Don’t know what a serial is? Or how it’s different from a novel? Then, you’re in the right place. A serial is a story that is being told in successive parts. They are chronological installments of an overarching story line with smaller stories happening in each part.
There’s an assumption that my serials are chopped up novels, which is not true. Some writers do divide single novels into pieces and release them separately until the whole book is out, but that’s not what I’m doing with my serials at all.
I’m gonna tell you what I do. Get ready! There are pictures!
My serials actually have a very different structure than my novels. You can feel it when you’re reading. Some people haven’t been able to put their finger on exactly what it is, but they have figured out that the serials aren’t the same as novels and that the differences go beyond the length of the books. My serials are unique because they are a different format all together.
Here is a pic of the plot line for my novels (above). A visual helps. When you think back to the novels I’ve written, you’ll be able to see it. The structure of the story line is a bell curve. The story starts off and builds. You get to meet the characters and discover the primary conflict. As the story continues, you learn about the characters and their relationships over hundreds of pages until you reach the climax of the book. The climax is when the main conflict hits the fan and everything explodes. As that conflict resolves, there is an unfolding of events that wraps the whole story and ties it with a bow. There’s closure. The story is complete. You read about 300-500 pages about Ivy, Abby, or Kahli and immersed yourself in their world for hours and hours.
My serials are different than my novels. They are NOT one book chopped into multiple parts. They are actually written differently. The way the serials are constructed gives the reader a different experience than if the book was a novel. Look at the pic below. This is the structure of my serials.
All of my serials are written this way. They start off with a quick introduction of the primary characters and the main conflict. Then, they build tension quickly with the story unraveling swiftly towards the ending. The primary conflict comes to a head, the situation explodes, and then the story stops. Cliffhanger. The next serial begins and does the same thing, slowly building tension until the primary conflict in that episode is confronted.
Serials have a dual personality. They each have their own story line, but they are progressing in an overarching story line, as well. Each volume has an independent conflict, but it also addresses the primary conflict in the series.
THE ARRANGEMENT is so addicting because it follows the serial structure. If I took SCANDALOUS and broke it up into five parts, your book would read weird. Novels have different pacing and a different structure. Novels are like watching a long movie (Titanic). Serials are like TV shows where each volume is the season finale. They have a different feel because they are different. Serials tease and have an addicting quality about them. Novels have that snuggle up with a blanket, bust out the popcorn, and settle in thing going on.
There are several reasons why I might chose to write a novel as a novel, or a serial as a serial. For starters I love that serials are fast paced stories that are packed full of emotion. I love getting inside a character’s head fast. I love that they aren’t time consuming. And, I LOVE cliffhangers. I love to write them; I love to read them. There’s just something about them that makes me so excited.
So, if you read the serials and then flip to my novels or vice versa, that’s what gives. They read different because they are different.