Terra’s Stripling Space Nights is back on this website. “Where did it go,” you ask. Well if you are asking that question, then you need to follow me on Twitter so you know what the hell is going on around here. 😉
With that being said, the concept of a serial story came from a Twitter follower many months ago. For those of you who are trying to build a brand, or a business using social media, you will understand this next part. Hashtags are the secret to getting views on social media. However, if you hit on certain hashtags, i.e., #writersblock, it throws up an alert for marketers who flag said hashtag. They will then follow you in the hopes that you follow back. When you follow back, they will direct message you with a proposition, a proposition that claims, with their help, your dreams and pursuits will be much easier to attain.
That is how the Twitter follower from several months ago came about. I think I used the hashtag #writer, and a website called Channillo.com followed me, and because it was not an obvious “Marketing Expert,” I followed back. Shortly thereafter, they direct messaged me asking if I would like submit an application for a serial on their site.
I thought about it, and came up with the concept for the Stripling Space Nights and filled out their application. Then I waited. Well, after a while, I never heard anything from them, and decided, “Hey, why not put a serial on my website.”
Terra’s Stripling Space Nights is not a new idea. I think it was spawned from a dream I had years ago. I cannot even recall if I ever put the story in writing. I do know I thoroughly enjoyed playing with the concept in my head while trudging through my paper route in the wee hours of the morning. I tossed the idea around for a while and decided it would be a great way to explore the idea once again, but this time with a better understanding of human nature.
I wrote the first four chapters and published them to this site. Then I received an email from Channillo support stating that I have not made any updates to my serial since starting it. This came as a surprise since I did not know they awarded me space on their website. Eagerly I setup my serial by filling out all the pertinent data, like an introduction to the story, and me, the author. Then I uploaded the introduction and prepared for the chapters I all ready wrote.
One of the conditions to publishing with others is that you cannot have it published on your site at the same time, something about exclusivity. Therefore, I hid the published chapters on my site from public view.
When I planned the serial for my site, my goal was about 2500 words per chapter. This allows me to thoroughly explore what is going on in Lucas head, and his life. After all, this is not a story about very young adults in advanced spacecraft, but a story about a teenager growing up in south Minneapolis and dealing with that crap, while flying highly advanced spacecraft on the side.
Where I ran into trouble with Channillo is the size of my serial chapters. Their default is about 1200 words. They want material that a reader can finish in about five minutes. I understand that. It is why flash fiction is so popular right now. However, I did not write Space Nights with that format in mind. In fact, I struggle with flash fiction. Even in a serialized form.
I tried to chop up the first chapter into three different entries, but was not happy with it. The breaks made no sense. Therefore, I rewrote the first entry, and then tried to spice up the second, the third, and so on. The rewrite of the first chapter for Channillo is why my first chapter on this site is about 4000 words. I could not part with that dream sequence 🙂
Anyway, after struggling with breaking up and rewriting 2500 word chapters into 1200 word chapters I lost interest in the project. Yet, every time I logged into my blog and looked at the Posts page, I saw those Private posts sitting there and it bothered me. After some more contemplation, I decided I am bailing on Channillo, and resuming the Terra’ Stripling Space Nights serial on my site.
I did some editing, (damn tense) and converted the first four chapters to Pages for easier navigation. Yesterday I finished the fifth installment, and once I proof it a couple more times, I will publish it to this blog soon. Thereafter, my plan is a new installment every couple of weeks.
For all three of my readers, chapter six is going to be a blast. We are really going to get a good look into what is going on in Lucas’s life and his head.