My latest serial ‘Decision Time For Jenny’ concluded yesterday.
As I always do, I will compile all 24 parts into one long story soon, so that readers who like to read it all at once can do just that.
This was one of my most challenging serials, as I had to keep so many characters ‘juggling’ their various involvement in the story at the same time. Because of this, I had to take notes, for the first time ever. I usually write the next episode by re-reading the last, and working from there. But this time I had to check my notes, to remember which victim had what nickname, and the names of the different police officers investigating the numerous cases.
As anyone who read the story will know, I included two serious themes. Bullying, and Breast Cancer. The character of Jenny was bullied at school, and she was also diagnosed with breast cancer, making the decision to leave it untreated, and not to attend hospital for possible surgery. The second decision she made was to seek revenge on all those who bullied her, or otherwise made her teenage years difficult.
So that is how I came up with the title.
For those readers who like to know the details, each episode was written the day before, with the last three episodes written on the same day, to keep the feeling of momentum going in my head. Unlike most of my stories, the ending was not a twist, though I did include one significant twist along the way. In my usual method of construction, I had the final scene in my head from the start, and worked back from that.
I did my best to describe Jenny’s worsening medical condition as the serial developed, and can assure you that those details were accurate, from my own experience. I also focused in some detail on the police investigations, and how they are affected by rules concerning suspects, evidence, and interrogation in Britain. That was also based on personal experience. Modern policing depends heavily on a combination of DNA profiles, CCTV footage, and Crime Scene Forensic Teams. I tried to include reference to all of this during the serial.
For anyone who might reasonably think that it would be impossible for my character to have carried out so many crimes without drawing suspicion to herself, it is worth noting that official government figures show that 90% of crimes reported remain undetected, with nobody brought to trial. Rules of evidence also mean that many criminals cannot be prosecuted, even when their involvement in crime is self-evident.
These are facts of life, and not a fictional liberty on my part.
It was good to see how many readers were excited for Jenny. This was a woman who ruthlessly killed nine other women, and yet readers were hoping for her to kill them all. From my point of view, that was most rewarding. Not only would it have been a little unrealistic for her to have managed to kill Catherine as well, I also considered that she had not been involved in any bullying, and had never consciously sought to affect Jenny’s life. So she was innocent, and had to be saved.
As usual, the serial attracted a similar amount of views and readers. Over the years, this has changed very little, reflecting how some followers do not have the time or the inclination to follow daily serials. There were around 60+ readers of each episode, totalling just over 1500 for the entire serial. Comments are not that many, which is to be expected, given the very nature of a daily blog post of a fictional story. One interesting fact, more people read the final episode than any of the others. That’s quirky!
But just to warn you, I have already started the next one!
My thanks once again to everyone who stuck with it, and read every episode. Extra thanks too to those of you who reblogged, or shared on other social media.
It wouldn’t be the same without you, even though I would still do it anyway. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.