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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

(vol 2) Chapter 14: “Episodic Writing”


2015 WORD COUNT = 19003 words



EPISODIC

I’m into episodic TV viewing (currently binge watching series 3 of Community). Sure, I love movies and won’t hesitate watch anything Marvel or DC that hits our cinema screens. But right now we are living in a golden age of television.  

There’s Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Arrow, Flash, Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil and much, much more.

And while I love watching this format, a couple of years ago I started to think about writing this way too.

I’ve always had ideas for epic trilogies, inspired sagas and even great one off, classic novels (perhaps all I lacked was ego J). But I struggled to plan on a large scale and ideas jumped into my head and evicted the previous ones on a regular basis. I’ve always been more comfortable with short stories and, more recently, flash fiction.

Way, way back in 1999, when I was all about screenplays, I was struggling with a script and took a break. I needed to work on something fresh, something different. I began writing a television series that clearly would never see the light of day, called DARKNESS FALLS. I was into Buffy at that time so it was heavily influenced by this and had lashings of demons, ghosts and even robots.

I planned five seasons, a prequel mini-series and managed to complete the scripts for the first three episodes.

And then, like with all my writing back then, I got bored and walked away.

But nothing ever leaves this noggin of mine. Over a decade later it all came to the forefront and was revamped for my 2013 NaNoWriMo project, MIGHTY GRAY. My plan was (and still is) to produce ten novellas each styled as a television episode and released monthly before packing them together at the end of each ‘season’ in a DVD boxed set style.

I’ve mentioned before that I thought the idea was ground breaking until I discovered that better writers were already doing it . . . better.

Unlike previous projects though, I didn’t give up.

Flash forward to NaNoWriMo 2014 and I wrote the first draft for what would become FRACTURED DAWN (aka, Fallen Swords). The plan for this was on a smaller scale. I’m currently rewriting the project and releasing them in fortnightly 1500 word episodes. You can check them out here.

While I’m enjoying the FRACTURED DAWN project, I don’t want it to stop there. I have a bigger plan, something I’m hoping to get rolling next year.

But, as before, someone else got there first.

Like a lot of my writing discoveries these days, it started on Twitter. I got a new follower, Kara Monterey. Kara has founded a great looking website over at http://channillo.com that’s all about serialised literature. Authors are able to apply for a slot and then release their writing in a regular fashion, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories or essays.

It sounds perfect, it sounds like just what I want to do. I’m interested.

Now, the down side to this is that the author cannot put up work that is already available for free elsewhere. I’m currently very happy with how FRACTURED DAWN is working and don’t really want to remove it from my blog.

So where does that leave me?

Well, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m starting to see that short, bite sized writing could be the way forward in this time restricted world of ours. Sure, novels aren’t going anywhere, but people’s time is. So if you’re not an established author it’s a lot more than a monetary barrier keeping people from discovering you. There is also that time barrier.

Over the last few months I’ve been looking at several of my unstarted projects and wondered if they would maybe work better in the same format as FRACTURED DAWN. I have several already lined up to start working on in the second half of the year.

I originally planned to put those up on the blog too but now I’m seeing that there’s a market out there for episodic writers beyond our own sites. And Channillo looks to be one of them.

It’s still early. I’m currently working on a couple of other projects that will keep me busy until the end of July. But it’s good to be thinking of the second half of the year now and seeing what else is out there to work on. I’ll be keeping an eye on the site though to see how it grows.



ON A SIDE NOTE

The organisers of this year’s National Flash Fiction Day are getting the ball rolling this year by rolling out Flash Flood on Friday the 17th April (that’s right, it’s in two days’ time!).

Over the last few weeks a whole bunch of us Flash Fiction writers have been submitting our stories in the hope of being included in the Flash Flood.

I’m happy to announce that my story, THE CLIMB, will be one of the stories featured.

So if you have a spare few minutes this Friday then hop over to the site and see what you think. Stories will be going up throughout the day and there will be a wide range of styles for you to enjoy.

See you in seven.

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