I've been writing fiction for quite a while.


I'm excited to jump away from novels for a while and flex my writing muscle with serials. I've heard serials are more challenging than novels. I've only done two chapters and... I believe it.


I'm hoping to find some fun stuff to read, as well as grow as a writer. Glad to be here!


I think the constant deadlines are what make it feel harder, but in the end, how different can writing a novel upfront rather than in parts be?


Just be careful with your drafts! Try to keep your best foot forward. That's what I try to live by, anyway, which is why my updates are so damn slow.


In general, I have pretty clean first drafts. I mean, there are obviously exceptions, like when I'm sick or under deadline for school or work or what have you. I'm an edit-as-I-go type, so by the time I'm done with the first draft, it normally reads more like a second draft.


I was aiming for a 3,000-word (ish) chapter every two weeks, which seems pretty reasonable I think. I hope. XD


A serial is like a novel, except broken up into tiny pieces that gets read and critiqued by an audience constantly peering over your shoulder. They're wondering if this is supposed to be a plot hole, or if something makes any sense, and you have to feed them enough interesting material each time. Also, serials can be longer.


It's the difference between a movie and a TV show. A movie is a small, self-contained chunk. They're entertaining, you can get excited about them, but it's shortlived and fairly static. They only give you a short amount of time to make the characters into real people. TV shows become part of your schedule, something you get to look forward too, with characters that can change with the times and fill out a lot more than what their cumulative twenty minutes of the movie would show. There's a little bit of back and forth between creator and audience, too.


Nice to meet you, nursingcapsarecool. I'm Psycho Gecko, of the serial World Domination in Retrospect. To keep up the TV show metaphor, I'm like pro wrestling, or the stuff on Spike TV.


Unfortunately, I never settle on a theme song for long, so it's probably best to go for one that's purely informative in the meantime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk_dRzaBoUM


Nice to meet you, Psycho Gecko! That's a good way to look at the difference between serials and movies. Now I just hope I don't get cancelled halfway through the first season...


My theme song has always been and will always be this amazing musical masterpiece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnHmskwqCCQ.


Sorry, couldn't hear it too well. I felt a sudden compulsion to quickly chase around a monkey who had stolen my hat and kept tossing banana peels back at me. And then there was a bit with these guys carrying a giant wedding cake and me getting hit in the face with a door.


Don't forget chasing around ladies dressed in maid costumes!


I like doing serials for the feedback.


Everyone's pretty much summed up the good and the bad: it can be stressful working with a constant deadline, and having your chapters posted before you've had a chance to edit the structure of the whole work can be trying for authors accustomed to doing a book in multiple drafts. On the other hand, the constant feedback and interaction with readers is immeasurably satisfying.


It's worth trying, at the very least! I hope you come to enjoy it as much as some of us do.


Yeah, feedback is the best part, though you might not get as much as you want at first, over time you'll get more and more input on individual chapters and the direction of the story and I think that's really valuable imo. It's also nice just to see people talking about and speculating on the work you do. That drive to imagine what comes next doesn't happen as much outside serial/episodic work.


Alexander, getting feedback on writing is one of my favorite parts of it. I like giving it, too, though I have to be careful because I tend to be a little too straightforward with people, and I end up hurting feelings sometimes. I'm trying to get better.


D.D., speaking of editing, what's the protocol for editing after you've posted a chapter? Like I posted one this morning, and then at work I decided I wanted to add in something not really plot-essential, but better scene building. Since I can't imagine anyone is reading my blog yet, I went ahead and changed it, but it made me wonder about later and if I ever do get readers, is editing a no-no?


I would suggest mentioning that you did change it, so people that DID read the original version dont think they lost their mind.


unless your Wildbow, in which events in the story changed the past, and he actually changed details in the previous chapters to reflect that withtoout telling us....


That's probably a good idea. :D


Hi Nursingcaps. Welcome to the community. What genre do you write?


@ Alexander - I don't think I went back and actually changed anything. The whole reason I got into serial writing was because it kept me moving forward. Going back to make comprehensive edits is against the spirit of things.


I don't think there's a protocol as such regarding editing. Some do more than others; personally, I'm not very good about fixing typos even after my readers have been kind enough to point them out. Bad author, no biscuit. I WOULD definitely go back and clear up a plot hole if someone showed me where I had one. Thankfully that has not happened yet, but given that my story is one constantly escalating game of Xanatos Speed Chess, I figure it's just a matter of time.


If I actually get through this whole thing without contradicting myself or writing myself into a corner, I think my next project will be world domination.


Wildbow, with the erasing demon? Didn't you go back and remove a few people from previous updates?


Also, DD, did you see the april fools post? wink wink, nudge nudge, know what I mean?


I have at times gone back to edit minor details. For example I overestimated a certain amount of distance traveled by armored vehicles, in kilometers, in one chapter and went back and edited the numbers based on some research I did. Mostly I only edit things like that if they bug me a lot. Sometimes a mistake nags me enough to need correction. Otherwise I mostly just keep going. I don't leave notices or updates because the details are minor enough not to matter to anyone but myself.


I don't think those edits need to be secretly copped to. You're writing a serial, not putting out a novel. Your planning is severely fluid, no matter how many outlines or notes you've made, and all those little changes and edits you make? You would have done them in the novel format. It's just that now, as a post-by-post-by-post thing, the behind-the-scenes works is more transparent.


The April Fools thing seems like fun, but I'm a little intimidated. I'm not familiar with a lot of the serials on offer...