Books that started out serialized

Serialized fiction is certainly not a new concept. In fact, before television was a thing, newspapers were serializing novels. Charles Dickens is noted for having started the tradition with Pickwick Papers. It was 20 parts and published in 19 installments during the time period of 1836-1837. Installments cost a shilling.

Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is another famous novel that was originally printed in a newspaper known as National Era.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway originally was serialized in Scribner’s Magazine.

And so was Tom Wolfes The Bonfire of the Vanities which was originally serialized in Rollingstone.

The concept itself is not new. In fact, you might say that by returning to serialized fiction, we are returning to how the novel was supposed to be read. Novels, even in the early days, were considered a luxury and not something that most people could afford. Reading for pleasure was also frowned upon and most people thought it ‘addled the brain’ particularly for young women who were voracious novel readers.

When writing your own serial, maybe draw some inspiration from the originals. Authors like Dickens and Stowe and Hemingway did it best because they took us through journeys and worlds we might not have exposed ourselves to otherwise. It is easy to imagine how a book about orphans or prisons or the poor house that Dickens was so notorious for writing would keep people coming back for more week for week to read each shocking detail.

If you are having trouble writing for kindle vella in the present, look to the past for inspiration. You never know what you might find.

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