Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 month ago

I'm going to write web-based serial fiction. I just have one question.?

Can a serial novel work where each episode has their own standalone story as in the episodes can be read in any order? I was reading about the difference between a series and serial (in terms of a TV show) and was wondering if it applied to a serialized fiction too. 

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sure, you can do serials that way, in any medium.

    Be aware that you will lose character arcs and that large story arcs become impossible. If every episode is complete in itself and can be read or viewed out of order, you sacrifice something.

    Consider the TV show House. Each episode stands alone--I rewatched a few when recovering from minor surgery recently--but if you just watch an episode here and there, out of order, you don't see how Dr. House's management of his pain goes from pretty bad to appalling and dangerous, how the health of Thirteen degrades, how Cuddy's increasing frustration with him causes her to act, the growing depth of his friendship with Wilson, and lots more. Each episode has all those elements just frozen, limited to how that thing is during this one episode.

  • User
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    What you are describing

    seems to defy the very meaning of the word "serial".

    The word implies order and progression (i.e. one thing occurring after another).

    From an online dictionary:

    - Published or produced in installments, as a novel or television drama.

    So: we're talking about a SINGLE novel

    or a SINGLE drama

    published in several installments.

    Each installment


    should act like a chapter, an encapsulated portion, of the whole novel or drama.

    If it's just a set of stories

    sharing common characters and setting

    that have no temporal or causal relationship to each other

    then it's not a serial, then it is a serIES.

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