Gabby Is Missing: A Serial Overview

Now that my recent serial has concluded, I will give an overview of the writing process and the reception it received. Some people might like to read about that, especially if they are thinking of posting a daily fiction serial.

As anyone who has read it knows, that serial was about the ‘cult of celebrity’, and the lengths some people will go to in the quest for fame and fortune. This was on my mind for some time, after tiring of seeing people become famous after appearances on ‘reality’ television, game shows, or because of something awful that happened in their past.

Following my usual process, I wrote the final episode in draft first. With that ending more or less cast in stone, I had to then work back to episode one so that readers would discover how we had arrived where we did in Part 26.

At first, this serial was very popular. Views for episode one were in excess of 150, and only dropped down to 120 after episode six. Given that the main character was completely (and deliberately) unsympathetic, I had expected some drop-off of readers following the serial. From parts seven until the end, there were daily views of 110-112, with no futher drop off. Given those figures, an average of 125 views for each episode is about right. So for 26 parts, total views came to 3,250.
(More will come in later, from weekly bloggers and binge-readers.)

Engagement in the comments was very good, with many readers completely invested in the story. Shares on Twitter were steady too.

It was an enjoyable story to write, as it was about something that I am very interested in, and set in the area where I live now. Later this week, I will compile all the episodes into one complete story, for those who prefer to read it as a novella, or may have missed some parts.

I would like to thank everyone who read it, especially those that left comments, and shared on social media.

The new serial will start later this week.

Serial Overview: Danny

With the publication of Part 38, my recent fiction serial, ‘Danny’, has now concluded.

As usual, I am giving an overview of its performance on the blog, and the writing process. This is only intended to be of interest to anyone considering doing something similar, or for anyone who enjoys reading about how such ideas become fiction serials.

It was one of my ‘longer’ serials, at 38 episodes. I tried to keep every part under 800 words, though did not always succeed in that. Like most-but not all-of my serials, I had the idea for the ending already written up in draft, and worked back from there. This time that involved a circlular route, arriving back close to where we began in Part One.

I am pleased to report that it was a very popular serial, attracting between 100 and 140 views for each episode. This despite its ‘dark’ theme, and some rather unpleasant details that had to be included, or at least alluded to. With views still coming in, a rough average of 125 views for each episode gives a current total of 4,750 views for the whole serial. This may well climb to 5,000 by the time any ‘binge-readers’ catch up at the weekend.

Engagement on comments and shares on social media were very good too, and there was a fair amount of ‘guessing’ by readers. Something I always enjoy.

Details of medical conditions and terminology, as well as Police evidential and Courtroom procedures were all correct as of 2012 when I retired, to the best of my knowledge. Most place names or locations were genuine, though I never mentioned where Danny lived. It is set in a town in the Midlands Region of England, not far from the East Coast. So you can take your pick from any of those.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who read the whole serial, and those of you who left comments, reblogged, or shared on Twitter or Facebook. Tomorrow, the whole serial will be posted as one complete story, for the benefit of readers who like to wait to read it as a novella.

The next serial will be coming soon. No murders this time! 🙂

Serial Review: The Bloodstained Letter

My latest serial concluded on Sunday with Part 24. One of my shorter serials, constricted by the need to have the ‘showdown’ that was necessary for the story.

I would like to thank Jon at for his first line suggestion that started it. This was the first time I have used a ‘first line’ outside of a short story, and I felt it needed a longer serial to do it justice.

Some readers will be aware that my inspirations for the style of this story came from various well established detective fiction, ‘Cosy’ mysteries, and some TV shows. I had in mind the Agatha Christie ‘Miss Marple’ stories, the old TV series ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, and more modern detective television shows such as ‘Murder She Wrote’, and ‘Midsomer Murders’.

There were quite a few characters, as well as a second plot involving characters from a book being written by the main protagonist. Old-school detective stories always seemed to have a lot of characters, and most of them were suspects at one time or another. They also usually feature some kind of showdown, everyone assembled in a room as the hero explains how he solved the case.

This time, I tried to turn that around, with the suspects explaining to the hero how he ended up where he did. On the way, I gave few clues, and took readers on a tour of some nice parts of southern England as the main character was given the run around on a circular wild goose chase. I had a lot of fun writing this, and attempted to inject some humour too.

It was well-received, with views never dropping below 110 for each episode, and some parts exceeding 130 views. Total views so far, given a score of 120 per episode, come to 2,880. Different parts are still being viewed as I type this, so I am confident the whole serial will have reached 3,000 views soon. As well as that, comment engagement was very good. Some readers tried to guess the outcome too, which is always rewarding.

Extra thanks to everyone who shared any part on social media, which is always appreciated.

I have the first part of the next serial already written, but I will give everyone a chance to catch up before I start that one. This week, I will compile all 24 parts into one complete story, for those of you that like to read the whole thing at once.

Best wishes to everyone, Pete.

Outside: Serial Overview

My recent fiction serial ‘Outside’ concluded last Saturday, and as usual I am presenting an overview of how it was received, and the writing process, for anyone who might be interested in such things.

It was about Sudden Onset Agoraphobia, featuring a young woman named Gillian who dealt with the grief of losing her mother by refusing to go outside, and becoming a recluse.

She started a blog, but soon became disllusioned with the lack of engagement. However, one of her blog followers attracted her as a friend, another woman in a similar situation that she could relate to. Unfortunately for her, this turned out to be a man, using deception to gain information about Gillian for nefarious purposes.

This serial was well-received from the start, with negligible drop-off of readers. As the story became much darker, a couple of you told me that you would not be continuing to read it. Naturally, I completely understand that.

Unlike some other serials, there was a remarkable consistency of views for each episode. Allowing a week for some bloggers to catch up or batch-read, stats showed 121 views of each epsiode right up until part thirty, when it dropped to 119. Based on that, I think the total views for all thirty-five parts will be close to 4,225.

Comment engagement was very encouraging. Many readers expressed concern for Gillian, and others tried to guess what might happen in future episodes. As the writer, this aspect of posting a daily serial is the most satifying for me, and more rewarding than any number of overall views.

I returned to my usual formula when writing this series. The ending was noted down before I started part one. Then I began to work the story back from that ending, taking down notes of names of characters and significant events in my notebook. With one exception when I was too busy, I wrote the following day’s episode the evening before, and had it rady to post.

There will be another serial soon. This will be based on a ‘First Line’ suggestion from a fellow blogger. I will also compile all 35 parts of ‘Outside’ into one complete story, sometime this week.

Thanks are due to everyone who read it, all of those who commented, and anyone who shared any part of it on social media.

Serial Reflections: The Job

My recent serial has now concluded. Later this week, I will publish the whole thing as one story, as I usually do.

Meanwhile, here are my observations about writing it, and how it was received on my blog.

This serial had a quick take-up, and a steady regular following. It received 110-120 views for each episode, though they were strung out over a week, as is the norm with time differences, and ‘weekend bloggers’. Taking the lowest figure, that resulted in 3740 views for the 34 episodes, with views still coming in as I type. Hopefully, I should see 4,000 views in total by next weekend.

The ending was always there, right from my first notes and drafts, and I am pleased that surprised some readers this time. Comments were above-average, which is always rewarding for me as writer. Despite some swearing, and the story involving gangsters and murder, it proved to be very popular.

I was able to use my experience of living in London for most of my life, alongside a familiarity with real people in my past who were much like some of the characters in the story.

I also worked for the Metropolitan Police for twelve years, and that helped with some investigative and procedural matters.

As usual, I would like to thank everyone who stuck with the serial, left the much-appreciated comments, and shared any parts on social media.

Serial Overview: My Recovery

This was my first ever ‘Guest Serial’. Suggested by my dear blogging friend, Ami, I thought it was a great idea.

It also saved me writing a daily episode!

Although I posted it in the ‘Fiction’ category, it was immediately apparent to everyone that this was a true story of endurance in the face of a dire medical condition that almost took the life of a young woman.

Even though I knew how Ami was now, I read each episode with the same fears and worries as everyone else.

Not having to write it did mean that I made one mistake, that of posting one episode out of sequence. Although I deleted it as soon as Ami made me aware, I apologise to anyone who was confused by reading the parts out of order. I divided almost all of the episodes Ami sent me into two parts, to shorten them, and hopefully make them easier to read. On a couple of occasions, I posted the longer, full episode, as it seemed to be the right thing to do at that stage in the story.

Despite not attracting many comments, something not unusual with serials, it was obvious from the start that it had a regular readership, with 95-100 views consistently for each part over the course of a week. If I take 95 as the lowest daily number, it achieved a total of 2,280 views for the 24 parts. Add in the extra views for the ‘reveal post’ and I am sure it will reach 2,500 views by the end of next week, if not more.

I would like to thank Ami for her hard work and patience sending me each part by email, and checking that I had it in the right order. As well as caring for baby Daisy, she had some serious issues with her dog Molly close to the end of the serial, but she came up with the final episode and the reveal post bang on time.

We make friends in this blogging community, and I am pleased to count Ami among those. She lives quite a short drive from me in Beetley, so I hope that we will meet up one of these days. Despite our huge age difference, we are good friends through blogging, and I have great respect for her as a writer, and for the way she has tackled numerous issues surrounding the treatment of disabled people in this country.

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone who read the serial, left comments, and shared on social media. And not least dear Ami, for opening up her life, her darkest moments, and her recovery, for us all to read.

It is as times like this that I am reminded why I love blogging so much.

Serial Overview: “Come And See”

My recent serial “Come And See” concluded on Sunday. As usual, I am publishing an overview of the process and results, for anyone interested.

In most cases, I start with the ending, and work backwards, and I did this with “Come And See”. Covering a time period from 1967-2019, I needed some research into disease outbreaks during that period, leading up to the Coronavirus pandemic beginning in China at the end of 2019. As this is easily available online, it was no hardship to get the factual elements correct.

As for Jimmy’s work at Porton Down, and the involvement of the British government in the deliberate spread of disease, this was mostly guesswork and invention. For his early experiences with his very religious mother, and his reading of the whole of The Bible, I did need some research into the order of the books of The Bible. It has been a very long time since I opened mine!

(I do have one, a very old one given to me as a child.)

Reader response for this series was immediately good, which was encouraging. Comments were regular and varied, and daily views stayed at around 115 for each episode, with no drop off noticed. This gave a total of 3,450 views for the thirty episodes, with more to come, allowing for time differences and ‘binge-readers’.

Overall, it was an enjoyable and satisfying writing experience for me, and I was happy to see it well-received. Once again, I thank everyone who also shared parts on Twitter, and other social media. The complete story, all thirty episodes in one post, will follow one day this week.

Guests Posts This Month

I have published the last of the guest posts received following my recent offer to host them. I am extremely happy to report that they have topped the lists of my most-read posts every day, and have received great feedback and good engagement from readers.

There are some more to come later in the year, from bloggers who want to take time to compose them, or are currently too busy.

As I mentioned previously, the offer is not time-limited, so if you have an idea for a guest post, or want to use one of your favourite posts to connect with bloggers, just follow the instructions in this post.

Guests Posts: Another Try

Thanks to everyone who participated this time. I hope you enjoyed the process.

3:17 A Serial Overview

Yesterday saw the publication of the final part of my fiction serial, ‘3:17’. Some readers may not have been aware that this was prompted by two actual events that happened to me this year, when I woke up from a very bad dream to find the time was exactly 3:17 am. On another occasion, I woke up feeling overwhelmingly hot, despite the cold room, and had a strange sense something was wrong. Checking the time, it was 3:17.

After blogging about that, some readers suggested it would be a good background for one of my serials, and I took up those suggestions to create a similar experience for my main character over a 28-part serial.

For this serial, the stats indicate that all the early readers stayed with the story to the end. Daily views were exactly 100 every day, and did not drop below that at all. That gave a total viewing figure for the serial of 2,800 views. There were lots of positive comments too, which is very rewarding for me as the writer.

Also today, I am publishing the complete story in one blog post. This is because I can still continue to access the Classic Editor at the moment.

I would like to thank everyone who read the serial, stuck with it to the end, and left those much-valued comments. Also anyone who shared the daily post on Twitter, or any other social media platform.

A Serial Reflection

My recent serial, ‘My Bundle Of Joy’ ended yesterday, after 44 episodes.

I usually look back over my fiction serials, and this one is no exception

It started well, with more than 110 views per episode. But then the theme of the story turned ‘dark’, and views and readers dropped away.

Some told me why, others just disappeared. Then it settled into just over 80 views per episode, some 3,600 in total.

It was a big challenge for me as the writer. I had to ‘become’ a reasonably successful 30-something woman who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. Then I had to deal with the fact that her baby was brain-damaged, and she had little help or support.

I did this by drawing on my 22 years of experience as an EMT in London. You may well be surprised by how common it is, to find a single woman left to cope with such difficulties. But you have to take my word for the fact that it is true. I gave my character a lot of financial advantages that are in fact rare. I did this to make it easier to write the story, and make no apologies for that.

Comments were few, which is usual with my serials. But on this occasion, shares on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media were very low. That’s okay. It doesn’t matter. The main thing for me is the core of readers who stayed with it from the start.

I thank everyone who did that. It is always appreciated more than you know.

And I changed the potentially ‘gloomy’ ending. I left it for the readers to decide how they wanted it to end. That will not always be the case, but I think it suited this story.

Today, I will also publish all the parts in one complete story, for those of you that prefer to read it that way.

Thanks again, Pete.