Sunday, May 12, 2013

3 or 4 Processes That Lead to Novel Serialization


This one’s coming off an article by Isaac Asimov I read recently. Inspired by correspondence with a fan of his who wrote him about the prevalence of serial novels in recent times. ‘It can be frustrating…,’ she wrote.
Personally, I don’t take issues with continuity in a plot, which takes multiple volumes to unfold, do you? I could list a couple of books I would have appreciated as a series because I wanted to see more of the characters.

And now, the moment we have all been waiting for…
The reasons writers create sequels.

1. Publisher Pressure
J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy was originally intended as a single volume publication (Wikipedia still regards it as one book in its Bestselling Fiction List). But Tolkien’s publishers made him reconsider; paper cost was their major excuse.
       Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy was a compilation of separate pieces from Astounding Science Fiction between 1942 and 50. The stories were created at editorial insistence. And the fourth and fifth books in the series were dragged out him by his then publishers, Doubleday.

2. Reader Pressure
Arthur Conan Doyle is peculiar as an example of author victimization by his readers. Doyle who is credited for creating the most adapted character in the fiction universe made a grave ‘mistake’ and killed Sherlock Holmes. You think it wasn’t a mistake? A. Conan Doyle probably thought the same thing until fans expressed their indignation and demanded that Sherlock Holmes be resurrected.
The author was forced to put his fictional character back in action after the series was already concluded in Doyle’s mind.

3. Muse Pressure
The sequelization (as Asimov calls it) of a book can be the result of an idea that becomes too big for a single volume publication.
       Thomas Harris did it with his Hannibal set of novels; Tolkien with his Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion and the Hobbits. In some peculiar cases, different writers have continued other writer’s work with a different background and set of characters because the original holds them in everlasting appeal. One striking example is suspense writer, Dean Koontz with his Frankenstein series.
       Horror writer Stephen King explains this process in his book, On Writing:

“A thousand pages of Hobbits hasn’t been enough for three generations of fantasy fans. Hence Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, and a half hundred others. The writers of these books are creating the hobbits they still love and pine for; they are trying to bring Frodo and Sam back from the Grey Havens because Tolkien is no longer around to do it for them.”
Stephen King,
On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft.

Bram Stoker and Stephen King have both published serial novels (not whole books with a continuity of plot and character but a single volume published in four or five batches). In Everything’s Eventual, a collection of short stories by King, he gives us his reason for serializing his books, The Green Mile and The Plant; 

“It’s about trying to see the act, art, and craft of writing in different ways, thereby refreshing the process and keeping the resulting artifacts-the stories, in other words-as bright as possible.”

I love it when a favorite character makes a comeback. If that’s the reason for serializing a work of fiction, I believe it’s a good and welcome enterprise.

Keep your pen bleeding.



Akpan


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Friday, May 3, 2013

NaPoWriMo 2013: Been There, Done That...

R U Game?


Phew! NaPoWriMo’s finally over and I can’t help thinking, all that rush. Waking up each day in the month of April to confront my journal and then hopping straight for the screen of my Samsung Notebook, in my attempt to translate verse to blog. Nevertheless, I suppose the real question is, “Was it worth it?” Hell yeah!

I experienced the warmth of poetry; I felt cuddled within the arms of forever and I almost hoped it would never end. But here we are…

It’s the month of May and since NaPoWriMo’s over and done with, the natural thing, it seems is to return to regular blogging. I don’t see that happening, yet. For me, anyway. May will be a really busy month; I’ll be sourcing material for my personal short story writing adventure, IntShoWriMo. That’s short for International Shorts Writing Month and it runs from June 1st through 30th. Last year, I called it NaShoWriMo, I had to change the name this time around for a reason I’d rather not disclose in this post.

Back to NaPoWriMo. I learned some new tricks and came off with a bolder faith in my style of poetry just because I participated in this year’s challenge. And I ended up blogging a few thousand words of poetry.

That’s it from me for now. It seems I got my hands full this month though, I’d really love to do some blogging before May sheds its skin and becomes June. Yeah, I’d love that.

Keep your pen bleeding!



Akpan