Getting serialized online fiction right?

We’re into the last few weeks of the Black Sands series of stories. Have you been enjoying (or even noticed) the stories being strings of 5 tales creating weekly narratives, creating an even longer series narratives? Was it worth it?

I think so. From a writers and readers perspective, I think the entire series has had a better flow to it. Revisiting similar themes and characters on a rotation cemented the plot quite well. Keep it sparse and replace events with ideas and themes. You can step into the story at any point and know what’s going on. Even if you don’t notice the ongoing story, the daily tales make more sense on their own. This week was a minor exception, there.

I certainly haven’t seen the massive dip in readership that Brass caused. For those that weren’t here during Brass, it was a single story across four months worth of posts. Every day had an episode number. It developed an insane bounce rate where people were finding the Fears on episode 67 and leaving because they’d missed the story thus far. Online serialized fiction always has that effect.

In other news, the art & GIMP course I mentioned last week, has of course been delayed. I’m having a mare with Skillshare. My 4g home internet disagrees with random things. At the moment, it disagrees with the upload page to Skillshare. If I have no luck this week, I’ll be looking towards Udemy or Linda. I haven’t used either very much, so need to look into the pros and cons of both platforms. I’d like all the upcoming tutorial videos to be in one place. Not YouTube before anyone says it, haha.

As always, if you love what I do and you’d like to support the Fears in some way to keep the groaners coming, you can buy me a cupp on Ko Fi. Buy my art and merch on Etsy and Threadless. Buy one of my books on Amazon. Subscribe on Patreon for as little as $1 a month or take one of my well-rated courses on Skillshare.

A shout and cheers to Bruce, Badger, Kathy & Warren for the continued $10 Patronage.

Cheers, everyone. I hope you enjoy your weekend.

20 thoughts on “Getting serialized online fiction right?”

    1. It’s an issue with the internet provider I think. I was having problems being with packet loss on SL. Contacted 4Gee, after 3 months of badgering them, they did something and it cleared up along with a couple of other sites becoming usable again. The downside, other sites became unusable at the same time. I’m told that’s a routing issue?

      There’s only one provider I can use for my internet as I’m stuck with a 4G aerial and router. No landline gets above 128k here.

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  1. Hello! I’m kind of a new blogger, just wanted to say I appreciate all your advice. Your comment on SOF is insightful, and writer revenue options (I was hesitant about Etsy/merchandise, but I clicked your link and now I want one of your t shirts :)).
    Yet I hesitate doing what readers might want, or what I like. It’d be great to have more readers, but I’d be fine with an active, supportive few. I want criticism, and to improve.
    Anyway, I enjoy your blog and will meditate on how to make a more reader friendly format. Best of luck with the wifi issues!

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    1. Howdy. Glad my posts are helpful and you like my stuff.

      You say you hesitate to write what readers want. Honestly, when I write what I think readers want, my writing becomes painfully flat and bland. I have to write what I want, then package it in a way a reader might like. I experiment all the time. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. I usually see things through to the end even if it’s obvious it’s not working as I’ll take that as a learning experience.

      And I guess that brings me to this post. The current format is a follow on from changing my writing style over 3 years. I think, now, I have it about right? But then the next series is going to change again, so who knows if that’ll work, haha.

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  2. I know presenting music is different, I share music I love/like, when I get into the should space it doesn’t work for me or my listeners. I largely stick with particular genres and just mix them up every week. Not every show can be brilliant, I just try my best and have some consideration for my listeners, it’s not all about me. I suppose it’s knowing your audience. Hence I don’t really do modern music i.e. chart stuff. Keep up the good work. I like the ability to dip in not necessarily in chronological order.

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    1. That’s something I’d always agree with. Do it for yourself first. If you write/produce/present entirely for the largest audience possible, you’d lose your own voice and just fart out generic rubbish. Something I did a few times many years ago.

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  3. We have woefully inadequate wifi in the UK due to lack of proper investment. For such a small country we really ought to have top class coverage everywhere. Perhaps it will happen when we “get our country back.”!!!!! Meanwhile, good luck with sorting out all the issues Pete.

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    1. Oh, lordy, we’ll be getting our countries back soon, whether we like it or not… sigh

      Yeah, my internet options are so bad, a 4G aerial on my house gives me a better connection than my old fibre back in London. Heck, where I am now, the best we can get through the landline is 128k. That’s just double dial speed from the 90s. Oof.

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    1. Thanks, Carriage. Yes, I’ve messed up pacing a few times. Writing specifically for online is completely different to writing for magazines and books.

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  4. “Online serialized fiction always has that effect.” Well, yes and no. If your blog is linear ot things go up and then disappear later, sure. And some people will be like the ladies who wait for the next Harlequin Romance to pop out and if they miss one it’s the end of the world. But in E world if you keep your content organized like a pulp book somewhere (Here’s the Story of Dingleberries and Frito Pie) in a sidebar so people can read an “event” as opposed to a random episode, then no. Yo, you, go to the Bobby B drop down, start at the top. There are those hardy souls out there who know an author will take it down in 3 days who watch their Reader like hawks for releases, but those people are carzy and most of what they read is shit that needs to come down sooner than it does. So…Organization of content. You have so many irons in the fire that you really hould consider it yourself.

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    1. OK, I’ll change it to “it almost always has that effect, to varying degrees.”

      On organizing content, well, I try to. I even have the directory on my homepage for every storyline. I figure that’s going to change in the coming months though as I need to migrate this site to WordPress.com. Hostings becoming an issue. Having to hide behind Cloudflare from DDOS attacks and rough hack attempts suck. Random of course, it’s not targetted. Also, WordPress’ great idea of duplicating every uploaded into 8 different possible sizes for website speed is wrecking my storage. It’s getting expensive. The cons are outweighing the pros.

      So, I guess I’ll have to pick a new theme and drop the organized plugins and I guess I’ll go with a menu to categories for each storyline? Something like that.

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