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Thoughts on Serializing a Novel

August 15, 2007

So, I’ve been doing this for about six months now with Caldera, and I’ve learned quite a few things in that time.  I might as well share them.  I’m going to be stating a new weekly segment, Thoughts on Serializing a Novel.  Right now I’m thinking that it would probably work best to do it on Wednesdays, but that could change (it may move to Thursday), I’ll let you know if it does.

The first thing to sort out is why you would even want to serialize a novel.  While it may technically be publishing, I certainly don’t think that its a replacement for traditional media.  I would currently rather sell my work than post it for free, but there is a reason why I’m doing it like I am.  While there are a variety of reasons, the first and most important is that I want others to read my work, which is basically the reason why anyone writes anything for publication (because, lets face it, if you don’t think you have anything to say, why bother?).  Beyond that, you may be trying to build an audience, you may not care if you ever make a dime off of what you put up (which doesn’t preclude you from making money off of other stories), you may be using it as motivation to keep on writing, you may be doing it to get feedback and to learn, the list goes on.  I will definitely return to this subject, but I hope that I have made it clear that there are good reasons to do this.

The second thing to note is that I divide serialized works into two categories.  The first is a work that is being serialized as it is being written, and the second is serializing something after it has been written.  It may seem like I’m splitting hairs here, but there is a difference.  The major one is that its a totally different end product, in the first case, you simply cannot put out a final draft, as the editing process (for most writers) demands that the entirety of the first draft be finished.  Personally, I think that there are advantages to each, the first offers an interesting perspective on the writing process, and the second is easier to make money off of.  Personally, I will be talking more about the first than the second, but a lot of what I say should apply to both types.

I think that should do it for an introduction.  Feel free to leave comments, suggestions on future topics, or questions for me (or other readers).

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 28, 2009 1:14 pm

    Tom – this posting is really old, so I’m not sure it is even current. Oh well.

    I have a few novel length stories I’d like to serialize as free blogs. My problem to this point has been finding a Blogging format or template that would allow one website to host several stories, each of which was archived by chapters. I have to believe that is being done, but I haven’t found it yet.

    Based on your experience blogging a novel, I’m curious it you have any ideas.

    Thanks for any input you can offer.

    Gil Stewart

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