Friday, September 19, 2008
Back in the day, Dickens novels ran in serial form in newspapers -- and apparently he was paid by the word, one of the reasons for his legendarily lengthy novels.
Now, the British paper the Telegraph has renewed the trend. No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency author Alexander McCall Smith is producing a novel called Cordouroy Mansions that will run for the next 20 weeks, with a new chapter -- available in audio form and written form -- each day.
I think it's a brilliant idea to bring back this old form. People are used to going to websites every day to get an update on a story, whether it's the story of a forum, a graphic novel or a blog. I know I do.
And think of the writer! Instead of spending 8 billion years writing the manuscript and getting a book deal, she or he could write in small installments. Now, thanks to the Internet, authors can get feedback from their writers immediately.
I've gotta hand it to the Telegraph and to McCall Smith -- way to take it back to the old skool.