Serial Stories for Sci-fi

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Serial Stories for Sci-fi

Postby crit34173 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:32 pm

I was wondering if any here had made any attempts at writing serial stories for Sci-fi.

Right now, I'm writing a fanfiction serial story (I haven't put it online anywhere yet) but, afterward, I am planning on writing a superhero story of my own creation and thought it might best work as a serial story too. Hopefully, I will develop some skill with this type of writing before starting my own story.

1. Anyway, in the story I am currently writing, I have taken the tactic of adding a fair amount of physical description to open each scene. It seems to me that I'm sort of drawing the basic background of a comic book scene and then describing what the characters do in that scene. It is an approach that I haven't typically taken with non-serial writing. Each scene will start with a block describing date and place, followed by a segue making the transition from the previous scene, and then the scene itself will start with the description I previously mentioned. Occasionally, I will start with a shorter description before someone walks into/enters the main location and then add the long description as the new location is entered. After this, all the action and dialogue of the scene occurs.
Q: Do any of you do something similar if/when you write serial stories or do it at all in non-serial stories?

2. Since I started the serial story, I came to the realization that I need to set forth some format to follow for releasing my installments. I figured that about 30 minutes of reading might be chunks of the right size and have tried to shoot for roughly 7500 words each time, give or take a thousand. Assuming 300 words per page and a reading rate of 50 pages per hour would give 25 pages to be read in one half-hour. However, I've read elsewhere that serial writing to be published online should be about 1500 words long.
Q If you've done serial writing, what chunks have you decided to break your pieces down into?
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Re: Serial Stories for Sci-fi

Postby crit19292 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:46 am

I have been doing serials since 2001. I started out with cliff-hanger chapters, although have matured into simply doing chapters trusting in my readers to want to read the next one. While I have not gained a large following, my stories are odd enough that I am pleased to have a following at all.

1) My installments are about 2000 words. My experience with Critters has shown me that people will not read things over 4000 words, and it is simply hard to sustain writing that many words.

2) I post a chapter every five days. I find the numbers tend to jump as those who read do other things, but then catch back up.

3) If you are writing something good, you will find that you get few (if any) comments. Most people prefer to complain, and seldom will bother to tell you that you are doing well. You better like what you are doing. I take the words of Stan Lee seriously, "You must become your biggest fan."

4) I do complete novels. With a novel being over 70,000 words, it takes me six months or more to present a tale from start to finish. I then start the next one.

5) I write ahead. If you think you are going to write each installment the day it is to be presented, you are silly. I have seen many try, but life just gets in their way. I write as the muse is talking. I also like my stories, so I write simply to find out what is going to happen (before my reader do). I also prefer (and teach) to edit, edit, edit before I have others see what I have written. I am now way ahead, so could hit a solid dry spell and still be posting chapters every five days.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Serial Stories for Sci-fi

Postby crit34173 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:05 pm

crit19292 wrote:I have been doing serials since 2001. I started out with cliff-hanger chapters, although have matured into simply doing chapters trusting in my readers to want to read the next one. While I have not gained a large following, my stories are odd enough that I am pleased to have a following at all.

1) My installments are about 2000 words. My experience with Critters has shown me that people will not read things over 4000 words, and it is simply hard to sustain writing that many words.

2) I post a chapter every five days. I find the numbers tend to jump as those who read do other things, but then catch back up.

3) If you are writing something good, you will find that you get few (if any) comments. Most people prefer to complain, and seldom will bother to tell you that you are doing well. You better like what you are doing. I take the words of Stan Lee seriously, "You must become your biggest fan."

4) I do complete novels. With a novel being over 70,000 words, it takes me six months or more to present a tale from start to finish. I then start the next one.

5) I write ahead. If you think you are going to write each installment the day it is to be presented, you are silly. I have seen many try, but life just gets in their way. I write as the muse is talking. I also like my stories, so I write simply to find out what is going to happen (before my reader do). I also prefer (and teach) to edit, edit, edit before I have others see what I have written. I am now way ahead, so could hit a solid dry spell and still be posting chapters every five days.

I hope this helps.


Thanks.

1. I guess that is bad news for me, I've been writing about 7000 words per "installment". I hope it doesn't turn out too bad for me when I start posting mine. I wasn't trying to create a cliffhanger but I wanted to try and resolve something each time and found my original plan of 3000 words insufficient.

2. Five days? I'll consider that. Right now, I'm considering 1/week when I start posting.

3. Something to contemplate. Thanks.

4. Wow, much more prolific than I have been. Since I decided to write serials, my output has seemed to pick up some though.

5. Sounds like a good idea to me. I started writing non-serial stories and publishing chapters on a site as I wrote them. I started pressuring myself and I don't think the results were good. With my current serial story (fanfiction to be posted elsewhere), I'm trying to do an entire "season" and plan the second before beginning to post the first.
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