I have just published my most recent serial in one complete story. As usual, I am looking at how it was received, and explaining something about the process for those of you who may be interested.
This was my first attempt at writing something from an American perspective. Using my experience of watching many American films over almost sixty years, as well as my memories of books like ‘The Catcher In The Rye’, I tried to capture the feel of life in small town America over a period from the early 1970s to the turn of the century.
Looking back, I was only partially successful. I notice that I varied spelling between the English and American versions, failing to be consistent in either. I received encouragement from many American readers who assured me that I was getting most of it right, as well as valuable help from David Miller, who kindly pointed out differences such as ‘Filling out’ a form, rather than the English ‘Filling in’ a form. Although I looked up the policing structure in most American states, I made an error with ‘County Police’, but decided to leave that in the story to add to the fictional element.
I tried for shorter episodes this time too, as some of my previous serial parts ran close to 2,000 words. In terms of readers, each episode exceeded 80 views, with a total of more than 1800 views for the whole serial, and more still coming in. Comments were up on some other serials too, so that was very rewarding for me.
As I normally do, I thought of the ending, and worked back. I had to use notes to remember the various characters, and I did some research into two genuine American locations too. For the names of the characters, I looked up some common American surnames, many derived from the European original names of course, and tried to place the first names in some historical context of when such names would have been popular.
My thanks to everyone who stuck with every episode of the serial, and to those of you who reblogged any part, or shared on social media.
I hope you will enjoy the next one, when it arrives in my head!
Best wishes, Pete. 🙂