Who knows what lurks in the hearts of men? Who knows what dwells in that deep, dark-down place where fire meets ice?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Write Serial Fiction & Be Ready to Publish In Less Than 24 Hours

I had completed my first three novels before entering the world of the serial novel.

Classically trained in literature I had read Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers, Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, Mark Twain’s Huckle-berry Finn, as well as many other novels considered classic which began their life as serial novels, a fact that made little impression on me at the time. To me, serial novels were those light mysteries or equally light romances in the back of magazines I’d read growing up.

I rediscovered serial novels on the internet quite by accident. In the middle of researching facts for my third novel, I stumbled across a fanfiction site. Before then, I had never heard of fanfiction nor had any idea such sites existed. Curious, I delved right in, and before long, I had posted my own fanfiction episodes along with everyone else.

Why would a novelist, used to creating her own worlds, want to write fanfiction? First, I wanted to see what it was like. Once I did, and the comments started coming in, I was hooked. Second, I discovered, as I discuss in the book, that writing episodes online is a type of performance art. Writing before a built-in audience is exciting and satisfying.

I learned how to structure my episodes with a beginning punch to draw in my audience, and how to leave them wanting more, which is one of the primary goals in serial fiction. The downside of writing fanfic is that you are writing in someone else’s world, using characters and settings you do not own.

I decided it was time for a change and submitted an idea for a serial novel to several newspapers and magazines. One of the newspapers hired me to write a novel divided into weekly episodes. The novella was such a success the paper hired me to write three more. Following that, a newsprint magazine hired me to run the same four novellas.

Earlier this year I started writing The Hidden, a serial novel sold in episodes through Amazon. I have completed the first novella and am pleased with the response I’ve received.

So, why did I write this book?

Serial novels have recently experienced a comeback and more and more writers are experimenting with the format. This is good, but what I have discovered is that many writers wanting to write serial fiction have little understanding of the basic elements involved and how serial fiction differs from writing a completed novel. I was appalled to discover an author advertising that he would “cut up your novel to use as a serial.”

Serial fiction is not “cut up novels,” and episodes are not chapters. Also, different types of serial fiction require different criteria. I try to cover all of this in this book so that even the experienced writer might find something new and of value.

I should mention that besides giving valuable information on writing serial fiction, the e-book contains a bonus section devoted to MARKETING. This section contains over 500 clickable links for facebook sites and websites which post e-books.The section also contains twitter sites willing to post your books.

How to Write Serial Fiction goes through clearly and succinctly everything you need to publish your serial fiction on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other outlets. There is a wealth of information in this book and I wish it had been around when I first self-published my book series. There are a number of intricate steps to serial writing, and C. R. Myers takes you through everything you need to know to help your first serial be a resounding success. 

                                                                                                                                                       —Michael Ward
                                                                                              Self-published author with 50 titles on Amazon and Barnes and Noble 
                                                                                    Amazon’s Michael Ward Page http:// www.amazon.com/-/ e/ B007A550QM 

How to Write Serial Fiction...is awesome. I really like it because the instructions are clear and concise. The only thing I'd change is the title. I'd call it, The Dummies Guide to Writing Serial Fiction. 

                                                                                                                                       —Catherine Sellers 
                                                                                                                                       http:// www.catherinesellers.com

Writing serial fiction is not as easy as it sounds. It's not just writing a book and breaking it up by chapters. From hooking the reader with each episode , story arc , and consistent characterization to keeping the reader coming back for more, this is the resource I wish I'd had when I started writing serial fiction. 

                                                                                                                                             —Jean Lauzier 
                                                                                                                                          http:// www.jeanlauzier.com 

This is such great information. You get a step-by-step guideline on how to write a serial novel. Cat makes it look easy, and maybe if I had had the information in this book when I was writing The Cabin it would have made it easier. Thanks for all your work.

                                                                                                                                            —Evelyn M. Byrne
                                                                                                                     http:// www.evelynmbyrne.com