In my previous post I mentioned wanting to write a web fiction series. This is clearly a terrible idea. Because a.) it’s time-consuming, b.) no one will read it, and c.) I’m a terrible writer, as you can probably already tell. Yet, the interest is still there. Mainly because I want something that will keep me motivated to write. Something that will keep my mind occupied whilst still remaining a fun hobby.
I also want to be rich.
But that has nothing to do with writing. I just wanted to throw that in there because, well, I’ve got alimony payments to make and I’m tired of sleeping with the rats. But hopefully, writing a web series will provide some form of relief from the dark encroachment of reality.
So anyway, the purpose of this little series is to detail my efforts to undertake such a project. And in this episode we shall address a somewhat important question: how does one begin writing a web fiction series anyway? Well fortunately, The Google has all the answers, and they have provided me with several in the form of this article.
This article, written by Jack Sutherland for The Writer’s College Times, offers some things to consider when writing a “successful web fiction series”. So let’s take a look, shall we?
“Fiction and the Internet are strange bed-fellows. So how exactly do you construct a story that will get noticed amid the vast sea of information? It’s not easy, but it can be done.”
Not easy? Well, this is unsettling news. But we can’t give up just yet. Let’s tally forth.
“Web readers are very different from consumers of traditional prose. Web readers skim, and are always ready to leap to something else the moment a piece isn’t meeting their demands. Basically, they have a kind of ADHD.”
Okay, so we now know the enemy, I mean audience. And they have the attention span of a fly caught in a house fire. So, how should we address this when it comes to writing?
“…Keeping your story shorter than 500 words or so (roughly the length of the average web article) is the best way to ensure it gets read all the way through.”
Alright so this is what we’re going to do: for the series I am writing each installment will be kept under 500 words. If what I’m writing starts to exceed 500 words I’m tossing it. Yep. I’m not even editing it down. Whatever I’m writing: in the trash!
But, according to the article, brevity just isn’t enough…
“Even if your story is short, the reader isn’t going to stick with it if your piece isn’t resonating with them. The tight-rope stretched between brief and relatable is the one your web fiction must walk.”
Shiieeet. “Brief and relatable” was my nickname in high school. I don’t even know what that means.
“…the web allows writers to push boundaries and go further than traditional prose writers ever could. A story presented online can be accompanied by a soundtrack, can be comprised of Twitter comments, or could even be told in memes.”
Twitter comments and memes. Damn, writing web fiction just got a whole lot easier. But seriously, I guess one reason to read web fiction over more traditional forms of literature is that it can utilize things print media simply cannot in order to enhance the story. We’ll keep this in mind, maybe. I don’t know.
But there is one more thing that we have to keep in mind apparently:
“The last thing web fiction needs to do is what all fiction needs to do. Your story should endeavour to uncover some deeper significance for the reader.”
Okay, so now let’s summarize:
- Gotta be brief
- Resonates with readers
- Pushes them boundaries
- Gotta be meaningful
Thanks to the internet, now I have four things to consider and kinda nudge me toward writing something that’s halfway decent, maybe.
Previously I stated that I had some ideas for a story, but I may try to come up with something new with the above ideas in mind. So in the next episode I might demonstrate this brainstorming process, and maybe talk about looking at other web fiction series and cultivating inspiration from them.
Or maybe I’ll just give-up. That’s always a good option I hear. Ayyyyyyyy.