Recently, I’ve noticed that some authors have been doing episodes/serials. I’m new to the whole concept. It sounds like you tell a story in anywhere from 5,000-30,000 words. Then they write a series of these stories so it completes a whole “season”. I’m thinking of it in terms of TV shows because it’s the best way I can think about them. I’m sure there are variations to this stuff and each author doing it has to find their own slant on how they want to pursue this idea.
Some authors like to have a cliffhanger (of sorts) from one “episode” to another. Other authors prefer to tell complete stories but have an overriding arc over the whole “season”. I’m guessing a version of this could be complete stories that center in on one family, couple, or town with no major overriding arc at all but one story has the potential to build on a previous one somehow.
It seems there’s a lot of flexibility in an idea like this, but it’s probably not as easy or simple as it sounds either. Naturally, some people like to read these types of stories. (I’m one of them and I like them only because with my busy schedule, it’s nice to get something short and quick in during the day when I have some spare time.) But I understand other people don’t like these. They would rather read a longer story in one sitting that gets them fully invested in the characters. So I get both sides of the coin.
I’ve been debating whether or not to do one. If I did, it would be 12 episodes for 1 season. I’m thinking one story a month and there’s twelve months in a year. As for word count, I’d aim it around 15-25K. It’s hard to know how long the average story would be since I’ve never attempted this before. But (and my friend Stephannie Beman made an excellent point on this), it would have to be something where I did all stories ahead of time before I even published the first one. The reason being that real life kicks in and set backs occur. With a novel, you can set it aside and come back to it later. There is no strict routine of publishing it like there would be in a monthly episode.
So I’m bouncing this idea around and will continue to do so for a while. My biggest obstacle is what format I’d want the episodes to be. Do I focus in on one couple, one family, or a whole town? Do I go with brand new characters I’ve never written before or delve more into a set of characters I already wrote about? The easy decision is genre. I’m thinking historical western. I have fun doing contemporaries and Regencies, but I think my first love will always be historical westerns.
Anyway, I wanted to get this off my chest so I can hopefully move on and post about other things because as much as I wanted to post about other stuff, this one kept bugging me. 😀 Maybe now I can get back to some kind of routine with my blogging.