I have never made a secret of the fact that I enjoy writing short stories, and publishing them on this blog. I get the most satisfaction from writing fiction, approaching it in something of a style, and going from idea to published story very quickly, without too much time for research and construction.
That many of you read them and comment is always a source of delight to me. Whether or not you have enjoyed them, the fact that people take time to read them is very much appreciated. When I have received praise for them, or criticism, both are equally valuable to me.
As you may know, I have occasionally written some in the form of a serial. One of the first, ‘Travelodge’, was in three parts, later followed by ‘Tubby’s Toe’, a gangster saga, in six long episodes. The most recent attempt, ‘Gary’s hot date’ ran to four parts, and concluded last week. That was my first attempt at a real ‘happy ending’ too, and felt a little strange to me.
Today’s musings concern the idea of such serialisations, and one fact in particular. Easily able to estimate from the viewing stats provided by WordPress, I came across something that I found quite surprising. Although most die-hard followers and readers stuck with all the episodes of those serials, often commenting all the way through, most readers read only some, or part of them. If they read the first parts and decided it wasn’t for them, that’s easy to understand. But in most cases, it was the later episodes that received the most views, often twice as many as previous posts, including the beginning to each story, which in many cases received the least views.
I am now thinking about all those people that read parts five and six of a story that had four previous episodes. What did they think was happening? It would have made no sense as a stand-alone piece, and I always publish warnings about serials at the start of each post. The most recent four-parter enjoyed more views of the last episode, that the three preceding it. How did they ever manage to work out the whats and whys? I confess that does intrigue me.
But it’s not the end of the world. Just musings.