Coming Soon: An Original Serial Story

dickensad01_smallI love talking about literature, publishing, film, etc., but the one big thing missing here is actual writing. To counter that, I’m attempting something that’s old and traditional: writing a serial story. There are a few reasons for doing this, and a few promises I’ll make before the actual story starts on Monday.

Reasons. I’m currently trying to get a novel published, drafting another one, and sending out short stories. I love novel writing, but it’s an exhausting and ongoing process. There are several benchmarks, but the distance between start and finish (assuming there’s ever a finish) feels like watching a Wagner opera after ten cups of coffee, waiting for a bathroom break. Serial writing abbreviates this process. It makes it riskier but more immediate.

Promises. The story, tentatively titled “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Lonely,” will conclude in under 18 months. I’m aiming for a year. I’ll be regular: one or two posts per month. I’ll be brief: 600 or fewer words per episode. I won’t cheat*. This will just be a linear story that unfolds with each post. I’ll try to make it entertaining, and I’ll spend sufficient (though not exhaustive) time editing and proofing. I’ll have a direction in mind, and an ending sketched out. Episodes may have cliffhangers, but the story will be a self-contained and finite story**. It will be slightly sci-fi (clearly inspired by I Am Legend and Robinson Crusoe), but will lean to the lit-fiction-humanist-existentialist stuff that I know better than I know sci-fi/horror.

Value. So, the good news is that if the story is awful, I’m not charging a cent. And if it’s good, I’m not charging a cent. I hope you enjoy it.

*By cheat, I mean that this story will not end in any of the following ways: it won’t be a dream, it won’t be a hallucination, it won’t be a product of schizophrenia or some other mental disorder, it won’t contain a deus ex machina, and it won’t be too clever for its own good. It won’t be about aliens or vampires or zombies. It won’t include a Sixth Sense secret revelation.
** I say this as a response to the frustration I feel watching the “miniseries” Under the Dome and hearing that the show’s picked up for a second series. I wanted a nice summer miniseries with a beginning, middle, and end. Not fair, CBS! Not fair.

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