The Girlfriend Contract 3

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post a quick update regarding the third episode of The Girlfriend Contract. It will be available through Amazon some time on Friday, April 11th.

After this, I’m planning on getting the remaining two (at least) episodes out in the following two weeks. So just a week between episodes!

There will also be some news regarding specials soon, too.

All the best,

Lucy

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On Writing Serials

In this new world (relatively new, anyway) of online indie publishing, serialized stories generate a lot of debate.

Some readers see them as cash grabs on the part of the author. Others enjoy the more leisurely reading pace that comes with having to wait for the next installment. As a writer of serials, I have a few thoughts on the matter.

Serialized storytelling is all around you, and has been for a long time. It’s a tradition that extends back to Charles Dickens, who published his classic works in serialized chapters. People would wait around for the latest Dickens, and there were often public readings. Some of my reviewers state that they don’t like this “new trend.” Let me tell you, this is not a new trend at all. If anything, it’s a return to form.

But it’s more recent, too. Do you watch television shows? Congratulations, you’re watching a serialized story! Movies are often the same way, with franchises telling their stories across trilogies and more. Comics are another example.

This is one reason why I don’t get the complaints when people buy a serial. Do you not watch TV or movies? It should be a form of storytelling you are used to.

Serials also give the author a chance to react to criticism. Take The Girlfriend Contract for example. I noticed several people complain about Gwen and Beatrice interacting more than Gwen and Aiden, so I made certain that Gwen and Aiden had more scenes together in Episode 2. Had I published an entire novel all at once, that would be a complaint I couldn’t address.

Moreover, I get to see people’s theories and hopes regarding the story. Guess what, if you share an idea about the direction of the plot or about a character that I like, there’s a decent chance I might actually incorporate it into the story! Serials are far more interactive between reader and author.

Since I can see what people are liking and not liking in the story, I can alter the course of the story to concentrate more on the aspects I know my readers find enjoyable, and minimize or eliminate the stuff that they don’t. What’s not to like about that?

Serials build anticipation. They give you something to look forward to. And, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, anticipation is the best part of anything. Sure, there is pleasure in just blasting through a novel or a TV show or what-have-you as quickly as you can, but there is also pleasure in taking your time.

What are your thoughts on serials?

 

A Question of Perspective

Usually, when I write, my stories are told primarily from the woman’s perspective. Sometimes I have the love interest’s perspective in there, but often not.

What type of romance do you enjoy more, in general? One told entirely from one perspective, one with the perspectives of the budding couple, one with many perspectives?

I can see certain benefits and drawbacks to various viewpoint strategies. Take, for instance, a singular viewpoint (that of the female protagonist as is usually the case in this type of romance). By sticking with a particular viewpoint, like Gwen’s in The Girlfriend Contract, the reader can get really deep into the character’s mind. You are constantly immersed in Gwen’s thoughts and feelings, and (the author hopes) this brings the two of you closer together. When she is happy, you are happy, when she is sad, as are you, and on and on.

A viewpoint strategy like this also helps preserves the mystery of the love interest. And that’s half the fun of a new relationship, isn’t it, figuring out just who this new person is?

Some may also view that as a drawback, or as a deliberate attempt on the part of the author to hide certain aspects of the story. Which it can be construed as, but I feel the benefits outweigh such drawbacks.

A multi-viewpoint story has some benefits as well. The reader gets a more rounded view of the story, and they can often see certain narrative strands coming together this way. It also provides more variety to the story, as the reader can experience the way the main characters feel about events and issues themselves, rather than having these reactions interpreted by a single character.

However, it’s more difficult to maintain airs of mystery in such a story. Do you really want to know right now why Aiden is holding back on a relationship with Gwen? Do you really want to know the exact reason he convinced Gwen to sign the girlfriend contract right now? Or is the suspense of not knowing, of finding out only as fast as Gwen does, making for a more interesting read?

Let me know what you think!

All the best,

Lucy

The Girlfriend Contract

All the feedback I’ve gotten on the first episode of The Girlfriend Contract has been amazing! It makes me feel good that people are enjoying what I write! 🙂

This feedback has also inspired me to finally get off my butt and create a blog.

So, to answer everyone’s question: Yes, there is another episode of The Girlfriend Contract on the way. I’m putting it into the Kindle publishing queue this Thursday, which means it should hopefully be available on Friday, the 28th.

I’ll be running a Kindle Countdown deal on it as soon as possible, meaning the end of April as per Kindle terms of service.

I’ll be running these deals on every subsequent episode of the serial. And, for those of you who are wondering, I currently have plans for at least 5 episodes.

I’d also like to point you to my newsletter. It takes only a few moments to sign up for, and I promise I won’t spam your inbox. I’ll send you notifications of new releases and deals, that’s all.

Thanks for all the feedback so far, everyone! 🙂