Monday 13 April 2009

Serial musing

Oh dear. Another week vanishes into the past without me noticing. This is
mostly because I have been working out how to write a serial from first principles.

I always knew that the idea generated from this jigsaw (see below) would be too long for a normal short story. What I hadn't fully appreciated is that creating a magazine two-parter isn't a straightforward matter of chopping an 8000 word story in half. You have to make each half satisfying in itself. You must also keep minor characters (a fault of mine) to their own episode otherwise you have to re-explain them. And you can't drop clues to pick up later, because people are reading the sections a week apart.

There's also the fact that Part Two must be able to be read as a stand-alone if necessary. Oh, and Part One definitely has to have that "Memo to self: buy next week's issue" message.

But boy is it fun learning!


Kate Johnson said...

Yikes Jan! Rather you than me. I have a hard enough time with series--making a book standalone but still introducing a hook for the next one. Writing one story in several defined chunks--eep! Good luck.

Karen said...

I've never tried to write a serial - I think I know why now!

I'll definitely read it though :o)

Jan Jones said...

K8 - that's why I thought I'd start small with a two-parter!

Karen - you're assuming that (a) I finish it and (b) I sell it... :)