Ryan Blackwell is the protag in By Darkness Revealed. He's also the viewpoint character for "Cat Fight", a short story which will be appearing in the not-too-distant future in an anthology. With one short novel just about done, and a short story as well, my mind has naturally been shifting toward what else to do with him? Well, as far back as November I was already planning to write more novels. The 40-50k word novel seems to fit his stories well so far. Short - fast - episodic content. Lots of hard-hitting magical action packed into short spaces. I started the second novel late last year, and I've picked it up again this week to finish it. But I've also been looking at the short story I wrote, liking the look of it, and realizing the shorts are just another good way to mix it up with this character.
So I put in 2000 words tonight on another short story, this one set between two novels ("Cat Fight" is set after the second novel). When done, I'll have a novel - short story - novel - short story tempo that should work pretty well. I've already got the rough idea in my head for novel #3, in fact. And with the speed I can get short stories out and printed, this short should release almost the same time as By Darkness Revealed. Nothing like getting a couple of complementary works up right on top of each other.
This sort of serialized fiction is something I've thought about a lot. I still have some regular, full length novels I want to do, including getting back to the science fiction trilogy I've started. But I think serials have a lot of promise in the ebook world. They're pretty fast to write. They promise good, reliable, fun reads. And they can be priced at a level that makes them an easy purchase (Darkness and other short novels will start off at $2.99 for ebook formats; the short stories will be 99 cents when I release them as singles).
I've got a new concept for a serialized work that I've been tinkering with in my subconscious for a couple of months now. It's an extension of the same sort of idea. I'll go into more detail about my thoughts for that - a real serial fiction, not just a string of related novels and shorts - in my next post.