So after thinking about it for a while, brainstorming it, plotting out a bit of the storyline, and generally doing all the things I do beforelaunching a new project, I’ve officially put fingers to keyboard on the new series today. For those that missed my earlier posts on the subject, I have a theory: I think that ebooks are a beautiful medium for telling short, episodic stories. The concept is that each story is self contained as a single plot, but is connected to the other stories in the series, much like a set of TV episodes are connected. And since TV is woefully short on good science fiction right now, I thought I’d write some good episodic SF to pick up the slack and test my theory at the same time.
I’m only 1800 words into the story so far, but the day is still young. I expect to be about twice that far in by the end of the day (cross fingers). Which should put me about a fifth of the way into the first story, I think. I’m not really sure how long these stories are going to be, and I’m not locking myself into any specific length, but I am guessing this first one at least will be somewhere around twenty thousand words, give or take a few thousand. I expect the stories will generally fall around 10-25k words, in the novelette to novella range.
Now, I don’t know if episodes would work with longer chunks. I think writing gets more difficult and complex at an almost geometric rate as the work gets longer. More moving parts means more places things can go wrong. Or maybe it’s just that my natural storytelling length is shorter, who knows? =) But I think episodic content begs for rapid releases. No one wants to wait six months for the answer to the questions posed in the last episode of a TV show, and I think we’ll see a similar annoyance with long waits in episodic writing. Serialized stories worked in the pulp era because they were released rapidly, so I believe that will be essential today as well.
Back to work!