Serial fiction was all the rage during the Victorian Period. Books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Dune (okay, not a Victorian-but I was surprised to see it was a serial,) Madame Bovary, Great Expectations, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Secret Garden all were written as serials. Periodicals containing the next chapter in a saga were purchased for pennies as readers got their next fiction fix.
Now, the resurgence of the serial is mostly driven by time and our culture’s need for instant gratification. Amazon and other online book vendors can offer you an easy book binge with the click of a button. Not only can you devour an entire series without the inconvenience of a midnight, pajama’ed trip to Wal-mart–praying that they have book #4 of your current addiction (and so what if its only the hardback…I’ll pay $24 for my next fix!) you can read episodes where the perk is that you don’t have to wait a year to read what happens next to your beloved heroine and newest book boyfriend. Often the turn around is weeks instead of months. Authors release their installments in regular intervals and because each installment tends to have its own story arch, you often get chunks of riveting fiction full of tension.
Would I like Serialized Fiction?
If you have your favorite television show that you tune in weekly to watch, you just may be a serial fiction type of gal. Why is that? Because television series ARE serialized fiction. If you love the anticipation of the next juicy thing to befall your t.v. characters, you may enjoy the sweet agony of serialized fiction. Here, the anticipation is key, because this kind of fiction always leaves you wanting more.
However, if you are the type to not read a novel series until you know its finished so you can binge read over a three day weekend, serials probably aren’t for you. In fact, you may consider it a cruel form of torture to be left with a cliff hanger and a two week (or longer) wait to get resolution (and most likely another cliff hanger!)
Have you tried serialized fiction? What are your thoughts?
Want to try serialized fiction?
Next post —–> Misty Provencher’s serialized novel The Dimension Thieves