With the release of the new Amazon Vella program, learning how to properly write serialized fiction will become a useful skill. This blog post is going to show you how to write serialized fiction the right way. Even if you prefer writing novels, capitalizing on this growing trend is still a powerful marketing tool.
#1: Plan the Overall Story and Narrative
Planning is always the first step to writing high quality books of any genre but with serialized fiction, it’s absolutely essential that you plan ahead. While it’s possible to sit down and write a story from beginning to end on inspiration alone, you’ll run into consistency problems in the long-term.
I highly recommend yWriter for serialized fiction. It’s free and has all of the tools you’ll need to keep track of everything from places and locations to essential character information.
#2: Every Episode Must be Its Own Story
With episodic fiction, every episode will need to be a story all in itself. These stories connect together to form the overall narrative. Think about television shows. Every episode follows an individual story while leaning into the overarching plot. In short, each episode must include the following:
- The main character for each episode doesn’t necessarily have to be the same character so feel free to explore. However, every episode will have a protagonist who is the “hero” of the story. Each episode will also have an antagonist, though this doesn’t necessarily have to be a person.
- The protagonist must have a goal for the episode. This might align with the overall plot, but it will be its own smaller, more manageable goal. The protagonist will work through the whole episode to achieve that goal.
- A protagonist must face adversity when trying to achieve their goal.
In short, even though an episode is smaller than a novel, it will follow the same story structure. So each episode will have an inciting incident, exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution. However, episodes should also raise questions that compel the reader to continue reading the series.
#3: Use Actionable Headings to Hook Readers
I don’t recommend using boring headings like “Chapter 1” to headline points in the episode. Instead, use actionable headlines to hook readers into turning the page.
You’ll use this same strategy for naming episodes too. Boring generic titles are not going to get readers’ blood pumping.
Magazines, newspapers, and other serialized writing mediums utilize powerful headlines to bring in readers. It’s no different from your stories.
Keep Up your Momentum
Writing is like any other business venture. You build momentum as you consistently post new projects so once you’ve started writing and publishing on a schedule, keep it up. Once you’ve built momentum by consistently publishing your episodes, don’t stop. Develop it into a habit and then grow your career from that point forward.
One of the best writing tips I can give anyone is to be consistent.