Writing a Serial?

Please help me welcome Renee Scattergood as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. She is the author of the fantasy series Shadow Stalker, which I previewed here last Sunday. I thought it was interesting that she wrote the story in serial format and was pleased when she sent her guest post that explains how she came to write it that way.

Before moving on to her post, lets start off with a Breakfast Martini, recipe thanks to My Grill: Outdoor Cooking by Pete Evans. Image thanks to Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide, a blog site that popped up when I did a Google search for drinks from Down Under. I am not sure if this might be a favorite drink of Renee’s, but it sure looks good to me. And if we include the orange slices, it is a healthy drink, right? 

Now here is our guest,  Renee Scattergood.

Thanks for having me here today, Maryann. I appreciate the invite and am happy to meet your readers.

You are not the only one who is curious about how I came to write the book the way I did. A lot of people wonder why I decided to write Shadow Stalker as a serial, especially considering longer works (like novels and novellas) sell so much better. At first, it was meant to be a novel series. In fact, I had completed an entire first novel for the series. I showed it to a friend of mine, who is a published author, and she made many suggestions on how I could improve it, which required a complete rewrite.

It seemed like a daunting task, but I absolutely loved her suggestions and knew the story would do so much better with the improvements. So, I scrapped the old manuscript and started (almost) from scratch. As I wrote, though, old fears started bubbling up. I had already spent so much time writing the original manuscript. From conception to final draft, it took almost five years. I knew it wouldn’t take that long the second time around, but I also knew it would take a good amount of time. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest that much time into something only to learn people didn’t like the story.

I set it aside for about a year while I considered my options (and focused on raising my daughter). I’d heard of authors releasing one chapter at a time as they wrote their novels, but I wanted this to be different. I wanted to write it as though it was a TV series, but instead of being on a screen, it would be written in a novelette kind of format.

I released the first episode in August 2014 and made it free for everyone to download. After that, people could buy each episode for 99 cents. I never expected to get much in the way of sales from this. It was more of a way for me to get feedback from readers about the story.

It did much better than I expected, and in the following year, I decided to release a bundle of the first six episodes and offer that for free. By then, episodes seven through twelve were also available, so I bundled those as well. Since then the story has been gaining a lot of new readers.

I’ve learned so much from the experience, and I’m ready to move on to my first novel series, but I’ve gained a lot of fans who love short reads, so I’ll be continuing with the serials as well. I guess you can say I’ve got the best of both worlds now.

Renee Scattergood, author of the dark fantasy serial, Shadow Stalker, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. She loves reading, watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Visit her site for a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6):

You can find out more about Renee and her work on her Website and read her Blog. Follow her on Facebook – Twitter and LinkedIn

BUY LINK for Shadow Stalker

5 thoughts on “Writing a Serial?”

  1. That’s an interesting presentation. I’ve jotted down several short naratives of my combat accounts as Scout for 1st Batt. 1st Marines in Vietnam Nam. However the prospect of tying them together is daughting. Thank you for the concept.

    1. Karl, that type of narrative is well suited to a serial presentation. Good luck with that if that is the way you decide to go.

  2. Thanks so much for having me and helping me get the word out about my serial. I definitely recommend starting with a serial for new authors nervous about entering the industry. Aside from getting the story out there, it helped me improve my writing exponentially and has given me a lot of confidence about my future as an author. It’s the perfect way to get your feet wet and start building your platform.

    1. So glad to have you on my blog, and I am pleased that Karl especially found your post helpful. That is what we are all about, helping each other. Looking forward to reading your book. Fantasy is not my genre of choice. In fact, I usually avoid it just because I have so many other books to read, but I was hooked by your opening pages.

      1. Well, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve been told my stories are different for fantasy. I tend to cross genres a lot, but it happens naturally, I guess. It’s just how I write. 😀

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