Two Serials at Once???

I was just wondering how difficult this is. I am currently supporting my first serial, The Unbroken Chaos, at, but I have another idea that is perfectly suited for serial format. What I want to know is: have you done this before, and if so, is it too hard to keep up?

I currently have two running as well and here's what I've found out:

Watch out for a merging of voices. I get working on one and then I realize shortly into it that I'm sounding a lot like myself in the other story. If you want to have two distinct styles of narration then it can be very hard when you're shifting between formats.

I also have found that I find myself dedicating a lot more time to my newer project, partly because I'm getting a little anxious to wrap up the first, and partly because it's fresh. It seems easier to get passionate about the new project than it is to keep a passion going. Of course my situation is a little different in that one of my two serials is Reader Directed so I can't really do much work on the "next chapter" until the polls close. It was a lot easier when I had all day to work during the summer but between a house, family, and other hobbies I just couldn't keep up with that writing schedule so it does give me more time to focus on one when I want to and then swap back to the Reader Directed when the polls close and then go back to the first.

The real challenge of keeping up depends entirely on the schedule you set for yourself, and how much of a buffer you manage to maintain.

I haven't done it myself, but I have seen other people try and fail in various ways either by dropping one serial or by having inconsistent updates with both.

Personally, I've decided that if I ever want to try that, I need to have 75% finished first. That way I'll be able to avoid inconsistent update problems, and definitely finish.

I can barely sustain one writing serial, haha. Like Jim, I don't think I'd ever attempt to write as I go on two stories at once, but I am technically currently serialising two: AFTGTJ on Sundays and Thursdays, and a silly romance novella that's completely written already on Tuesdays.

I think there's an argument for doing two at once: generally a "more is more" approach works to getting internet fame and fortune, so the more you're posting a week, the more your work will get out there, and if you're writing two serials, that's two (albeit probably overlapping) groups of readers you're attracting. But you have to be able to sustain the posting schedule and keep your head in two worlds on a stable, week-by-week basis. Which I would find very difficult.

I have done it before and my audience didn't like it, and I didn't either--lot less money came in than if I'd been running one at a time!

I'm trying it. So far it's working pretty much the way Jim describes it, but I'm going to show them, show them all, etc.

In spite of being overbooked ... I'm thinking of doing this myself.

I have two serials - one for over summer and the other I do over winter. The winter serial is actually a very long story I wrote a long time ago that is too episodic to be a novel, so I decided to run it in seasons over the winter to give myself a break from the summer serial, which I write as I go.

Well, I find that the winter serial has a different tone and pacing from the rest of my blog. I'm thinking of moving it to it's own blog which will be slower, and somewhat longer episodes, and will go continuously. It wouldn't be a lot of work, because it's already written. (Also, I'd have less illustration work -- one in four of the number of episode headers.)

My main blog is a daily blog, and I want to have fiction on it twice a week. So the problem is that, if I remove the winter serial from the rotation, I have to write more stuff to fill the main blog.

This is probably a good thing. So... I'm considering it. I _DO_ have other stories which can fill in to give me breaks on the main serial, so I might be able to manage it.

We'll have to wait and see if A) I actually do it and B) if it works.


I considered doing this. And then I laughed and slapped myself around a bit, because while I really wanted to, I knew I couldn't keep it up. Like MrOsterman said, shiny new projects have a tendency to take over, and I'd hate to neglect an active project as a result.

For me, it's also a question of priorities. My web serial has to come first, so that I can make sure it's posted on time every week. If I had two competing serials, the priorities would get tangled, and both schedules would probably suffer. Or one would wind up overriding the other, and the poor, left-behind one would be dragging its feet (and its audience) in the dust.

I wound up delaying the start of Starwalker for a year so I could pick it up after the Apocalypse Blog had finished. But saying that, I write a lot of other stuff while I have an active serial. Short stories, bits of the novel I've been poking at for the past couple of years, setting up stuff for the next serial on my list... lots of stuff that is less time-sensitive than the serial and I can fit in around the schedule.

If you can make it work, more power to you. But I know my limits. ;)

I tried to run some short ones at the same time (i.e., bonus or filler while I took a vacation). The problem is, as Mr. Osterman said, maintaining the unique voices and continuity. (Running two 3rd limited omniscient POVs is harder than doing one 1st person and the other 3rd person.)

That said - we presumed you meant writing the two serials at once, but you could write one and finish it (i.e., blow a whole week to just push out a good draft) and your posting is largely contingent on editing.

If you serialized a mostly complete work (#1) while writing another work , posting it as you completed installments, it might be doable.

Thank you all for your input. I am going to hold off on my next serial, since this first one is mainly just an experiment to get a handle on things, and is going to be over in a little under two months anyway (I KNOW, it's extremely short, but, as I said before, this was just an experiment to figure out things that work and if I could do it), and with the next one, I'm planning on having more of a TV show format than a novel/novella/novelette split into episodes, meaning it will be able to go on for longer.

I did it in order to have something to write as a break, but having a schedule for both SUUUUUCKED and is why both ended up abandoned for now. What I should have done is serialize one, and kept the other back for me, to then rewrite and serialize later.