Hashtag for serialized fiction

After some discussion today with some writer friends on Twitter, the idea of a unique hashtag came up. This will help to tie together different serials, giving interested readers an easy way to find them. It would function in much the same way that #fictionFriday, #FridayFlash and other hashtags work.

The hashtag is #TuesdaySerial.

On Tuesdays, participants will tweet to announce new serials, or new episodes of ongoing serials. These don't have to be posted on Tuesday, but this would be a day to publicize them.

As this was getting kicked around on Twitter, I get the sense that 140c isn't enough for people to express thoughts about it. So, consider this an open forum for comments, discussion, consideration of logistics, etc.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.

24 comments:

  1. I think that sounds like a good idea for a new hashtag.

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  2. I definitely like this. It'll clear up the other hashtag lists for stand-alone fiction. Nice job.

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  3. I agree, as people become more used to the medium of twitter, they are using the hashtag system more and more to discover people and events that interest them.

    Another that I like is #WebFicWed, standing for web-fiction wednesday. People use this to tweet about what they are reading, and often link to it also.

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  4. I love the idea! we should have a place to collect all the links. Do you want to do a Mr. Linky, Tony? If not, i'd be happy to do it. That way we can have an instant report and readers can find all the stories easily.

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  5. I like it, too. I think it will even encourage people to try something new (me, for example).

    Another question might be, should installment word count stay at 1000? Would it be too much reading to expand to, say, 1500 or 2000? Just asking.

    It's kind of great to see #TuesdaySerial take shape.

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  6. It's a great idea. It may cause some confusion at first, as many people post serials with the #FridayFlash hashtag, but I think it will work. No reason they can't post using both. The #TuesdaySerial tag would be more appropriate for true serials.

    I've had more than one person tell me that their comments fall way off when they post serials as #FridayFlash. I think it's a matter of unmet reader expectations. Readers are expecting a stand alone story when they look for flash fiction. I think #TuesdaySerial might sever both authors and readers well.

    I think PJ is right, some method of collecting the links would help ensure success. Mr. Linky might be just the thing. You might also want to build a Facebook page for it.
    ~jon

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  7. As to the issue of word count, raised by Gracie, I can only speak from my own experience. I serialized one of my Max Mann novellas last year, one of 18 chapters per week. It did not gain a great following, and some of the comments I got along the way indicated that since it had short chapters, around 1000 words each (I tend to write short chapters) it ended up being much too long of a time commitment, calendar-wise. I figured if I ever did another on-line serial I'd post maybe three chapters at a time, so readers could go away feeling a bit more satisfied each week.
    ~jon

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  8. This is a great idea, because I am thinking of writing a serial to put up online to hold people's interest between my novels. I have plenty of back stories and ideas to throw together.
    I will be keeping an eye on this hashtag to see what is out there.

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  9. Would this be similar to #pimpmystory that gets displayed on #saturdayshowcase at ergofiction?

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  10. Great thoughts, everyone. Just checking in for a moment this morning. Will be back with more thoughts later today.

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  11. Might I recommend a unique hashtag? I'm half-dead and weird this morning (tequila, erh) but how about

    "Tueserial" Eh? Eh? I may or may not be entirely serious. Heh. I'm a serial writer too, but every Tuesday? HA, like I have time for that. However!
    Much like the #webfiction tag, it can be used to open up a showcase of current serial offerings. Mind you there is already a few doing this, so be careful what you plant, like Jon already knows, you adopt a big baby when you start throwing out ideas etc. Where's the collector going to be? Who's going to watch it, etc? Just a few bugs in your ear.

    I'll be listening to see what others have to say on it.

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  12. With the word count, for a serial some chapters/installments might be longer than others depending what happens in said chapter.

    Awhile back I was reading fairyland - http://www.catherynnemvalente.com/fairyland/ online, which had new chapter posted once a week. (It's finished, but still online). The first chapter is around 2k and chapter 3 is 5k. Either way the various chapters moved the story forward enough that the longer word count chapters didn't feel like to much.

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  13. Thanks for all the comments and thoughts, guys. Carrie, you're absolutely right that it's no small task to curate story and authors. Watching Jon Strother's efforts on behalf of #FridayFlash has been humbling, to say the least.

    In tossing this idea out, I was hoping to be able to give an easy way to distinguish serial stories from stand-alone fiction. Even with some kind of automation like Mr. Linky, as P.J. suggested, going the next step and collecting them (and publicizing the aggregation) will require more time than I could manage, were I to try to do it alone. Sad fact of life, but there it is. Besides, this blog is hosted on Blogger, so my ability to curate material is quite limited.

    I'd like to be clear up something, if I could. I don't intend to force anyone to use my definition of flash fiction, for length, content or form. How could I? I don't own the Internet.

    Nor will I snipe or snark at anyone who chooses to continue posting serials under the #FridayFlash hashtag. Could there be anything more destructive to a community than one prima donna insisting that he has the one true method? And that all others are fools and heretics?

    Good lord, if I wanted conflict like that I wouldn't have to create my own here, I could just go watch Fox and MSNBC.

    Valdary: I'm glad you brought that into the discussion. If the #TuesdaySerial hashtag is just re-inventing the wheel, then maybe it's best to not do it. So, a question for everyone: how would a new hashtag serve writers and readers of serial fiction in ways that current hashtags don't?

    Clair, J.M. Strother: On word count, each of my episodes are ~1K. That gives a quick hit of fiction. However, the whole thing is ~6K so far; I expect it to be ~20K when done. Someone who wants a novella can start at the beginning and click through. The navigation buttons make that dead easy.

    If anyone's interested, I'd be happy to share these buttons & associated HTML, along with a how-to blog post. Full disclosure: I'm no codemonkey, so I probably did it the hard way. That's the problem with autodidacticism.

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  14. Well as I was in said discussion, you already know I'm happy to do a Tuesday serial. It'll make it easier for me anyway since I do Friday Flash as well as my serial, and it would be nice to do two hits of fiction a week, instead of one the same day.

    As to word length, I try and keep my episodes between 400 and 500 words long.

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  15. I think this idea has its merits. There isn't really -- as far as I'm aware -- a serial-specific hashtag.

    These are the hashtags I'm aware of relating to online fiction:

    #Webfiction and #Weblit - a generic tag, used for any online fiction, serialized or not. More often than not though it seems to be used for serial fiction.

    #FridayFlash - think we all known this one. ;-)

    #WebFicWed - used on Wednesday by *readers* to promote what they've been reading, again however it's not necessarily for serial fiction although it tends to be.

    #pimpmystory - a serial-specific hashtag, used by @Epiguide who then collects all tweets & promotes the stories on-site.

    I guess my only thought is: isn't #SerialTuesday too long? And considering that #webfiction tends to be used mainly for serial fiction, why not just stick with that rather than dilute our tweets?

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  16. a.m. harte: This would function for serials as #FridayFlash does for flash.

    Of course, that would necessitate a place similar to Jon Strother's FridayFlash collector, for authors to list their works, and for readers to conveniently find them.

    Which brings me to an announcement, which P.J. Kaiser and I will make, very, very soon...

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  17. Count me in also. I'm considering following Carrie's lead and giving my serial a home of its own and creating a blog roll down the side which links to other serials.

    We cut our teeth writing serials with Captain Juan - which is about to get a complete make over shortly - perhaps almost in time for the launch of this new twitter initiative. Captain Juan has always been my writers candy... where I escape to.

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  18. Seriously, Jodi and Tony: I've been doing this for years. It's like an extension of me by now. Crooked Fang has a mailing list for updates. My other one is just for my enjoyment and if people happen upon it, then fantastic.

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  19. Also - if you guys want on Crooked Fang's or Allude to Grandeur's blogroll, email me. It's on my profile.

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  20. Ah, just what I need. Check out BarryNorthern on twitter. I'll use it now.

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  21. It sounds like a great, if ambitious, idea. I can barely get 2 flashes on #fridayflash each month. I'm not sure I could meet these standards.I'll give it some thought.It's not a matter of time, but discipline.I'm a scatterbrain!

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  22. As of today (May 4), the first day of #TuesdaySerial is going well. Response has been positive; people are seeing it as intended, a way to bring some order to the galaxy.

    I mean, to Twitter!

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