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Serial Fiction: The Birth and Evolution of a Novel (with a Primer on Voting)

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March 27, 2013 by Nathaniel Tower

Last year, I found a terrific up-and-coming site called JukePop Serials. I had never written a serial novel before, but I had something I was working on I thought could be a good fit. Since JukePop was offering nice payments for first chapters, I gave it a shot and sent Misty Me and Me their way. Fortunately, my story was accepted. A few months later, after I designed some cover art (yes, those are my hands bound by duct tape), the first chapter appeared on the site. Now it was up to me to write the rest of the novel.

Having never continued anything after it was published, I wasn’t sure how it would all work, but it has been one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences I’ve had as a writer. In my previous experiences writing novels (or even longer short stories), I hammered out as much as I could, desperate to get to a finished rough draft before I went back and did any editing. With Misty Me and Me, I complete one finished and thoroughly edited chapter at a time, with little outline for where the story is going next. In true writerly fashion, the story decides where it will go.

The premise of my story was simple at first: a man falls in love with an ex-porn star after his wife catches him looking at porn and encourages him to go to a church-sponsored addiction group. What has become of the story since then is quite a complex series of twists and shockers.

I’m not sure if I’m necessarily doing the serial novel the right way, but I try to keep chapters pretty short (1200-1500 words), and every chapter tends to end as a cliffhanger. That isn’t to say that I come up with a crazy surprise at the end of each chapter. I think everything develops naturally, and although the reader is sure to have some surprises, I think it all happens in a believable way (thanks in part to the incredibly naive male narrator). I want to make sure the audience comes back for more. So far, it seems to be working.

Misty Me and Me has been in JukePop’s Top 20 for the last five months. Hopefully, with your help, I can keep it there. One of the greatest things about the site is the ability for readers to vote for their favorite serials. Unfortunately, a few people I’ve directed to the site have found some difficulty with the voting process. Here’s a brief primer for the uninitiated.

First off, you will have to register or connect through Facebook. The best time to do this is as soon as you visit the website. Otherwise, you will have to re-navigate through the pages. You can find the registration link at the top of the page (see below).jukepop screen shot 1

Once you click the register link, you’ll be taken here:

jukepop screen shot 5I recommend connecting with Facebook (if you have an account), although it’s pretty simple to do it through email. JukePop doesn’t spam you or sell your email address, but they occasionally email with new features and exciting updates. You can also set your account to receive automatic notification when your favorite serial is updated.

After you connect, you can start reading. If you register through email, you will have to follow the registration steps (they are simple and standard).

Now, the first thing you’ll want to do is locate Misty Me and Me. If you don’t follow the direct link, you can find it pretty easily by scrolling to the bottom of the home page. Click the Modern Romance tab. Misty Me and Me is currently the top ranked Modern Romance serial, so it will be the first one that pops up. Don’t be turned off by the Modern Romance genre. It isn’t what you’re thinking. Besides, Misty Me and Me is more than just Modern Romance. It’s Mystery, Adventure, Suspense, and maybe even Literary, that all-encompassing genre for stuff that’s quality but not genre specific.

jukepop screen shot 2

Now that you’ve found Misty Me and Me, you’re ready to start reading (and voting!). Click on the book cover. Here is where the power of JukePop really starts to unleash itself.

Obviously, the next thing you’ll want to do is read the story. This goes for any serial you find. Once you have finished reading a chapter, you can navigate to the next chapter easily by using the Chapter Navigation Bar at the bottom of the page. If you like what you’ve read, be sure to vote before going to the next chapter. Simply click on the +Vote button. You can also add the serial to your bookshelf, which will allow for easy access in the future. An important thing to note is that you can vote for each chapter. Misty Me and Me has 18 chapters so far, so you can vote for the story 18 times!

jukepop screen shot 4

JukePop’s power doesn’t end with voting. There are so many other features you can utilize on the site. You can easily access JukePop through cell phone apps. Soon, you’ll have the option to listen to audio of some of your favorites (yes, Misty Me and Me will be one of the stories available in audio, read by the Nathaniel Tower!).

I strongly encourage you to check out this great site. I hope you’ll explore the many great books available on the pages. The authors work hard to keep their stories updated, and the staff has done an excellent job making the site as innovative as possible. You can even have some input on what will happen next in the story. Not many sites or authors give you that ability.

Thank you for supporting JukePop Serials and the many hardworking authors on the site! I look forward to hearing your thoughts about Misty Me and Me.

3 thoughts on “Serial Fiction: The Birth and Evolution of a Novel (with a Primer on Voting)

  1. Scott G says:

    Thank you for the instructions, but really, if someone cannot figure out how to vote on that site, that person is just not trying. I honestly cannot think of how JPS could feasibly make the process any more straightforward or user friendly. Regardless, I congratulate you on the early success of your serial.

    • Scott G.,

      Thanks for your reply. I have had a few people tell me they had trouble voting, so I thought I would put this information out there to help them. Like you, I find the JukePop website to be very user friendly.

  2. […] is a link to the story on JukePop and here is a link to an article helping readers figure out how to navigate and negotiate this new (dare I […]

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