Should the serialized novel make a digital comeback? Mention its pros & cons.
I know who you are, Finn. How's it going across the pond?
Yes the serial should come back. It keeps the reader hanging at crucial turning points in the story, sort of like a continuing saga. Alas, in this day of hurried lifestyle, most people will not appreciate it. They want to know the ending and move on to something else.
Ah anonymity! But I think you're mistaking me for someone else. Anyway, judging from the almost nil response to my post, I agree that most people will not appreciate a serial, at least not until it becomes popular. I for one like continuing sagas and the prospect that they may or may not end, and think that nice, neatly packaged beginnings and endings are way overrated. Just another part of the conditioning we get about how "things must be." An ongoing serial (not simply a completed novel that is serialized) gives the writer considerably more creative freedom and allows for a more thorough development of story and characters. The reader gets the benefit of a longer and better developed novel and doesn't have to spend the initial ten or fifteen dollars for a book he may very well regret having spent and having had to waste hours reading. If I spend $2.99 for twenty or thirty-thousand words, I'll certainly know after having read it if I want to continue on with the book. If a few writers are successful with this alternate format, the readers will come around and give it a try. Thanks for your good post.
There are some excellent examples of novels serialized for television by the BBC - how ever that really isn't your question, is it? With the rise of e-readers and e-reader applications for computers and smart phones I can see a strong emerging market for episodic books. Steven King's "The Green Mile" was released as a series rather than one whole novel. Print magazines like Collier's or Strand have gone away, with only a few exceptions for genre literature.
I think it would be interesting, if not lucrative, to publish an e-reader serial novel. Intriguing notion.
Had serials gone away?
Dr Who and its offshoots have been serialised in novels and audio CDs for decades already. If you look to Fantasy novels, there are a number of serials running right now.
Of course, this is following in the worthy tradition of Dickens (that being said, the only work of Dickens I would have wished to subscribe to was Bleak House).
I think my concern would be whether the author would leave me hanging in mid-air. Also, I like the feel of a weighty paper-based book in my hands, promising me days, weeks or months of reading pleasure.
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