Serial Thoughts

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. πŸ™‚

Best wishes, Pete.

31 thoughts on “Serial Thoughts

  1. Thank you for sharing your writing process with us, Pete. I especially enjoyed learning how you go about writing a serial from start to finish.

    It appears I am in the minority of my feelings toward Jenny throughout your story. While I empathized with what she had to endure as a teenager, I never found myself rooting for her. I was neither cheering for her to bump off everyone on her list nor hoping she would get caught. I felt like an interested observer in a story I wanted to know the conclusion of. While I detest bullying and saw many examples of it during the time I was a teacher, my general feeling was, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” At the same time, it is human nature to feel the need for justice or revenge.

    I’m somehow comforted by the notion that you had to take notes about your characters because I’ll admit there were a couple of times I couldn’t keep track. That is not to infer that I didn’t enjoy the whole piece. The reason I returned day after day is that your writing is superb, and you had me hooked the entire time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Pete. If you read this as an observer, that is also rewarding, as I very much wrote it from that point of view. As for Jenny actually living out the fantasy of taking the revenge she had long planned in her head, there was a vague personal element to that, something that I think everyone might have imagined at one time in their life.
      Or maybe that was just me? πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Decision Time for Jenny.” That title rings a bell, or at least tinkles it. I think that maybe I was one of your serial readers. Can’t be sure about that… At any rate, I heard it was an amazing serial with complex situations, an engaging plot, fully defined characters, and graphic medical accuracy.

    Liked by 1 person

All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.