This month’s edition of Monkeybicycle‘s “One Sentence Stories” is up and includes quick fiction from yours truly + Nanoism contributors Ethel Rohan and Brendan O’Brien, among others.
So Electric Literature just serialized a Rick Moody story on Twitter over three days and 150ish tweets. Unsurprisingly, people simultaneously applauded the “experiment” while poo-poo’ing all over it. I don’t have the energy to treat the topic with the gusto it deserves, but—in short—I both applaud the effort and enjoyed the story. I do wonder though about serialization in the 21st century:
What is the impetus to serialize a story? After all, we don’t have the tangible, real-world constraints that necessitated the serialization of many early 20th-century stories in the first place. Do readers really digest serials bit by bit as they’re fed, or do they wait until the end to feast? My gut feeling is that the easy access to instant gratification in all forms of entertainment makes serialization (at least in terms of the storytelling itself) about as antiquated as watching live TV with commercials.
The question then becomes, what are reasons to serialize that can transcend the gimmick? I posed this question on Fictionaut.