“Writing a novel takes too long…”
We’re all impatient these days. New writers feel that while writing Kindle fiction is exciting, it takes too long. One of my students completed NaNoWriMo last year, and is revising her novel, with the help of an editor. I suggested that while she’s revising, she start work on another novel.
“Maybe I’ll do another NaNoWriMo, but writing a novel takes too long…” she responded.
Yes, writing a novel takes time. You can write short stories, of course, and publish them. Alternatively, to publish faster, consider publishing serials. When you publish a serial, you write your novel, and publish as you go.
That’s what I suggested to my student, and she’s happily writing.
What’s a “serial”? It’s a publishing your novel in parts. Serial publication has a long history.
In 5 Serial Novel Tips for Impatient Writers, I gave you some ideas of how to do this, and compiled the tips into the infographic below this post.
Faster publication inspires and motivates you
Today, you can publish on your own schedule, rather than on a publisher’s, so you can write as fast as you like. Your biggest challenge is taking your own deadlines seriously. NaNoWriMo helps with that, but publishing serially is the biggest motivator of all. You know you need to complete an episode by a set date, because you’ve promised readers.
You’re accountable to others, and that makes all the difference. Rather than goofing off and watching another episode of Mad Men on Netflix, you sit down and write.
Can you publish serials if you’re a brand new author?
Yes, you can. In 5 Serial Novel Tips for Impatient Writers, I suggested:
Vital: realize that once you start publishing, the train has left the station. When you tell readers that the next episode of your serial will appear in a week, you need to make it happen.
My suggestion: write THREE episodes before you publish the first. Episodes two and three can be in draft form. The rest can be in outline form, but please, know your ending.
Publish #1, then hurry and get the next two lined up. And of course, keep writing the rest of the episodes, until you’re done.
Relax. Ideally, you’ll publish each episode on the due date. However, life happens. If your life gets in the way, that’s understandable. It happens to everyone.
Here’s how to deal with that.
Stay in touch with readers
Many readers don’t like serials, and that’s fine. Be sure to advertise that your novel is a SERIAL, in its description, so serial-haters can avoid reading, until you publish the complete novel.
In the back matter of your first episode — and all future episodes — include a link to your website, where your readers can join your mailing list. If you can’t meet a deadline for an episode, let readers know. (By the way — publishing serials is an excellent way to increase your readership.)
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.More info →
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.More info →
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.More info →
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