Posted on

More About Blovels

I’ve blogged about blovels before since I think they’re intriguing and, let’s face it, a brilliant idea! Serving up a novel in chunks was good enough for Charles Dickens so I think it should be good enough for the rest of us.

I was interested to stumble across a few vaguely official definitions of a blovel. One at http://friendfeed.com/blovelspot suggests 40 or so chapters of 1,000 characters each. That seems too short to me. Elsewhere 40 or so chapters of 500-1000 words are suggested which I would tend to agree with, which would give you a decent sized novella at the end of it. You post a chapter at a time, at least one a week, but no more than one a day.

Other important aspects to take into account are:

Structure: have a beginning (approx first 10 chapters), a crisis (chapters 11-30) and a resolution (31-40).

Narrator: go for the first person, but you can hop between characters to give their viewpoints of a situation.

Try and end each chapter with a cliffhanger.

So, are you inspired? Here are some blovels currently out there that are worth a look.

1. Something Fishy by Rorie Stevens

Entertaining mystery-romance, with some fishing thrown in. But you don’t need to be an angler to enjoy this well written story.

2. Land of Kuro by Mykall: Asian dystopian fantasy

3. Broken Vow: Widowmaker’s Return by R A Evans: the author’s first go at fantasy

4. Hourglass by I’m not sure! Science-fiction

5. Before The Dead (B4TD) is: “a novel project between two authors (B and K). We are going to try to bring to you a story of adventure, terror, and horror. We hope to update every month or so.”

6. The Ladiez and their Confessions by Quiyada: Follow India, Sasha, Hillary and Jazmine, “unedited and uncensored”.

 

Posted on 4 Comments

Blovels Set to Grow in 2012

You probably know by now that I like blovels and serials. I’ve written several posts about this interesting type of fiction. I’m sure we see a lot more coming out in 2012.

First a few words about a new blovel on the block. Check out http://www.somethingfishy.fr for what’s shaping up to be a fun novel by Rorie Stevens, with a spot of fishing thrown in, and we’re promised some spicy action is to come. Do give it a look.

Here are three more sites with serials worth knowing about. First up Fiction Express. This describes itself as ‘interactive e-fiction for tweens, teens and young adults where you control the plot through a weekly vote’. You sign up to the site and then, for just 39p, you read a chapter of the work of your choice, vote on what happens next, and then the author writes it given the majority decision.

Eat your Serial: I love this one! It’s a a new, free website that features ‘up and coming writers and their stories in all genres, both fiction and nonfiction.   The idea is simple –  Monday through Friday there will be five unique stories.  Come back the following week, and you get a new chapter, and so on and so forth.’ There are some good stories currently up there.

Last but not least, there’s Discoverlit. Start out on this page to find out what it’s all about. It describes itself as being for readers who want ‘an engaging experience in literature that fits into a mobile lifestyle’. However, it’s also for writers and publishers of poetry, short stories, serials or any other type of short-form literature. There’s a small charge to read the serials there.

Out with the old, in with the new – give this new form of fiction a whirl. I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

Posted on 1 Comment

Chinese Freemium Publishing Set to Spread

Following very nicely on from my last post on serialising fiction, I came across an article from The Guardian about the love of the Chinese people for serialised fiction. Apparently 195 million of them are hooked on this ‘original fiction’. Authors post up their stories in instalments on various self-publishing websites. When a particular author gets a certain critical mass of readers, he or she becomes a VIP and from there on, readers must start paying a small fee to carry on reading their work. They pay 2-3 yuan per 100,000 words, roughly 23 cents (Euro). With millions of readers, this is adding up to very respectable earnings. Some of these stories have become video games and TV programmes.

This freemium publishing model is coming to the States. Shanda Literature, the biggest of the Chinese online publishers, is going to set up a subsidiary in San Francisco to test out what it calls its ‘unique business model’ on the American market. It will be attracting American authors as well as offering translations from its Chinese authors.

I suspect that Shanda is on to a winner. I think serialising and charging what are known as ‘micropayments’ is a very interesting idea indeed.