Thursday, 11 July 2013

Is Serialization the Key?

Short fiction has been out of fashion for quite some time. Sure, there have been a few amazing practitioners who have been quite successful writing short stories; the list that comes to mind includes Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, Harlan Ellison, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O'Connor, John Updike, Jorge Luis Borges, Alice Munro and...uhm...probably half a dozen other people. Only a few of those people wrote short stories exclusively.
This is something I need to keep in mind while assembling my story collection. If I can get a few readers, it would be good. A few dozen would be better. A few hundred would be phenomenal. More than that is just a silly pipedream.
So I should be surprised that nobody has been reading my stories on Wattpad? Not! Most assuredly freaking not.
When I browsed through the what's hot section on Wattpad I discovered that serialized novels are the thing. So I put up the beginning of my big fantasy novel, Out of the Nether. I'm planning to put up a section a week for the next 10 or 12 weeks. There are no readers now.  Not surprising really. I am "untested". After all, I've been writing seriously for about 40 years and have produced...wellllll...okay I haven't actually completed any novels in that time.BUT - I do have a few books worth of published/publishable short stories and not one, not two but three novels that are almost ready for prime time - and a great deal of determination get get all three of them finished over the next two years.
So, skepticism, I understand. But by the time I've finished publishing Book One of the novel and have serialized 35,000 words (most of which are already written and will receive no more than a cursory revision before posting), I expect my audience to have grown.
However unlikely it may seem, based on my admitted cheesy sounding teaser on Wattpad - this is a great fantasy novel opening. Once people start reading, I predict that they will come back. Everyone who has read Book One tells me it seriously pulls them in. I even have most of Book 2 written and should easily be able to post 75,000 words by Christmas. Which leaves me with just another 35-40K words to write and six months to do it in.
Piece of cake. Lol. And there's no better incentive than a bunch of people wanting to read more. So please, go to Wattpad and read the section of the prologue I just posted. If you like it, please bookmark it and come back once a week for more. If you don't like it, that's fine too. I won't be sore if you check it out and don't go back. No single piece of writing can possibly sink its hooks into everybody. And unless your name is Stephen King or George RR Martin, managing to addict more than 4 out of 10 people is quite an accomplishment. I'm setting my sights high - aiming for 5 out of 10. If I achieve that, then yay me. And thank you for giving it a chance. If I don't make it - thank you anyway.
So in the immortal words of ZZTop... "I ain't askin' for much..." 15 minutes of your time will tell you whether you want to give me a few more hours.
The opening of the novel is at: http://www.wattpad.com/story/6810138-out-of-the-nether
The second half of the prologue will be published next week and subsequent chapters will appear regularly until Mid or Late September. At which point Book One will be available in its entirety. Then it's on to Book Two.
This is a NO LOSE proposition, because even if you don't get hooked on the novel you'll discover a brilliant FREE app in Wattpad.



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