Write Short Fiction: What’s a Serial?

Write Short Fiction: What's a Serial?

As you may know, I’m a huge fan of short fiction. Here’s why. Writing short fiction is both sensible, and profitable.

For new writers, writing a short story is a lot easier than writing (and finishing) a novel. Experienced writers can test ideas with short stories, and can win a new audience for their novels when they release shorter works regularly.

We talked about what a short story was yesterday on the freelance writing blog. Today, let’s look at what a serial might be.

In general terms, a serial publication just means regular installments of a story, or TV show, or magazine. In self-publishing, let’s define a serial as a series of ebooks which tell a story episode by episode.

The story is incomplete, so readers need to read each episode. Some readers enjoy this, others don’t. Tip: make sure that your book description mentions that this is a serial, not a complete story. Readers need to know what they’re getting.

You’ll find writers offering series/ serials as ebooks on the ebook retailers, with various degrees of success. As far as I know, there hasn’t been a breakout hit in serial format, unless you count 50 Shades of Grey, in its earliest fan fiction incarnations.

How to Write a Serial — Write and Publish a Short Story

You can write a serial in various ways:

* Expand a published, successful short story into a serial;

* Chop up an already-written novel into episodes — however, be wary of this. Each of your installments/ episodes should aim to end on a cliffhanger;

* Write a serial from scratch.

I prefer the first method; here’s why. Your aim is to build your readership, so you want readers to look forward to each new release. When you expand a short story which is selling, you know that the story works. Few novels can be sliced into a serial without a lot of rewriting. And if you write a serial from scratch, as soon as you release the first part, you’re committed to writing, and releasing the next episodes on a schedule. What if they don’t sell?

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

eBook: $5.99

Your readers want to enter your novel's world. They want to experience your book -- they want to live your book with your main characters.

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Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99

I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.

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Buy from Inktera
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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.