Why I post serial fiction online
Why I started to post my novel
The decision to put my novel up on HubPages was not easy to make. Initially, I came to HubPages to try something new with my writing, such as short stories and maybe even poetry. As I ran out of time to write new things, the temptation to just post my novel became really high. Then I found other people who were also posting what we call Serial Hubs--a novel.
I had a novel and I wanted to be a Serial Hubber, and posting something that was already written was easy. I gave in, and my novel started to go up. Looking back on it now, I wish that I had made a more conscious choice instead of just letting it happen. I learned a lot about the pros and cons of posting something as big as a novel, and I was only four posts in. I have since then, taken down all but the first chapter of my original trilogy (In My Head) and only recently put up the prologue of my current project. I want to return to that original idea of using this space as a platform for trying something new. With a trilogy already completed, and a new series in the making, I find that I need this place to hone my writing muscle memory.
The rest of this hub is about my original thoughts and reactions to posting my novel on Hubpages as a serial. Since it has all been taken down now, read what I have to say with a grain of salt. Things change, but my feelings at the time remain just that: my feelings at the time, and so I have decided to repost this.
Was it worth it?
My experiences with posting my novel have been very mixed. At first, I was overly excited to see other people reading and even liking my novel. (The only one who had read it all was my husband.) The reaction on HubPages was fantastic. I felt motivated again!
Then I found myself thinking that I had better 'fix' this part, or redo that part, and I fell into an old habit of revision. An old habit that leaves little to no room for pushing forward. Within four posts, HubPages had put me in a bind. I love to post my novel, but I also have to finish it! Right now, my novel is broken up into parts. The first part is done, but the story is no where near finished. I can't finish it if I'm distracted with replying to comments and creating Hub Posts. (It's interesting to note that I became inactive on HubPages not long before I finally started making outstanding progress on my novel. It became a trilogy which is now available through CreateSpace and Amazon. I am not sure if it ever would have made it if I had stayed focused on posting serials on HubPages.)
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I posted it, and here's why!
I found followers who have encouraged me in so many ways. I now know to look beyond instant feedback and focus on finishing what I start first. Through this lesson, I have realized that I can't post chapters of a novel that isn't finished. The motivation for me to finish it is there now, and I know that HubPages will still be here when I'm ready!
Should you post your novel?
I'm glad to have the option of posting serial hubs, and anyone else with a novel should consider trying it out. You may be one of the lucky ones (who is also hard working, an excellent writer, and knows the right people) who gets published. But if not, you put so much time into it, and letting it sink unread into the memory of your computer would be a crime.
My only suggestion is that you finish it completely before you start posting. The reason being, if you are in the middle of finishing it, and then start posting the beginning, you can very easily end up stagnating while you concentrate on the beginning instead of the middle and end (that's what happened to me!). If you are just starting out, and you post your novel as you write it, your followers' feedback might very well cause problems (I can see that happening to me).
Of course, this leads to the painful realization that you might not have much to post if you can't post the biggest project you are working on. If that's okay with you, then kudos to you! If not, then do what you have to do.
I for one have plenty to post about while working on my novel. I am planning on posting about the things I learn about myself as a writer, as well as the things I learn about the subjects I research while writing. I also have short story ideas which I will take more seriously now that I have a place to post them. And I have tons of backstory for my characters that I can post, too.
I want to tip my hat to those of you who have followed me because of my serial fiction posts. Though I know you all won't take a look at the book now that it is done, I wanted to make sure you at least knew that it is out there.