I’m re-watching the BBC miniseries of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit starring Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen. And it’s got me thinking about classic serials.
You see, when Dickens wrote Little Dorrit it wasn’t published as a book. The story was serialized. According to the Wikipedia article on it, “Little Dorrit was published in nineteen monthly instalments [sic], each consisting of thirty-two pages and featuring two illustrations by Phiz. Each instalment [sic] cost a shilling, with the exception of the last, a double issue which cost two shillings.”
I’ll be honest and say, that despite my preference to do so, I have not yet read Little Dorrit. Last time I tried to find a copy, the cheapest one I could find was $50, which is out of my price range at the moment.
But, as a writer, I know there are some stories that are just better suited to serialized short story segments than they are to the traditional novel format.
Perhaps I’ve shared this before, but I have one particular story idea that would fit this model quite nicely, because it has a great, epic arc, but doesn’t really work as a novel. It doesn’t feel like a novel.
So, far I haven’t done anything with it, because the marketing end of my brain doesn’t know what to do with it. But I’ll leave those thoughts for the next post.
The point, I guess, is this: As readers in the digital age, would you be interested in serialized short fiction? If so, would you want it direct from the writer or would you require a gatekeeper that provided some kind validation?