About Me

My photo
I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The art of writing a serial

As you know, I don't talk a whole lot about writing on this blog - I wanted, still want, it to be more about me and my life than about my work.

But I couldn't resist this time.

My alter ego, Josee Renard (who writes erotica, which is the reason I don't talk much about her here), has been writing a 10-part serial for Cobblestone Press called Part Time Lovers.

It's one of those things I thought would be fun - kind of like writing a linked series of stories (which I've done before) and also, though far less obviously, an homage to Charles Dickens, one of my favorite writers.

I had an idea for this series - a website totally unlike e-Harmony or Match.com or any of those relationship websites. It's called Part Time Lovers (and each of the 10 stories except one are also titled using a Stevie Wonder song) and it's a place where you can find the right person for right now. No questionnaires required.

I wanted this serial to have two things - something that linked them all together (the website and the best friends and occasional lovers who ran it) and different, yet compelling, stories for each week.

I just finished the tenth story this morning and I hope I succeeded. I learned a lot.

  • it's not all that much easier writing 80,000 words in ten separate stories than it is writing an 80K novel
  • you've gotta pay attention to everything that's happened in all the earlier stories - I'm not sure I got this exactly right
  • it took me until the 8th story to figure out how I wanted to wrap this all up by which time I was starting to panic about it
It was fun. It was entertaining. I don't know, really, how Dickens did it with a book like The Old Curiosity Shop, writing one of those long chapters every single week for almost a year. It's like running marathon after marathon - at least that's what it must have felt like.

But, in the end, he finished the book to great applause. And I finished my book - my serial.

Will I do it again?

Not right now, that's for sure!


No comments: