Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Web Serials

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I did this last year, found it way to busy for the likes of me, and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last two times I did the conventional approach, will be writing genres.

This genre:

Web Serial


original fiction serially posted online, often to themed communities; also known as web fiction 

Tipsa to z

  1. Write short instalments of a larger story, all tied together through the characters and often through an overarching “meta-story”.
  2. Before you start, decide how long the story will be–how many episodes. Any length is fine–6,000 words to 60,000 to 600,000. Or more. Just pick.
  3. Outline the story. Pantsing doesn’t work as well for web serials as it does for novels.
  4. You can have multiple plots throughout the story, some that end early in the book and others later.
  5. Release the chapters on a schedule so readers can anticipate.
  6. Have a hook at the end of each submittal.
  7. You can write your web serial as a comic or a graphic novel. There’s even a large community of folks who serialize their Sims stories.
  8. Web serials are often considered the prose equivalent of web comics but with a story arc just as any story would have
  9. Web serials are similar to the seral installments of novels popularized in the 19th C by Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
  10. Pick the best place to publish your web serial. This can include JukePop, Wattpad, Fiction Press, KU, or even your own blog.

Popular Books

I didn’t recognize any of these. Let me know if you do!

  1. Unsong (here’s the opening line: “If I had to choose a high point for the history of the human race thus far, it would be December 24, 1968.” Is that perfect?)
  2. Worm & Ward–by John C.d McCrae; Worm is 1.7 million words and Ward is 1.95 (Harry Potter was 1.1 million words). And readers love it!
  3. Twig by John C. McCrae
  4. The Bloomer Legacy (a SIMS serial–these are hugely popular, believe it or not)
  5. Metaworld Chronicles by Wutosama
  6. A Practical Guide to Evil by ErraticErrata
  7. Mother of Learning by nobody 103

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More W Genres:

More on Web Serials

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.

68 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Web Serials

  1. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Wuxia |

  2. I’ve completed three so far; whether a fourth will follow is still open. I enjoy the discipline, and the challenge of open-ended writing. There are many distinguished antecedents: Dickens’ ‘Sketches by Boz’ may not have been a digital source, but it launched a number of his novels in serial form.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have always liked the serial idea for books, Jacqui. You can quickly determine how the books were intended to be published [as a serial] when you read them. Enid Blyton also did this with her books for children. My mom used to buy her magazine with the stories in every month when she was a little girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. For no good reason, we got away from series. Maybe it was newspapers. Not sure but the internet lets those who like publishing in bite-size pieces–and those who like reading that way–do so. I like that.


  4. Hi Jacqui, I read this post a little while ago and had the chance to come back while logged in so i could comment
    I enjoyed this post – you really layered some fun helpful sections here – in a way way that was digestible – and good reminder that the way Dickens published was in increments – and other takeaways were nice.
    Best wishes on your next “three in one” novel

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My experience with web serials is Teagan’s blog. She’s shared a lot of stories this way, and many of them end up as books. I think you probably know that she’s publishing a serial on Amazon, Dead of Winter. So far, it’s been a lot of fun. I’m super curious to see how it goes. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I believe some of Alexander McCall Smith’s books were first published as episodes in newspapers like some of Dickens’s books. I’m not sure that I’ve read any web seriels but I’m certainly aware of some – or was, at one time.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Jacqui – this could be quite the project … if this sort of passion is within one … fascinating W for your Genre series … I haven’t heard of any of the books – except the classical ones you mention. I’m not sure if this sort of serial could be started as a planned series …I feel it would need to flow … mind you – have your Lucy series started this way? Interesting to think about … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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