Serial Fiction Plotting: Plot, Or Not?

Serial Fiction Plotting: Plot, Or Not?

Serial fiction has been a hot trend for a while. Some readers love it, others hate it. Authors who write serials are in in the “love” camp. After all, a successful serial can earn big bucks, so what’s not to love about that?

In a sense, writing a serial is like writing a novel. It’s one long story, released as a part-work. That’s the big difference between writing serial fiction, and writing a series.

In another sense, writing a serial is NOT like writing a novel. With a novel, you can set up your story in a couple of chapters, and then write, with rising action, until the climax. Serial fiction has LOTS of climaxes — to keep readers reading — while maintaining one storyline.

I’m fond of saying that when you’re writing fiction, the end is in the beginning, and that’s especially true of serials. You set up your ending at the beginning.

Does that mean that you need to do extensive plotting?

Plotting your serial: a lot, or a little?

You don’t need to do extensive plotting; I don’t. I’m a pantser by nature and inclination, so I plot when necessary. If plotting terrifies you, relax… you can get comfortable with it.

As we’ve said, you need to know how you’ll end your serial, otherwise it leads to procrastination, and tortured writing.

So, if you’re writing a mystery, you need to know your sleuth is, who died and why, and who the killer is. Your sleuth also needs a string of internal and external challenges, so that you can end each episode with readers eager to know what happens next.

If you’re writing a romance, you need to know who your romantic leads are, and why they can’t be together.

Think about your voice for your serial: who’s your main character?

I don’t mean your literary voice. “Voice” tends to get talked about in literary circles and it’s rubbish. You’re a writer. You have a voice that’s compounded of your likes, dislikes, life experience, and the way you use language. You don’t need to struggle to achieve it.

The voice in your serial is that of your point of view (POV) character. Think about how you can make that voice — that style of writing, if you like — exciting to the readers who read in your genre.

For example, I enjoy John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series. I’ve read all of them. I also love Wingfield’s Inspector Frost series. I enjoy those books because I love the characters. Those books are written in a certain way. There’s a distinctive voice.

You’re asking readers who buy the episodes of your serial to spend time with you. Write your serial so that it appeals to them.

That said, when you’re writing, just write. A voice, or tone, or style will either develop, or it won’t. If it does, it’s wonderful. You’ll find writing your series much easier.

A beginning, an ending, a glimmer of plot and a main character: start writing

The fun of writing serials is the writing. You’ll discover your story as readers do. So, when you’ve got the above elements, start writing. 🙂

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks

Discover what serial fiction can do for you as an indie author.

Why write serial fiction?

Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.

It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.

If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.

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About the Book

If you’ve heard that authors are successfully publishing their fiction as serials, and are curious about how it’s done, read on. Readers enjoy serial fiction today, as they’ve done for centuries.

Firstly, let’s consider why you might consider writing serial fiction.

Why write serial fiction?

Everyone’s busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.

It’s a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.

If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.

Discover how to write serial fiction (a serial isn’t a longish novel)

Authors publish serials with varying degrees of success. A less experienced author simply chops up a novel into parts, then publishes the parts. This exercise is rarely successful.

Savvy authors know that while their serial has an overarching plot, each episode also needs to be a satisfying read on its own, even if it does conclude with a cliffhanger.

Plan, Write, And Publish Serial Fiction In Four Weeks is a master class in writing serial fiction. It’s structured as a four week program. Each week has exercises.

You can take longer than four weeks to complete the program, or you can zoom through it. Either way, when you’ve completed the class you’ll be well on the way to publishing and promoting your own serials.

Get started today.

Details
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 6
Genre: Fiction writing
Tag: self-publishing
Publisher: Angela Booth
Publication Year: 2018
ASIN: B07DGMLNRG
eBook Price: 5.99
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

$4.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction

You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels.

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Updated: June 11, 2018

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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.