Thinking of writing a “Friend” serial this year? Or just curious about what’s involved?
This is the post for you!
Regular readers and contributors of the “Friend” will know a period and contemporary serial appear in each issue, offering variety.
From the ideas stage to first proposals, serials take a lot of planning. There are also rewrites to take into consideration before the all-important, final editorial approval is made.
It sounds like a long process – and it can be. However, it’s a rewarding one, too.
Writers can be limited to character development and plot with short stories. Serials, though, offer the chance to establish a more expansive form of writing; to tell longer stories, driven by their characters as well as their plot.
The purpose of this post is to encourage writers, both new and established, to get writing a “Friend” serial in 2022.
With this in mind, here are some tips to help you get started.
- Don’t mix your character viewpoints. It’s one viewpoint per scene or chapter in a “Friend” serial. Also, establish your viewpoints at the planning stage. That way, the odd rogue viewpoint won’t infiltrate your writing.
- Eight instalments is the max for serials, three the minimum. The word count is 5000 for each. As with short stories, there is 10% leeway either side of this figure. Don’t worry – serials often require several rewrites before final approval. Serial writing is a good exercise in your editing skills.
- Don’t fill your serial instalments with small scenes. This can lead to disjointed writing. Give the readers time to enjoy the scenes you set for them. You are writing heart-warming drama.
- Alter the pace depending on the storyline. Serial writing is a journey for your characters – so raise the tension when required, but also give your characters time to ponder and grow.
- Always finish your instalments with a strong curtain. You want to leave the readers on tenterhooks. But always resolve the issue at hand in the next instalment, preferably at the start.