Fiction and Serials: Some Thoughts

I have just published the complete version of my last serial, ‘Vera’s Life’. That story was very personal to me, as the characters were based on people I knew well; family, friends, and neighbours. It did not initially capture the imagination of many readers, though views built up halfway through, with some catching up on the parts they had missed previously. Unlike most of my stories, this wasn’t completely fictional, though I changed the names and jobs of some characters to avoid any unwanted direct comparison.

It was also my longest serial to date; a big ask for readers at forty episodes, though I kept the word count down in each one deliberately. Average views worked out at around eighty per episode, giving the serial a total number of views of 3,200. Comments were complimentary I am pleased to say, as many readers fortunately invested in my ‘real-life’ characters, and their hardships in London during the war years of 1939-1945. Historical dates and details were all fact-checked before being used, and I stuck to the time-line of real events during the war too.

I would like to thank everyone who stayed with the story to the end, and those who also shared on Twitter and any other social media.

Following my recent decision to cut back on the amount of posting I do on this blog, I will be taking an extended break from serialised fiction for the foreseeable future. It takes a lot of time to work out a serial in many parts, as well as the necessary note-taking and research required.

If any new followers would like to catch up with earlier stories, they are all available in the ‘Fiction’ category on my blog menu. Every serial has been compiled into a complete story, and there are numerous short stories and photo-prompt stories to find there too.

57 thoughts on “Fiction and Serials: Some Thoughts

  1. Another brilliant serial Pete (sorry its taken me so long to catch up!). I’ve said before that you’ve made me a fan of various genres. In my eyes, it takes an outstanding writer to captivate and broaden a readers mind, and you’ve opened my mind in more ways than I could have imagined! While I will miss your serials, I’m glad you’re putting yourself first and taking a break, I can only imagine all that brain-work is exhausting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A break is a good thing, Pete. You don’t wan’t to get burned out. Perhaps the reason your recent serial was so good is because your characters were based on people you know. Vera was your finest serial! I enjoyed every one of the 40 episodes. Best to you, Pete. I hope Ollie is feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your serials(except the serial killer one) and know how much work you put into them. I understand trying to balance life with blogging. I notice that during the pandemic people have been writing more frequently and so it is taking me more time to respond. I have trimmed my follow list a little to compensate.

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  4. I can imagine the work that goes into one of your serials, Pete. I’ve enjoyed nearly all of them. There are a couple of factors for me that determine whether I’m going to follow along;
    1. How busy am I? Even though I’m retired, I’ve got my hands in a variety of things. I like being busy, but the tradeoff is I have to make time concessions. When I know that I’ve got a lot on my plate, I begin cutting things out of my blogging time. Reading a long series requires a fair time commitment, and usually, those are some of the first things that I remove. Don’t let that dissuade you. Your stories are terrific! That was the case with Vera. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up, so I took a break.
    2. After the first couple of episodes, I’m usually on board with a series. There’s only been a couple that I gave way after starting. I’m probably not that different than many readers. Hook me early.

    Enjoy the break!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Pete. In many cases, my serials use a ‘cliffhanger’ ending to each episode, in the hope of entertaining readers, and keeping them interested. With ‘Vera’s Life’, historical reality made this rather pointless. But it was a labour of love for me, something of a tribute to the community where I grew up.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. you generously share your talent of writing which take a lot of work and dedication, Pete. i admire you for that. thank you. i wish i can keep up but i still hope to get to read Vera’s Life someday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been impressed by your ability to write and post serial episodes every day for weeks. The only time I wrote a story and posted it in 7 parts, I made sure the whole thing was complete before posting the first one.
    Vera’s story had the authenticity that’s hard to create by imagination alone. I think it was all the details of daily life that did it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post 🙂 Of course take a break Pete – sometimes we all need it 🙂 Nevertheless, not all of your blog entries have to be short stories – though we do love them even though I have not commented on them as much as I would like 🙂 You can always talk about film or music If ever you want 🙂 Either way, enjoy your break and keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As you know I really enjoyed Vera. I can believe, though, it must have taken a huge amount of time checking the research and the timeline as well as the work in fictionalising things which really happened. I don’t blame you for wanting a break from the serials – though I’m quite sure an idea will pop into your head and we’ll be off again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I already have lots of ideas, Mary. They include a sequel to ‘Vera’s Life’ set twenty years later. But I have to force myself to cut down on blogging time for various reasons.
      Good luck today, I’m thinking of you.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, I did. I thought it was excellent and of course it was still very fresh in my mind since reading the book. Did you watch the following night when they tried to work out what made him do what he did? I was a bit disappointed in that – but I suppose that’s because there really are no answers and we’ll never know.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Pete, this serial does sound very interesting. I don’t generally read serialised stories on blogs as I struggle to find the time to read all the episodes every day. I have limited time for blogging. It is great to know that so many people do read them though. My efforts are always books that I publish.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I saw your post of the complete story. I was thinking I’d print it out and read it like a book. Thanks for reading While the Bombs Fell. I need to write the second book but my writing style has changed so much in the past three years I’m struggling a bit to replicate the style.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I give you a lot of credit for the writing you have done, Pete. It does take a great deal of preparation and dedication. I tend to go back and read once compiled since my ability to concentrate day to day has been impacted by the current state of affairs in this country and the world. I have missed some of your posts that are more about your daily life and personal remembrances. Vera is, however, on my list to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I really enjoyed “Vera’s Life,” and linked to the complete story on Twitter. I look forward to reading more serials when you get around to them. if it’s “serial fatigue” you’re suffering from, then maybe just space them out over time. If you need serial ideas, you can ask your readership. I’m sure you’d get plenty of ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

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