The era of serials began in the nineties of the last century. And over the past thirty years, TV shows have won the lion's share of spectator love from feature films. There are many reasons for this. It is the in-depth study of the characters that the creators manage to reveal in ten seasons of forty minutes in each series, the current world agenda, which series cover much faster than films, and many other reasons. With the advent of Netflix, the world has completely lost its head. We all watch TV shows. We fall in love with the characters, and we have been following the plot for years, we are ready to stay awake to watch a new series live, and learn English so as not to wait for translations.
But sympathy for the series did not originate in the nineties. And not even in the seventies. And not in the cinema. Literature is the cradle of modern love for TV shows.
Ancient myth-makers saw through all the charm of seriality. Numerous myths about the gods, their children, their mistresses and lovers, wars, betrayals, and tragedies. What is not the series in the very first and original format? Stories appeared one after another. They were passed from mouth to mouth, discussed, believed, and empathized with them so vividly that this first literary series became a classic and reached us through centuries and countries.
If you look not so far, the literary layout in parts was widely popular among writers in the 19-20 century. Stories were published in magazines. Readers languished in anticipation of new chapters. The authors fueled their interest, breaking off the narrative in the most exciting place, and the owners of the publications made a profit from sales. A familiar situation, right?
The genre of the literary series, which has lost relevance by the end of the 20th century, is beginning to return to readers, arousing particular interest in them. Numerous literary platforms offer authors the functionality with which anyone can start publishing their stories in chapters. And readers, warmed by their love for TV shows, are happy to accept the rules of the game. But how to keep their interest in a world that is strikingly different from the measured 19th century? The selection of literature is extensive. Here you have access to paper books, complete electronic publications, and an endless string of authors published on independent platforms in various formats. The author's main goal in such conditions is not only to attract the reader's attention but also to keep him. From chapter to chapter. From history to history.
To make every episode of your story fly like hotcakes, you will need:
1. Strong, logical and dynamic plot
For the serial calculation, the action inside the story is necessary. Reflections are good. Plot meditation is excellent. But during the time that will pass between the publication of the episodes, the reader should not forget where you are leading the story. And for this, bright and unexpected plot milestones, designated conflicts, and convex contradictions are needed.
2. Charismatic heroes that bring the reader to an empathic response
The modern world is a world of informational noise in which it is elementary to smear types into one gray spot. Therefore, the heroes of your serial story must stand out against the general background most unexpectedly and surprisingly. Then their fate will excite the reader both during the reading of chapters and between them.
3. Copyright stylistic features, story hooks and talking details
Play with your reader! Throw easter eggs through the chapters - clues to unravel the main secret of the plot, (un) random phrases revealing the subtext of everything that happens, vague hints, and narrative puzzles. The main thing is not to forget what exactly you hid in the text. And all the guns should fire.
4. Cliffhangers - the dramatic and exciting endings of episodes of the series, leaving the viewer in a state where he cannot miss the next installment.
One of the best-known examples of using cliffhangers is The Thousand and One Nights. Scheherazade tells stories to the king for 1001 nights, ending with each cliffhanger to interest the listener and save herself from execution. What can we say about television series, each season of which ends with another cliffhanger? Remember the story of the
Sherlock. At the end of season two, Sherlock loses to Moriarty and forced to jump from the roof. Viewers waited several years to find out HOW he would survive. Here are some examples of plot cliffhangers that will drive your readers crazy: unanswered question, physical or emotional loss, temptation, danger, hunch, unexpected news, reservation, choice. Make the heroes appear on the very edge at the end of the chapter, and readers will be exhausted in anticipation of a new one!
It is essential to realize that serial laying out of a book is a responsibility. You offer readers the terms of the game, where they agree to stretch the reading of your book, and you accept the obligation to publish new chapters with the regularity that you set for this project. Of course, we all have unexpected circumstances that change all plans. Therefore, you should calculate when the work on the manuscript is either finished or crossed the equator. It would help if you always had in stock a couple of ready-mades and well-edited chapters to the delight of your faithful readers.
You can argue about whether the value of a literary series equals the cost of a finished book for a long time. And you can allow yourself to experiment with the format and ideas, because creativity is always a pleasure, and the search for unexpected solutions adds novelty to this pleasure. Both for the writer and the reader!