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Series, Serials, and Standalones


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#1 Ken White

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 04:33 PM

Now that we have a forum devoted to the writing we do (created by some unknown friendly staff member....yeah, okay, I did it for my own reasons...), I wanted to toss out my experiences doing my first "series", The Lincolnshire Poacher radio theater thing.

My past experience with multi-part projects has been in serials - more-or-less mini-series projects, which present one story in many parts. Last Rites was that kind of story, as is the still-unfilmed Redemption and my unfilmed Conquest projects (you will see both one day, if we live long enough...).

The Poacher project is a true series, and in the writing, I've done things that I've not had to do, or been able to do, in the past - recurring characters, two-part standalones, serial epsodes where both are pretty much standalone but one immediately follows the other. I'm also weaving in a meta-plot, much like X-Files, Fringe, Babylon 5, as well as other shows that I haven't seen.

Backstory has also been an interesting experience - with a series, I've been able to tease elements of backstory in a couple of episodes, then have the payoff in a third episode. Though you can obviously do the same in a standalone or serial, it seems different, maybe more calculated, doing it in a series.

So how about ya'll - have you done a series, or a serial? Or does it hold no interest to you and you only do standalones? If you're a standalone kinda writer, do you have an interest in a series? (I'll admit, up to the Poacher, I had no real interest in a true series - I'd interview Uber or Killian about Enigma or Odyssey and we'd talk about the trials and rewards of doing a series - and at the time, it didn't seem appealing....)

You?

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#2 rgr

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:52 AM

I have no interest in writing a series and can't even seem to find the time to work through my current backlog of stand alone projects. I have a trilogy outlined somewhere but it's so far down the priority list I may need medical science breakthroughs to finish it. It's not really a series anyway.

I hadn't thought about the dribbling out of backstory over multiple episodes, which I admit has some appeal. The idea of a meta-plot also has some appeal, but I feel like even considering such a thing would only cause more delays in working through the backlog of crap (uh, I mean creative writing) I'm already working on.

I'm looking forward to your series now though :)

#3 thebiz

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:45 PM

Its not easy to keep folks invested in a serial, or conversely for me to stay invested in a serial. However, I've always liked Andy's Con the Don series which featured standalone episodes and didn't require much investment. I believe I saw something about a new episode coming soon.

I also enjoyed Hugh Hancocks (short lived) GuerrillaShowRunner blog which was full of good advice and interesting stuff.

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#4 Rocco

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:29 PM

Life is ever changing. The monstrous engine creating mindlessly, and without interruption or error. When things grow they either die quick or die slow. But everything has one purpose...to live and die.

So the story of life never ends...so it can never be finished.

Series is an example of art painfully revisited over & over until death

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