©2010 Michael Engelby All Rights Reserved

Contact: thebullykillers@gmail.com

What is a Serial Novel Anyway?
By Michael Engelby http://thebullykillers.com

Definition: (n) 1. a novel, play, etc., presented in separate installments at regular intervals. ±Collins English Dictionary

I first learned about serial novels in high school while reading Charles Dickens¶s Great Expectations. Alas, poor Pip. While reading the book I discovered that it had originally been published weekly in a popular magazine and people would follow along and talk about it with their friends and neighbors. Interesting, kind of like the sitcoms around the water coolers. I later found out that the origins of this literary style came from a collection of Middle Eastern and Southern Asian stories commonly known as Arabian Nights. This collection of stories has been collected by writers and scholars since the 9th century. The premise of the story goes something like this, Scheherazade, the vizier¶s daughter, ends up married to a king who executes his virgin brides at sunrise. So in order to keep the king from executing her she tells him a story with an interesting hook, and each night she begins a new tale but she does not finish it thus, keeping the king curious and delaying her own execution for another day. This goes on for 1001 Nights. Talk about your tough deadlines. Some of the stories you

©2010 Michael Engelby All Rights Reserved

Contact: thebullykillers@gmail.com

might recognize are, ³Aladdin¶s Wonderful Lamp,´ ³Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,´ and my personal favorites, ³The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.´ Then in the 19th century writers began earning money by writing stories for popular magazines. The writers used narrative hooks and cliffhangers to keep their audiences coming back for more and many of these stories ended up becoming novels. Some of the writers who benefited from this form of writing during that period were, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, creator of the modern detective story, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who originally wrote Sherlock Holmes for serialization, and Polish writer Boleslaw Prus. You might even say that these writers helped to pioneer the presence of literature in printed pop culture. With the advent of the Internet the serial has been able to keep pace with technology by appearing on websites, blog pages, in e-zines, and even on Twitter and Facebook. Stephen King helped to push the serial back into the mainstream with his online serial The Green Mile. Now that the Internet has removed the constraints of traditional publishingwatch for many more serials to start popping up on the web. I originally started my online serial novel The Bully Killers to get feedback from readers, but it has quickly taken on a life of its own, sending me in one direction and then another. I¶ve met some wonderful writers who

©2010 Michael Engelby All Rights Reserved

Contact: thebullykillers@gmail.com

are out there putting their work on the web, and promoting the website has also lead to some interesting twists and turns. But probably the best reward so far has been the motivation to write and keep up with the deadlines, although a few have gone screaming by, I am keeping up fairly well. The journey is just beginning and I know the next adventure is just around the corner. You might even want to dust off that old novel in the closet and write your own serial, remember, they can¶t read it if you don¶t write it.
*For more information on The Bully Killers Serial Novel go to www.thebullykillers.com

©2010 Michael Engelby All Rights Reserved

Contact: thebullykillers@gmail.com

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