Learning how to write a serial has been an interesting and fun challenge for me. Sure, I could have written Section Five as a full book, and then serialized all the parts. But cutting up a novel into parts doesn’t really lend itself to good serial writing. It just doesn’t fit.
So, I’m treating Section Five like its own TV show, for lack of a better comparison. I’m writing stories that might be mainly about Naomi, or they might be about Daniel or Jet. Whatever serves the larger series story. I might have a cliffhanger once in a while, but my aim is to keep these stories, and the parts to them self-contained so that they make sense on their own, but maybe might make a reader curious as to the rest of the stories.
That led me to searching out structure books. I’ve never been a big plotter. I tend to write first and then fix later. I understand structure as a concept, or no one would ever buy my books. But this series is the first time that I’m sitting down and figuring out the big moments I want to hit and when I want to hit them.
Pacing is huge in these stories. Too slow, and I bore folks. Too fast, and the reader attention fizzles. That was the main reason I decided to rewrite the first episode. I didn’t structure it exactly right, or layer in the elements I would need in the future episodes. It had a beginning, middle, and end, but it wasn’t exactly what I needed. I guess that’s why they do pilots in the television world. They figure out what their show is going to be like, and then they go from there.
The funny thing is I bought two new books on story structure, and then promptly went back to a book that I’d had for years. But I think I still pick up things from books that I put down in favor of others.
This project is a learning experience for me, which is kind of a scary thing because I’m doing it in front of everyone, in front of my community on Patreon, on my blog, and you know… It’s fun, though. I love learning about new things, particularly new writing techniques. In all honesty, when I do these projects like this, where they’re more for me to learn, I learn a lot about me personally as well.
Until next week, my little book nerds.