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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working on a certain fantasy series in my head since I was 16 years old (I'm turning 33 this year) and I am finally going to start writing it tonight. I don't have an actual outline as this is something that I have been developing in my head for a long, long time. I guess you could say the outline is in my head.

I was thinking that it would actually work quite well if I developed this as a serial and published it that way. Each season could represent a full book in the series. I would probably have something like 3 seasons of the serial, unless people ask for more, and then who knows?

Does anyone think it's possible to sell an epic fantasy serial fairly well? Something along the lines of Dragonlance / D&D, kind of a sword and sorcery type of situation? I have been thrilled with the idea of doing a continuing story, but I wasn't sure if that genre would be compatible. I would likely do 5 or 6 parts in each season and then bundle it together for $4.99 or so when it's completed. I'm sure I should probably make the first episode .99 or even free for that matter.

I could always just do it as a complete book and release it that way, but the concept of writing episodes of a sword and sorcery serial with episodes just seems fun! Thoughts?
 

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In my opinion, and based on my experience in the last 13 months, and being 10 years older (and a few random extra years) than you... I think your instincts are totally and completely spot on. There are a crapton of people 35 to 60 who played D&D when it came out, who kept playing past the retarded "OMG this ONE GUY out of 7,000,000 D&D players jumped off a building; it's all evil!!!!" that poisoned it for so long.... until Willow gave it a glimpse, and then the Lord of the Rings proved it... that there's a massive audience out there wanting old school, Gandalf style, Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffery kinda stories. They were so popular in the late  70s, 80's and early 90's then... POOF, gone. The movies came out, but most of them had stupid comedy relief characters that destroyed them. But a few directors took it serious. So, Lord of the Rings made zillions. Avatar made zilllions. The Hobbit is making zillions. The audience for what you are talking about is alive, working, has disposable income, is techno-savvy enough to have a Kindle/Nook and they freaking want something that respects their old school aesthetic... Zelazany, Phillip Jose Farmer, Stephen R. Donadson, Eddings... the great stuff. The stuff that R. A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan sort of killed because their books were so amazing, ironically, that it seemed like nothing could ever be that good again... it started a lull. And, apparently, for a decade or so, it was reality. But now, people have read all that old, great stuff over and over and over again, and they want new stories.

Trust your vision, man. I realize this is one post you made, but to me it sounds like you see exactly see what I see, and, well, I'm having some luck selling epic fantasy. Not only did I have luck selling ONE epic fantasy thing, I'm having luck selling the next part... a whole year after the first, which, if you read these forums much, you will learn is suicide. And yet, well, it's like readers are so hungry for the kind of story you are talking about, they'll remember.

Write your story. Spew your passion into it. Get it revised to the absolute most perfect you can. Get it edited. Get it proofread. Then believe in your vision, dude. I'm telling you, from my experience, there is a massive audience out there for what you are talking about. Yes, you still have to pull it off, but, you are wanting validation for your idea. So, I'm telling you, dude, just f-ing go. It's awesome. There are tons of us out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That, sir, was inspiring! You took the words right out of my mouth. I am definitely working on this as a serial, then. I'm taking it seriously enough to get a subscription at Shutterstock (which is decently expensive) in order to have great covers. I already have a rough cover idea for two installments and honing my abilities as a designer of fantasy covers.

I'm excited to hear that someone else believes that there is an audience for this. After the folks at Wizards of the Coast stopped putting out new Dragonlance books a few years ago, I have been dying to start my own extensive fantasy world. It shall begin tonight.
 

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I don't have any experience with serials but I'm one of the dorks who still hasn't outgrown sword and sorcery of the D&D style. Hubby is a Dragonlance fan too. I say go for it, if not as a serial at least as a series. Good luck to you!
 

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Write the story YOU want to read. Seriously. Dont' write for the market or based on some crap you read about what sells. Trust YOUR vision. Believe in your story based on what, in a perfect world, you could find in a bookstore if the perfect story existed based on your vision. Make THAT story happen. Whatever that means. If you compromise at all in any way from that story, then don't ever complain that it bombed. If you can't commit to your dream, why the hell would anyone else like it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Agreed!

I just filled a playlist full of Iron Maiden, Manowar and Blind Guardian songs to help me get in the mood for tonight's writing session. Wish me luck folks. We'll see how the beginning of this adventure pans out.
 

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David Scroggins said:
Agreed!

I just filled a playlist full of Iron Maiden, Manowar and Blind Guardian songs to help me get in the mood for tonight's writing session. Wish me luck folks. We'll see how the beginning of this adventure pans out.
Got my Lindsey Stirling blasting top end volume, totally get where you are. Make it happen, don't blink, don't think, just make great art as best as you can. I wish you the best of luck with your story.
 

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As soon as I've read about the possibility to serial stories, I've been a huge fan! It combines my love of writing and the tv show format that I love, so I'm giving it a try.
I'm wishing you good luck and many sales on your serialized fantasy!  :D
 

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I've been working on a sort of DnD series for a bit now (the first three novellas are out). I'm writing each novella to stand alone, then compiling omnibus versions.  So it isn't exactly a serial, since there is only a very loose over-arching plot and each novella (and later, novels) is designed to be read independently though I feel that reading them more or less in chronological order would be the best experience.

I think there are tons of readers for this kind of fiction, but I'm a little biased because I love this stuff so much.  ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nathalie Hamidi said:
As soon as I've read about the possibility to serial stories, I've been a huge fan! It combines my love of writing and the tv show format that I love, so I'm giving it a try.
I'm wishing you good luck and many sales on your serialized fantasy! :D
Same here! I thought it could be extremely cool to come up with an epic serial that had some of the complexities of Dragonlance stories while having the atmosphere of the old D&D cartoons. :D
 

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I think the ongoing thing matters a ton. But I think the mistake to make is to think you can puke out short-stories or novellas for the sake of filling a "demand." Fantasy readers want to GO AWAY FOR A LONG TIME. I don't think it's going to attract people if  we pump out little bits of epicness. I think we have to deliver big *ss stories. The Wheel of Time is 14 books of like 1000 pages each. The Lord of the Rings is three that are really long, plus the Hobbit before them. The Salvatore series with Drizzt is like 12 books. The Belgariad is what, 9? And none of them are "short series installments." They are all real books.

If you love this stuff, ask yourself, as a reader: IS THIS WHAT I WANT TO SPEND MY TIME, MONEY, AND EMOTIONAL WEALTH ON?

I think it's really easy to think about how something might work in the marketplace, but, in the end, you have to ask yourself honestly, is what you are doing based on what you think you can sell or what you would really, really, really, with all your heart, hope to be able to find as a reader.

Do that last one, and I think you do better than trying to plan a successful attack on the pocketbooks of fantasy readers.
 

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In simple words, yes, I think it can work.

When you get the sections done, be sure to title and blurb them so that readers know this is a serial and aren't thinking they'll get a complete story (and so that it is easy for them to put them in proper order).

And as has been said, make your dream happen.  Each one will build the previous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I'm now 500 words into this thing, and I think it has become my baby. I'm feeling pretty protective over it, if that makes sense. I'm going to write until I feel that it's finished and we'll see how long it is then. I want to make sure that I get 2k words of this done each day, 5 days a week. I think this is going to be my midnight to 2am writing project. Either way, I haven't been this excited in a long time, and I hope that shows through in my finished story.  :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1100 words in now. I'm stopping for the night. Those words came quite easily. I'm pleasantly surprised. I'm rethinking the serial idea for now, at any rate. I may revisit that later. It's still not clear what the length of this will be, but it's going very well so far. My main character is about 10k words away from some serious life-altering sh** hitting the fan.
 

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Hi David - I'm writing a fantasy serial too. My aim is to get out a 20-30k novella in April and offer it for 99c. As an experiment, I'm publishing it on Wattpad as I write it, to try and get some feedback and build up an audience. When it's done, I'll take it off Wattpad and put it on KDP.

My schedule is a more modest 500 words a day though!

Rob
 

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John Daulton said:
In my opinion, and based on my experience in the last 13 months, and being 10 years older (and a few random extra years) than you... I think your instincts are totally and completely spot on. There are a crapton of people 35 to 60 who played D&D when it came out, who kept playing past the retarded "OMG this ONE GUY out of 7,000,000 D&D players jumped off a building; it's all evil!!!!" that poisoned it for so long.... until Willow gave it a glimpse, and then the Lord of the Rings proved it... that there's a massive audience out there wanting old school, Gandalf style, Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffery kinda stories. They were so popular in the late 70s, 80's and early 90's then... POOF, gone. The movies came out, but most of them had stupid comedy relief characters that destroyed them. But a few directors took it serious. So, Lord of the Rings made zillions. Avatar made zilllions. The Hobbit is making zillions. The audience for what you are talking about is alive, working, has disposable income, is techno-savvy enough to have a Kindle/Nook and they freaking want something that respects their old school aesthetic... Zelazany, Phillip Jose Farmer, Stephen R. Donadson, Eddings... the great stuff. The stuff that R. A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan sort of killed because their books were so amazing, ironically, that it seemed like nothing could ever be that good again... it started a lull. And, apparently, for a decade or so, it was reality. But now, people have read all that old, great stuff over and over and over again, and they want new stories.

Trust your vision, man. I realize this is one post you made, but to me it sounds like you see exactly see what I see, and, well, I'm having some luck selling epic fantasy. Not only did I have luck selling ONE epic fantasy thing, I'm having luck selling the next part... a whole year after the first, which, if you read these forums much, you will learn is suicide. And yet, well, it's like readers are so hungry for the kind of story you are talking about, they'll remember.

Write your story. Spew your passion into it. Get it revised to the absolute most perfect you can. Get it edited. Get it proofread. Then believe in your vision, dude. I'm telling you, from my experience, there is a massive audience out there for what you are talking about. Yes, you still have to pull it off, but, you are wanting validation for your idea. So, I'm telling you, dude, just f-ing go. It's awesome. There are tons of us out there.
John, when you tire of writing writing awesome fiction, I want you to gather up all of your posts and publish a "All I Ever Need To Know I Learned on the Kindleboard" book of wisdom. I mean, seriously. FANTASTIC post.

And David, rock on you with getting the words on the page! Excited to read it when you're done!
 

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/waves    ;D

I think you'll find the D&D generation responsible for the overwhelming majority of contemporary pop-culture creativity.  Some of it is echo-chamber effect, but a lot of it is the understanding, more or less, of the great heroic myths and how those speak to readers.  A very large number of executives in creative enterprises today grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons.  Their products reflect their experience and their very strong imaginations, and audiences respond accordingly.

D&D and its attendant imagery and culture was far more widespread than most people know, and contemporary writers will only make it more so.
 

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I love this idea. I'm a big D&D dork, and I've been aching to write myself up some epic fantasy lately. It would be so awesome in serial format.
 

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Sounds like something I'd enjoy - and maybe should give a go as well.

I do have a steampunk serial in the process of starting to be written that will go up bit by bit on my steampuk blog.

I also write a lot of fantasy short stories, though they tend more to be the heroic sword and sorcery type rather than high/epic fantasy.  Going from short stories about the same characters to a serial isn't that long a step.
 
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