Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Novels - Serialization and National Novel Writing Month

I did it. I joined National Novel Writing Month, better known by the unpronounceable acronym as NaNoWriMo. The compact is to write novel in a month. A novel, for those who haven't yet googled word count for it, is 40,000 words. I started with 11,000 of a novel I began four years ago and keep meaning to get back to. So now I must do something along the lines of 1,200 words a day. Nobody mentioned anything about GOOD words.

At Flatmancrooked, there's an interesting interview with Shya Scanlon about serialized novels on the Web. Mr. Scanlon is the author of a serialized novel that has been mentioned in the same sentence with Dickens. But a good question is raised: why the Web? Reading long amounts of text online is, as we know, often painful. People stop reading. Print lulls you into focus. Why is that? Is it the relatively different postures, the light emerging from the screen, the action of turning pages that keeps a reader going?

Serialization is an interesting idea, but how do you sell installments online? Or do you just give away your work, as we bloggers do, hoping something will be returned per the laws of the universe?