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The Art of Serial Fiction: How to Write One?

Serialization is a literary term that refers to any work (typically fictitious) that is released in tiny, sequential parts. Consider them to be the literary equivalent of television episodes.

It is not as straightforward as dissecting a book and releasing it chapter by chapter. Rather than that, each episode may be read alone, with common aspects connecting them all. You can appreciate and comprehend each section without having to read the whole thing.

Serial fiction has become popular in the digital age because of the proliferation of mobile media. You no longer need to rummage through stores in search of a copy of the magazine that publishes the serial you're reading.

Nowadays, the procedure is as simple as subscribing to a newsletter, following an author, or logging into a particular website. Payment is also simplified, with a variety of choices. You may pay in installments, monthly or annually, or as a member.

Writing A Serialized Fiction

If you're considering starting your serial, here are some suggestions for hooking your reader from the first installment:

1. Create an overview of your overall storyline.

One of the most significant aspects of writing a serial is that you are not responsible for the whole narrative. You can concentrate on a single component at a time.

However, one disadvantage is that it's easy to lose sight of your story. Your story's cohesion and quality may rapidly deteriorate. When this occurs, you run the danger of receiving bad reviews and having a low audience.

By developing an outline, you're providing yourself with a road map for writing your serial. It's a convenient way to keep track of events, characters, and other pertinent information. You may permanently alter specifics along the way; what matters is that you have a broad idea of the direction you want your narrative to go.

2. Keep your story moving forward.

Bear in mind that each episode serves as a mini-story inside your larger storyline. Your readers should notice some change in each of them, which will entice them to read the following section.

As a result, you cannot just write an installment discussing occurrences. There should be an element of tension that propels your characters. You cannot have a "passive" installment.

For instance, if your serial is a murder mystery, one episode cannot consist solely of your protagonist (perhaps a detective) discussing the facts of a crime with a colleague (unless it provides them with an epiphany in the case). They need to go out there and look for clues, talk with witnesses, or be taunted by the killer—anything that will bring them closer to solving the case.

By including these minor story elements in each episode, you can keep your readers from becoming bored. It informs them that something is occurring or will occur shortly.

Additionally, it guarantees that your tales are well-paced, rather than abruptly leaping from plot point to narrative point without explaining how the story arrived at that point.

3. Avoid information dumps.

When you take a large amount of background or explanatory material and "dump" it on your reader, rather than disclosing it at appropriate times throughout the narrative, this is called an info dump. It seldom aids your audience in comprehending your narrative. Indeed, it will irritate them, or they will forget all the information within a few pages.

Serials must be well-paced since each episode can only carry a certain amount of information before becoming illegible. A character's history cannot be contained inside a single chapter. Even if you did, it would be ineffective in comparison to disseminating information via meaningful events and discussion.

Continue to disclose information in tiny increments. Maximize these disclosures by scheduling them in conjunction with current events in your narrative. For instance, a perfect time to reveal an antagonist's motivations and background are at their moment of triumph or loss. The significance of the event and finally understanding why the adversary behaves the way they do instills the knowledge more firmly in your readers than just presenting it usually would.

Additionally, when you apply a data dump, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to disclose facts in subsequent episodes to heighten the suspense. Occasionally, you will run out of critical points to share. This implies that the following chapters will either be scant with content or will never invent additional information.

Combining these two actions may create an imbalance between the information in your former chapters and those in your more current ones. Additionally, improvising new information may introduce contradictions into your narrative, which brings us to the next point.

4. Be willing to improvise.

It is very uncommon for any writer to adhere to their original thoughts and ideas. Our completed works are distant from what we imagined when we began with all the editing and rewrites.

When you realize that your narrative has already deviated from your original plan or that your storyline has gaps, it is time to improvise.

When you choose a new path, you must consider how the change impacts your story and what elements should be altered. Without completely rewriting the narrative, you may create new details, characters, and events that suit your new approach.

However, the most straightforward approach to deal with plot holes is to fill them in as if they never were. To do this, you will need to include facts that do not significantly alter the plot but give depth to the narrative. They should merge without interfering with the flow of your narrative.

Therefore, if you find that you have never explained one of your character's scars, the history you add should be consistent with the way your character is shown. If your protagonist is a soldier, you might disclose that their mystery scar results from a combat wound. You cannot just state that it was from cooking unless you have indicated at the character previously having a different job or having an interest in food.

5. Develop endearing personalities.

Creating a coherent environment in a serial may be challenging. The format constrains the amount of information that may be crammed into each section. And you cannot just pour everything into one episode to ensure that your readers instantly understand the universe in which your characters live.

Alternatively, you may flesh out your characters and make them more approachable and memorable, which will encourage your readers to engage in them. They'll be enthralled as your serial develops, wondering what will happen to their favorite characters next!

Because serials must demonstrate progression with each episode, your characters must show gradual growth. They cannot stay motionless for an extended period. If they do, your series will come to a halt.

6. Maintain a consistent schedule.

Serials, by their very nature, create suspense. Your readers will be very interested in finding out what occurs next—profit on this reaction to maintain a healthy audience.

By adhering to a timetable, you may continually increase your readers' expectations. That is why most television programs, anime, manga, and cartoons, among other forms, arrived on a planned basis.

This excitement keeps your tales fresh in their thoughts and continually piques their attention. Make your readers eagerly anticipate your next release!

When you publish seldom, your readers get disinterested and may even abandon your work. Worse, they may feel as if you are leading them on, and they are not receiving a sufficient return on their investment of time in you.

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