Writing

Can you start in the middle?

Right, I’m back up on my blog, but not in the most decent frames of mind. Lack of productivity on the writing front, and watching my stats plunge to near zero in the last few days has got me back into things. Today is Monday, of course, and another day for updating on Agents Provocateurs.

Whatever this serial is for me, it has been good in terms that it has been the one thing that I can come back to when I don’t know what to do or write. It still remains challenging and fun, although I have to admit I have next to no idea if it’s read or even by how many. If nothing more, it gives me word count, gives me experience in writing and thinking on the run, and what it takes to web market (which I suck at) and write a serial series.

But Cassie did mention something in one of her posts recently that made me think. Essentially she said that in reading an ongoing serial, she felt that she had to go back and read what had come before. Which raises the question; can you start in the middle?

My answer, yes. Well. Depends on the series. And I’m going to make sure that it’s easier to do so with AP. Sure, it is an ongoing storyline, but it depends on the nature of the series. I’ve always kept in mind Judge Dredd when writing AP. It is what I want in a serial. It’s regular (always was Mondays for me, when I picked it up). It was short and ended in cliffhanger endings. It kept me reading through both short term stories and then longer term arcs. In the numerous times that I’ve lost contact with it, and gone back to it, I do want to go back, but it’s written in a way that I’m not losing out too much when I just jump straight in.

Am I doing that with AP? I think so. Sorta. AP so far has had an overall story arc. It’s been loose, but for the most part, it is the story of four primary agents within a secret organisation. Reading back over it has shown me that each agent is almost a different style of story. Each goes for 5 weeks, pretty much. Then there are the one offs between each agents story.

A decent format, I figure. How well am I doing? Well, I could do better, always. So to that end I figure that I will write punchy recaps for the agents story for the beginning of each new update. Done. Also, in going forward with what I’m thinking is pretty much season 2 of the series, I’m hoping to recap the story, setting and agents before it all starts.

Like agent Carter, I am somewhat obsessed with the story, and seeing where it goes. So, here I am, taking it to its conclusion, whatever that might be. Hopefully it’s been a coherant ride. The next season gives me a chance to raise my standards a bit. Even though it’s still just something to do when I have nothing else to work on. No writing released should be held to anything but the best personal standards, whether submitted online or to a publisher.

On the other matters of writing, I’m looking for a second opinion on my work in progress for a short story competition. Any takers, who are able to give some feedback on a 3k piece, feel free to drop me a comment. It is essentially a cyberpunk piece, dealing with the issues of personal identity within the State. I know it needs a bit of work, but it would be interesting to find out what others think.

More later.

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2 thoughts on “Can you start in the middle?

  1. Throw it my way if you want an honest opinion, Tama.

    As for the serial, I also feel that I need to start at the beginning of a serial if I’m going to read it.

    But.

    If I come upon an ongoing serial, the scene I’m reading needs to capture my interest before I’ll consider reading from the beginning.

    It makes me think that serial writers have it tougher. You can’t rely on a good opening. Every scene needs to have a hook or a point of interest to draw casual surfers in. That makes it damn tough to write. You can’t approach it the way you would a novel.

    My $0.02.

  2. Hmmmm good points. I shall take these on board I think. All part of honing the craft. Serial writing is just like novel writing, or short story writing, I think. All a different part of the craft.

    As long as it stays fun, I guess.

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