Monday, February 25, 2013
Is it a serial or a series?
What's a serial?
This is a group of books or TV programs, or games, or movies, which have the same essential story that progresses from one issue to the next.
What's a series?
The definition of series is a group of games, programs, books or movies that have something in common, but whose plot, or characters, or themes are distinct and varied.
Confusing. Examples, please.
Okay - let's take Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novels, or Georges Simenon's Maigret detective books. They constitute SERIES, because although the main character is always the same one, the plot and story in each novel is different. The story does not continue from one to the other, there is no progression in the tale, which does not come to a conclusion with the last in the series. One can pick up any of the novels and read them in any order with the same satisfying experience, because each volume holds one discrete story that concludes in that book.
When the story progresses from one 'episode' to another, in soap operas such as Dallas or Dynasty, or in books such as The Forsythe Saga by John Galsworthy, there is story development which must be read or viewed in a particular order to be enjoyed and understood. This makes them SERIALS. Each book becomes a sequel to the one before.
What's my next novel got to do with all this?
Good question! My forthcoming novel, due for release mid-2013, forms part of a SERIES of novels. They have something important in common, but one can read them in any order and derive the same enjoyment. The story does not progress from one novel to the next, but the unifying element is always present.
What kind of reader are you? Do you like a series where the story progresses from one volume to the next? You might like a series, where some element unifies a group of books you can read in any order.
What kind of author are you? Does the enormous task of writing a series or serial attract or repel you? Have you more to say on the subject?
Posted by Rosanne Dingli at 10:37 AM