We are in the final parts of completing chapter three for the serialized novel The Peggy’s. I have to admit, this chapter has been something of a journey. After we completed chapter two, our readers realized they could send in their opinions and suggestions on where the story should go next. Suggestions we received in the form of a deluge of email.
It was daunting. I hadn’t expected so much feedback. Neither had my wife. It took both of us to read through the emails and narrow down the ideas the readers wanted to see in the third chapter. Of course, we also got tons of suggestions on how the story should end. Something I have yet to decide on.
It’s a good feeling not knowing where the story is going. Most of the time I know exactly where a story is going. I can tell you what is going to happen in the main plot, the subplots, what the characters will do, etc. Often, I will stop reading a book because of this. This time, even though I am technically writing this, I have no clue thanks to the reader’s input.
Which is what happened to chapter three. I wrote up a tentative chapter after we published chapter two. For anyone who doesn’t know what a serialized novel is, the concept is the same as buying a magazine once a month. We publish a chapter once a month to our website. We wait for the readers to download it and then wait for the feedback. Some are good, some are bad, often it is extremely critical. However, this last time it was incredibly helpful.
See, I didn’t like the chapter I had written. Didn’t like where it was leading the main character or the storyline. In fact, I had begun to believe I should stop the story and redo it as a stand-alone eBook without any of the once-a-month publishing. That way I could shelve the book, wait to find someone else to take over the story and go back to the editor’s chair.
Coward, right? Yeppers. However, the onslaught of input from our readers changed my mind. Seemed our readers enjoy putting in their two cents worth as it were and so do I. I took several ideas and added them to Chapter Three. Made a few adjustments to the overall plotline because of this input. Made a few changes to the main character which gave more depth. And added another character who may or may not come back into the story. All because of what our readers thought.
Serialized novels often are simply book’s an editor has broken up into parts inserted into his/her magazine. Parts he/she hopes will make readers want more and therefore buy the magazine. Whether that magazine is a hardcover or online doesn’t matter. The concept is pretty much the same. Something I wanted to put a different twist on.
I wanted to not know. Wanted the story to unfold as we write it. To allow the readers to have their input into the storyline. And to make the ending a cliffhanger. An ending none of us knows yet. I don’t even know how chapter four will go. Once I begin to get the readers input for chapter four, I will start to write. Something I am looking forward to.
If you haven’t read any of The Peggy’s yet, feel free to read the first chapter on us. We offer it free of charge. The second, third, and fourth cost ninety-nine cents but the fifth chapter is going to be free.
Read a book you could help write.
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.