Plot. It's magical. Mysterious. Necessary. And occasionally elusive.
Last Thursday, I went though a list of all of my works, past and present. One of my current WIP is From the Sky, and I truly believe that the possibilities are endless. I plan for it to be a serial novel, although I want to get the first few episodes--maybe even most of the first season--written before I start releasing it.
But I'm having problems with story continuity.
I know my characters, and I'm good at character development. The balance of action, dialogue, and narrative can be tricky, but I can usually patch it together in the rewrites and editing if not the first time around. But it's plot that is giving me the problems.
I have the first episode--it's rough and needs a serious rewrite, but it's there. And I have ideas for future episodes that I think will be exciting and move the plot forward. But I have no idea what to put between those episodes. I don't know how to continue the story when it is purposely being written as separate episodes, and I don't know how to pace it.
Releasing The Bodyguard as a serialized novel is easy. I just cut it at one of the break points, release it, and voila! But writing an actual serial novel is tying me up in knots.
How do I take the story from that first episode to the episode with the party? What episodes go between the guy meeting the girl and the climactic camping trip? What should the overarching plot of the first season be?
I try to think of TV shows--what happens in each episode there? But even that is making me panic. How much excitement does each episode need? Can this truly be episodic, with the episodes somewhat loosely connected but working toward the overarching plot of the season, or do the episodes need to be more closely entwined than that, more like a book?
And how fast should it all move? How do you pace a story that is meant to be released week by week rather than as a whole?
I guess I'm getting cold feet about the serial, but I like the plot too much to give the story up, and I don't think that it would make a good book. I think that it needs to be episodic, even if I am having trouble writing that way.
If anyone has any advice on how to pace this darn story, I would love to hear it. If anyone else has had similar problems, I would love to commiserate.