An Unpopular Serial

Yesterday, I concluded my latest serial, ‘The Fear’. It will be published in one complete story soon, but meanwhile I will give this overview, as I always do.

I was asked by my good blogging friend Suzan to write a ‘straight horror’ serial, as that is her favourite genre. I thought about that for a while, as I had previously written ‘Little Annie’, which had a supernatural theme bordering on horror. Also ‘Moving Day’, which was more of a conventional ghost story.

In the end, I had the idea to examine the theme of fears and phobias, and the unfortunate young man who was attracted to studying them. With the ending already written up as notes, I worked back from there to show how he arrived at that conclusion by Part 30.

On the way, there were some unpleasant scenes that immediately put off quite a few readers. Most of those who chose not to continue to read the serial let me know in the comments. That’s fine, and I understand how disturbing psychological horror is not to everyone’s taste. The daily views also soon showed other readers bailing out in significant numbers; either bored with the story, or uneasy with the theme.

But as we all know, we write for ourselves, (and in this case for Suzan) so I do not let falling views stop me continuing with a serial I had started. There were many with the opposite opinion too, and I receieved some positive and enthusiastic comments as the story continued.

However, I cannot get away from the fact that this was my least popular serial so far.

Starting with around 70 views a day, this dropped as low as 30 some days, before settling into an average of 45 a day. Over the 30 parts, total views to this date are just 1,350. Comments were fewer than usual, as were likes.

Perhaps I do not write that well in the horror genre? Or maybe the pandemic has delivered enough real horror that people don’t need to read more? Whatever the reason, I am still glad I tried this theme, and send my thanks to everyone who stuck with it to the end, and shared parts on social media.

53 thoughts on “An Unpopular Serial

  1. Thank you for the wonderful serial, Pete! Yes, sometimes it was a little bit too horrible, but nothing is unthinkable. Sorry again for the late revisit. Have seen the whole story publish next. So i will re-read over the next days. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete, I always appreciate your straightforward thinking and honesty. It is nice to read your thought process. I don’t have an answer as to why. I feel confident in saying it isn’t you or your writing. Thank you for your reflections.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have always admired your writing and style. However, I apologize, I don’t have the time to read your longer serials. I like the ones that are short and sweet. As you say, you write for yourself. Love, Cindy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Early on, I got the idea that the story would consist entirely of the main character finding out what someone’s fear was and then inflicting it on them and killing them. I don’t enjoy reading scenes of torture and gore, so I stopped reading. I did wonder what would happen to the guy at the end, however, so I may have a look at the final segment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’ s fine, Audrey. He wasn’t always successful, and things didn’t necessarily turn out as he hoped. You might like the ending in Part 30. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  5. I’m one of the readers who waits for the final, full piece. I write horror (not gore, more suspense and paranormal/urban). I’ll wait until I see the whole story so I get the feel for the transitions and progressions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always enjoy the trip into your imagination, no matter what you write, but horror was never my thing. Desensitised with too many over (under?) age movies as a kid I expect, even if I imagine it it rarely raises an eyebrow. I always enjoy the humour that you slip in though, even if its not intentional 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would have preferred an ending that did not delve into the supernatural, but otherwise enjoyed the serial. (This is not to say that I don’t relish a good ghost story.) As you know, I have fun with the serials, even though it involves a certain time commitment. I read the episode once through as would anyone else, and then I comb through it again for ideas to feed my comments. I do like horror stories, although this particular serial might have been better classified as “torture porn lite” (albeit with a dark psychological edge). I’m not particularly fond of torture porn, though I don’t shy away from it.

    I think your readers appreciate the vast majority of your serials. Some may very well hope to have a serial episode to read every day. Others may want a break of at least a few days between serials. That is something you might want to ask your readers. In any event, I think we can all agree that your serials are engaging, and that your style of writing is top-notch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, and the kind words, David. I confess that the lockdown had me ‘churning out’ serials faster than usual, and that may not continue to be the case.
      As you know, your punning input is always appreciated, and enjoyed for its inventiveness.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I stuck with you until you got into the torturing. Then I stopped. I didn’t say anything because I admire your writing, Pete, and did not want to intrude my dislike of that particular serial on readers who might be enjoying it. I dislike zombie TV but I just don’t watch it. I don’t read Steven King either.
    Perhaps I might have stayed with it if it wasn’t for the world of today. Too much is piling up on this old man as it is. I find I sleep better if I read Dr, Suess or The Little Prince.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem at all, Don. On reflection, I think I should have advertised it as ‘Horror’ from the start, and I fully understand why many readers don’t want to read stuff like this. It is an acquired taste that nobody needs to acquire if they don’t want to.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  9. A person has to be invested in a series to stay with it. While it requires much more skill and effort to write one, it does demand a reader to be diligent about keeping up. When I’ve got a lot going on in my personal life, I start cutting back on my blogging time. One of the first things I tend to eliminate are series, based on the time factor alone. There are exceptions to that rule, especially when I’m so into a story that I feel compelled to find out how it turns out.

    I know you are always good about publishing the entire story at the end, but I can’t say I’ve ever read one that way. I’ve gotten more used to reading books on my Kindle, but I still prefer a hard copy any day of the week. Perhaps I’m simply a traditionalist, but I feel the same way about newspapers. I love a cup of coffee and a physical copy of a paper in my hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well I read all your series even if I’m not liking the genre. This one isn’t my favourite of yours, but I always like trying to guess what’s coming next and where the red herrings are, so wouldn’t stop reading. Well done Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s between ‘Moving Day’ (the ghost story) and ‘The River’. (Murders in small town America.) If I recall correctly, (without checking the stats again) the ghost story pips it.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I am one of the ones that stuck around until the bitter end. I am fairly new to your blog and your series, and I do enjoy your writing. Having said that, out of the three stories that I had read, involved gruesome killing, and that gave me a pause. It’s not my favourite genre to begin with, but especially now that there is so much negativity and real-life horror going on, it kind of bothers me. I’m glad to hear that horror is not your go-to either so I am looking forward to the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m afraid I am one of those people who stopped reading as soon as the first killing. I could see where this was going and although I love crime writing and scandi noir thrillers, I’m just not in the mood right now. I think that writing fiction has got to be what you want it to be, never mind the audience, unless you are wanting to make money out of it. I seriously think that you could. I usually make my mind up if I am going to continue reading one of your serials within the first two or three episodes. Most I really enjoy, but there are some I don’t. True of any fictional writing. And I truly admire how you manage to churn these out day after day. An awful lot of hard work and huge talent goes into each and every one. I think you should be well pleased Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and kind words, Jude. I obviously don’t expect everyone to read everything, and I am always grateful if anyone reads anything! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

  13. Well, I stopped reading when I had my recent health issue and couldn’t catch up with all the blogs I follow. However, you know I was a bit ambivalent about the horror as I am squeamish. You can take that as a compliment because it shows how well you write and capture our imaginations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mary. I knew why you were off the blogs, and I am just happy to see you starting to recover. Not reading the horror serial was of no consequence, honestly. I just post these overviews for anyone who like to read about the process of daily serials.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I wouldn’t confuse likes, and hits, with audience. It’s a mystery why some things fly and some don’t, but reposting is always your friend. I quite often hit “like’ so that I can come back to something later, and quite often don’t look at a serial until it concludes so I can binge read. Sometimes I cancel a review, put up a repost and watch in confusion as it sky-rockets. You just never know what people will like, you just have to write what you like and see what happens, I guess!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, that’s exactly what I do. I always post these serial overviews though, as some readers like to read about the process. I certainly don’t concern myself with the stats. Many thanks for your thoughts and comment.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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