Serial Writing: Impressions after Week Two

I survived the second update. I even had it posted an hour after midnight. For that, I pat myself on the back. But, like every adventure, it didn't take long for things to start going wrong. I don't mean catastrophically — at least for the reader — but wrong enough I notice it.

It boils down to the desire to write the perfect book for people to enjoy. I want to create characters and worlds that capture the imagination. I want to write stories where you, the esteemed reader, hang onto my every word. That's not easy, even when you have months of editing and rewriting behind you.

I truly have a whole new respect for web cartoonists and serial novelists who, week after week, continue to delight their fans and loyally continue to hammer at it despite the difficulty of doing something like this.

I'll be honest with myself, I love the challenge. Even if I am bathed in the cold sweat of terror each and every time I click the ‘publish' button or consider it ready for submitting.

The most important thing that went wrong? Not exactly wrong as it is I'm disappointed in myself: Beginnings suck and I think I could have done Zero's a lot better. C'est la vie.

There are a few things I've learned so far:

  1. Finish the draft by Monday. Editing with no time to sleep on it sucks. At least one sleep cycle ensures I'm not getting glazed-eye syndrome…
  2. There is just no way to make it perfect in this format. Best effort is the best I can do.
  3. I can't go back and flush in details like I normally do. Must be more careful about details.
  4. Meticulous outlining as I work is vital — Complete Outline and Story Bible need done at the same time
  5. Looking back each week seems to be necessary to keep the tone consistent
  6. I must pray that I get the characterization right from the start…
  7. I'm a sucker for punishment
  8. I really shouldn't wait until Tuesday to do most of the work.
  9. I wish I had set myself up with a M-W-F update schedule. Really grateful I hadn't.
  10. This effort is challenging every writing skill I have.
  11. I can handle working on more than one project at a time. In fact, just by starting Zero, the creative juices are flowing a lot better all-in-all.
  12. Discipline matters. #11 is only any good if I apply myself appropriately. Fortunately, I have reasonably good motivation.
  13. I really wish I had set myself up with a M-W-F update schedule. _I want to see this story finished now. In a month._
  14. I love this story. Even when I hate it.

In conclusion, I'm glad I decided to do this. I don't think the fear of disappointing readers week by week will fade, but that is a good thing.

It means I'll do my best.

Most importantly, I'm starting to accept that it is okay that my serial isn't perfect. I'm not, and that's okay too.

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