Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mid-week update and the art of serialization

Today was a wacky day. Due to a wind storm, my kiddo didn't have school, so I wasn't very productive. I have three days to finish chapter 5 and I'm having trouble fleshing out where I want to end it. So, I am now awake while the rest of my family is asleep, pounding out the rest of the chapter.

As I'm doing this, I come to the realization that writing serially is downright difficult. I think about the manga artists in Japan that have to come up with fully formed chapters with words AND images each week. Never mind the fact that I can't draw, even with the rough outline I planned, filling in the blanks and coherently blending each chapter to the one before (not to mention - as a prequel - it should match the original novel as well), it is still a last-minute rush to the Saturday finish line.

I could say that I'm complaining about the short writing time, but really I see it as an amazing challenge to improve my writing. After all, this serial novella's deadlines are self-imposed, so I have no one to complain to but myself. The only disappointment I have so far is that I have not gotten any feedback on my chapters, which is a way I could gauge where my strengths and weaknesses in the storyline are. How do I know I'm getting better? Or, am I getting worse?

I chose to serialize a short story on Wattpad for roughly the same reasons most authors serialize their work: to satisfy current readers of  Circles who asked for more, to attract new readers with something entertaining, and to engage readers in a conversation about what works and doesn't work in the story. Of all the reasons, I was most excited about the third one. I wasn't expecting extensive critique, but I certainly wasn't expecting crickets chirping.
Hear those crickets?

So, I conclude that the absence of feedback means my current work is not engaging enough. As such, I must turn up the volume. I don't know how I will do that just yet (as I have no commented compass to guide me) but I do know that I have yet to successfully grasp at the art of serialization.

And you may think, dear reader, that this is a ploy to guilt you into posting commentary about "A Demon Born" (it is), but it is more an acceptance of the silent gauntlet thrown at my feet. I accept your challenge to give you something worth commenting on!

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