Do you love late nights? Deadlines? Posting unedited first drafts online where everyone can see them? Then have I got a format for you! It’s called serialization, and it’s been around at least as long as there have been writers who get off on suffering. Between August 2014 and April 2015, I serialized a science fiction mystery story on the official blog of the Mid-Michigan Prose and Writing Group. The story is called Nature Abhors a Vacuum, and I describe it thus:
Pip is a minimally motivated, socially maladjusted college student with a ‘shroom-addicted roommate and a callous fiance. When her upstairs neighbor is murdered, Pip decides to investigate, drafting her younger brother and a local public radio host into service as her assistants. What they discover will forever change their views on space, time, and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesmen.
It’s an idea I’d been kicking around since 2007, when my then-boyfriend began selling for Kirby, manufacturers of high-end vacuums and workplace degradation. I won’t bother describing what a horrible experience it was–many of the gory details made it into the serial. (Although, if you’re hungry for more scandal, you can check out the “Litigation” section on Kirby’s Wikipedia page.) Anyway, when the leader of my writers’ group asked me to write for their blog, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get this story out of my system.
And it was. But boy, did I learn some lessons along the way.