Renee Writes

#ISWG – What is a Serial?


I’ve gotten a few comments (and complaints) lately that my Shadow Stalker episodes are too short.

Well, they’re meant to be!

Many of my readers know I mainly have been writing short works over the last two years, but now that I’m gaining a lot more new readers, readers that may be accustomed to novel length works, I think I need to explain why I write this way.

First, let me start by explaining what a serial is. Serials are short pieces of a bigger work that are published in intervals, and they are usually the length of a short story or a chapter in a novel.

Many authors serialize their novels simply by publishing each chapter of their novel as they write it. Others, like me, write their work specifically as a serial in episodes.

Think of a TV series. It’s just in written form.

I started Shadow Stalker as a serial because I was scared about making mistakes during the self-publishing process. I figured it would be better to make mistakes on a small scale as I’m learning the industry, than huge ones on novels. And it’s worked. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years.

I’ve also discovered that I love writing serials over longer works!

  1. Because I can release books more often, which means you can read my work more often (once a month as opposed to 2 or 3 times a year).
  2. It helps keep me motivated when I have to release something more often and keep to a schedule. I can get lazy when it comes to writing novels because I figure, “well I’ve got plenty of time.”
  3. They’re just fun to write!

Of course, I cater to those who prefer longer works as well, which is why I release my bundles each year. And I’m working on a novel series as well for those who prefer novels. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing and publishing my serials and short stories, and hope you keep enjoying them! 😀

Do you enjoy reading/writing serials? Or have you considered starting one? What have been your experiences? Do you like or dislike them? Why? I’d love to hear about it. Tell us your story in the comments below.


Check out some other great #IWSG posts by other great authors!


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  1. Whitney Rines Whitney Rines
    13 April, 2017    

    Just got into writing my first serial this year and I find it to be pretty fun. I enjoy writing the novels and longer works but, l agree that the shorter works definitely keep me motivated and they are fun. I also feel like I’m getting some progress in, even when I’m stuck on my longer works. They’re areal confidence boost when I feel like I’m slacking.

    • 14 April, 2017    

      That’s exactly how they make me feel. It’s that rush you get when you finish/publish something new. You get that feeling much more often with shorter works. 😀

  2. 7 April, 2017    

    A serial would be fun to write and publish. I’ll have to think about that one of these days. 🙂

    • 8 April, 2017    

      They are a lot of fun and they’re becoming popular again too. I’m still figuring out the best way to market it, but there are people out there who prefer smaller reads and love serials.

  3. 6 April, 2017    

    What a great reason to do that. I will have to give it some consideration. I think I am leaning that way myself.
    Happy IWSG Day.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    • 6 April, 2017    

      It really does make the process so much simpler and less daunting.

  4. 5 April, 2017    

    I’ve considered Wattpad, even started a profile, but no I have not yet posted anything. It was helpful to read your explanation of what a serial is as compared to a novel. I honestly didn’t realize there was a difference. I thought serializing just meant you released one chapter of a novel at a time. I did know they tend to be shorter. I think I read that somewhere. 🙂

    • 6 April, 2017    

      Some people release one chapter at a time. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to write it in the same way as a TV series. Then I learned that this is how serials were originally written.

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