Why I had to stop my serial and write a novel instead.

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I went about writing a serial almost exactly the wrong way.

I started writing the serial for Far Flung over a year ago. I remember well why I started – I really, really needed to write and publish, and I was sick of passing my work by an unknown gatekeeper. Oh, I wasn’t afraid of rejection (okay, maybe just a little) , but I hated the whole routine of write something, submit it with fingers crossed, hear nothing for 3-4 weeks, and then get a ‘yes’ or more likely a ‘no’ with no feedback whatsoever.

I had read some great serial fiction, and decided to try it myself. I had an idea planned out, and a few chapters that I had run through my writing group. I went ahead and started with JukePop as my first main outlet, and later on made my own website dedicated to releases of my fiction.

I lost my ‘lead’ quickly.

I had 3 chapters ready before I posted my first chapter of Far Flung. I thought, somehow, that having the motivation to post regularly would get me writing new chapters quickly. I thought posting a chapter twice a month was enough. Obviously, both ideas were proven wrong.

First, simply having a serial in production can motivate, but it doesn’t change your writing speed. It definitely doesn’t help your overall quality. What I didn’t fully realize was the need to PRE-SCHEDULE. If you want to do a serial, you must must must must pre-schedule posts. From my experience, I’d say having a month or even two month’s worth of posts ready before you post the first part is ideal. The most successful serials post 2 or 3 times A WEEK, not per month. So if you are a slow writer, plan accordingly by giving yourself a HUGE leeway.

I didn’t have enough traffic to support it.

I started with JukePop because they (are supposed to) have a system for paying authors. I still can’t figure out how – I think you have to be an American in the USA. I tried running ads and placing Amazon referral links on my other website, but I just didn’t have the traffic. Even using Web Fiction Guide to promote my story and review other stories, I couldn’t bring in enough hits. Why not?

I was rushing out my writing to keep up regular posts. I was finalizing each chapter on the day I wanted to post it. Neither quantity nor quality were up to excellent standards.

So what am I going to do about it?

I’m novelizing it. I’m taking the chapters I did get out and constructing a better narrative to tie them together and bring Far Flung to life. I’m leaving what’s already out mainly so that I can show my improvement later on. I will share edited versions of the current Far Flung serial based on the improvements made for the upcoming novel. The edited serial will tie-in with the novel and hopefully help me promote and sell it.

I will do another serialized work in the future, but I will approach it more like a novella. I’ll write about 20,000 – 40,000 words before the first post even goes up, and have that much read and critiqued first. I’ll make sure that first post gets noticed on Web Fiction Guide and other sites – and I’ll have a link to buy my book at the end of each post.  Having a book ‘legitimizes’ me – I need to have a full novel out to improve my own confidence and my credibility.

It’s too bad I don’t have another chapter for the serial right now, but what’s coming will be worth the wait, I promise.


 

Reading Radar – Lore of the Aos Sí, The Stolen, and The Gods are Bastards

All right, it’s time again for what I’m reading & what I think you should be too!

InksharesThe Lore of the Aos Si by Christopher Lee

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I preorded this book both because Christopher Lee is very active and helpful on Inkshares, and because this book looks cool. The Lore of Aos Si is about a brewing war between Man and Fae in 3002 B.C.E. At first glance, it may seem like there’s a lot of, well, lore and backstory to get through, but the narrative starts right in the action. What I’ve read so far from the previews shows me a well-paced narrative with lots of lore worked into it. I wish the best for the fundraising campaign – you can help make sure this book gets published by pre-ordering here.

JukepopThe Stolen, from The Law Unto Herself Chronicles by Jennifer L. Barnes

This is an urban fantasy that’s very popular at Jukepop, and I decided to check it out and see why. With a huge cast of characters, it can get confusing to follow, but the fast-paced dialogue keeps it moving briskly. I just started in on the first  chapters, and I’ll definitely be reading more this week.

Web SerialThe Gods are Bastards by D.D. Webb

Another serial with multiple characters to follow, and in a humorous story, too. This is labeled as a ‘Fantasy Western’, but even in the first few chapters there are hints of other genres woven into the plot. Each character sees the world in their own way, which makes the characterization stand out wonderfully. Certainly worth a shot!

That’s what’s on my “to-read” list this week!


 

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Read ‘Painted Blue Eyes’ over at tccedwards.com!

As I work on my novel, I’m also sharing some of my previously published short stories.

Over the last two weeks, I posted the story Painted Blue Eyes at my other site. This story was published in June 2015 by FictionMagazines.com – the issue which featured it, Vol. 06 No. 04, can be purchased on Amazon.

Go over to the two-part post on my other blog and give it a read!

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Read Painted Blue Eyes for Free


 

Consider buying a copy of eFiction Vol. 06 No. 04, Nothing Too Familiar, or Convergence to support the author of this site.
Or you can help support this site by leaving a tip. Contributions can be made in any amount starting at $1 US. Thank you for the support!


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Far Flung Chapter 14 is up!

I’ve been trying to keep myself busy while I wait for news on my pending submissions.

I now have Part 14 of my ongoing serial Far Flung available at my other website.

Here you go folks, more science fiction from me:

Click here to read Chapter 14 of Far Flung

Click here to read Chapter 14 of Far Flung!

#amwriting – Far Flung Part 11 is Up!

In the middle of A-to-Z blogging, I finally got the next part of Far Flung out!

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William Flynn and Asar go to the Eunda ship to meet with these new aliens. It seems the Eunda really do want to help – they show Flynn a map of the pair of galaxies known as the Crucible, and try to locate Earth. Even with the help of these seemingly benevolent aliens, can the crew of the Tereshkova ever find Earth again?

Go read Part 11 of the story here, and it shouldn’t be too long before part 12 is out!

#amwriting Far Flung Chapter 10, yeah!

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Chapter 10 concludes CMO Denise Reynolds’s account of her desperate rescue of two lost crew members.

Last time, Doctor Denise Reynolds had to take over for the temporarily disabled repair and rescue robots – by jumping out into space to rescue her patients Robert and Christina. Just as she’s about to get them back, the aliens who saved the Tereshkova colony ship from an Alliance attack also come to get the lost crew members. But what do they want? Are they really just trying to help?

You may notice that I’m trying a different format for this chapter. My previous chapters have a two-column layout when viewed on a desktop, but Chapter 10 uses one wide column instead. It should look the same on mobile. Send me a tweet and let me know which format you prefer!

As always, your comments and feedback keep this story going. You can also help by voting for the story at Top Web Fiction or by voting at JukePop serials.

Visiting tccedwards.com without adblock also helps a lot. I promise not to make the ads too obtrusive!

Read Chapter 10 of Far Flung

Start at the beginning

Far Flung at webfictionguide.com

“North of Reality” – Weird & Funny short fiction by Uel Aramcheck

I was looking around Web Fiction Guide today, searching for hidden gems…

I think I found one!

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I’ve been reading a lot of serial and web fiction lately, but North of Reality by Uel Aramcheck is different from most.

Rather than being a strict serial, it is a blog from the author’s imaginary realm – each piece is either a short story or an encyclopedic entry from another universe.

One of the best examples of the self-contained story entries is “Then Before If“- I loved how this piece plays around with the paradox that arises from knowing the future, and builds a rather poignant story around it.

My favorite encyclopedia entry so far  is “The Projectile Heart“, informing readers that humans can eject their hearts through their mouths in extreme situations (just like sea cucumbers vomiting up their insides).

I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read from this site so far. Since each piece can be read on its own, it makes it a great site to stop by once every few days for a weird fiction fix.


jukepopMy next writing goal – have Chapter 10 of Far Flung ready for the next Tuesday Serial Collector!