And other terrible puns.
I apologize -- I'm writing the final chapters of a serial novella I began a couple of months ago on Wattpad. I've reached the point (at last!) where the writing is going well and I am completely immersed in the story. That's the good part (as far as enjoying the work) and the bad part (as far as getting anything else done).
The story is called The Haunted Heart and you can read the first eleven chapters right here.
It's a ghost story and a romance, but not only is it serialized, it's the first of four interconnected novellas, so while part of the story completes this weekend (fingers crossed) the full story won't complete for...well, it's possible that it might take years. Writing schedules being what they are.
In fact, I just signed a contract with Carina Press for two new stories. Stranger on the Shore (classic romantic suspense with an M/M twist) and Fair Play, the sequel to Fair Game. So that's a lot of next year taken up already.
I've never done a serial before, and it's been a fascinating experience. Obviously there is pressure to produce. That's not a bad thing; in fact, right now it might be a very good thing for me. It's strange getting feedback as I'm working on the rough draft, but it's also encouraging in a way I didn't expect. It's difficult sharing a rough draft (and I know how rough this is), to work through questions of age and motivation and backstory in public. I hate the strings of the puppet show to be visible! At the same time, I'm relieved to find that I'm not any more acutely aware of the reader than usual, so that's good. I guess it turns out I'm always aware of the reader, but that awareness only influences me so far. So that resolves one of my fears about working this way -- the fear that the story might change into something not my own if it was revealed in its malleable form.
As a reader, I'm not a fan of serials. I like being able to look ahead. Yes, I admit that. If the tension becomes insurmountable, I like to look ahead and decide if I'm going to keep reading. I'm one of those. You can't do that in a serial. You can't read ahead and you can't know how it all turns out. I guess that's a good thing. I was climbing the walls reading Ginn Hale's Rifter series.
When I'm done with this story, I plan to let it sit for a while. That won't be easy to do because we're all conditioned to cranking stuff out at the speed of light. But I know there are layers here that I'm missing because of the time factor, so I will finish and then I will go back and layer in the little details that give any story its richness and depth. Also I made my mind up that no erotic scenes would be shared in this format. That's more because Wattpad is mostly populated by very, very young writers and readers.
Anyway, this was an experiment for me, and so far it feels successful. I've noticed that a number of writers are experimenting with serialized stories, so I wonder if the serial is making a comeback? What do you think? Do you enjoy reading serialized stories? Do you enjoy writing serialized stories?