We are pleased to welcome Kira Lerner to the Tuesday Serial site today to tell us about Web Serial Writing Month. Kira is one of our contributors, the cofounder and administrator of EpiGuide and the driving force behind WeSeWriMo. We are always happy to support our friends at EpiGuide and WeSeWriMo and we’re glad Kira could join us to tell our readers and contributors about this fun project. If you are a Tuesday Serial contributor who will be participating in WeSeWriMo, please let us know because we’ll be your biggest cheerleaders during the month of August. Welcome, Kira!
Web Serial Writing Month—WeSeWriMo to its close friends (and I hope you’ll be one of them) is the first—in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the only—month-long writing challenge devoted specifically to the unique world of serialized fiction. For the seventh year, the month of August will be filled with writers of webserials, serial novels, even online graphic novels, webseries and webcomics using WeSeWriMo to push themselves to their own limits, whatever those may be.
Why am I so unspecific? Because just as serialized storytelling is unique, so is Web Serial Writing Month. Though inspired by NaNoWriMo, we depart sharply from its strict, unchanging goal. From long experience (I’m the admin of the EpiGuide, the webserial community that hosts WeSeWriMo and is celebrating its 15th anniversary in September), we’re very aware that sometimes a single wordcount goal isn’t the best fit depending on the writer. So for WeSeWriMo, each participant gets to choose his or her own goal. Whether it’s a certain number of posts or installments, a special word count for each day, a panel of a webcomic every week, or four scripts for the month of August, the goals are as varied as this rapidly changing form of entertainment.
Another special aspect of WeSeWriMo is that you can have more than one goal. If you choose, you can select a regular writing goal (perhaps even sticking with your usual output) but add an extra target: writing a yearly summary of your storylines, or character profiles, or a Wiki, or redesigning your website, or creating and posting regularly to a Facebook page, or and or and or…
The ideas are as limitless as your imagination. And writers who specialize in online storytelling have plenty of imagination, with every genre and format represented. Do you write a humorous chicklit tale in diary format? An addictive neverending drama told in short installments that enmesh your characters in constant new storylines? A dark, paranormal tale rich in atmosphere with multi-part chapters intended as a trilogy of eBooks? A script for a virtual TV series? No matter what form your work takes, you can create a goal that’s as individual as you are.
Further, what we at the EpiGuide love most about webfiction is its capacity for multidimensional storytelling. We don’t have to tell a single linear story or restrict ourselves to a specific genre. Webserials can offer internal links to character bios or maps or diary entries. Writers can create blog or Twitter accounts for multiple characters. Any or all of these extras can add tremendously to the fictional universe you’re creating, and if you’ve ever considered adding some new feature but didn’t have the time or inspiration? That’s what WeSeWriMo is all about!
(But if you’re really stymied, I usually recommend that writers start with taking a look at their usual monthly output, and then pick a goal that’s roughly 150% of that. Normally produce 10,000 words a week? Aim for 15,000. Post three chapters a month? Try to push yourself to five. One post a day? How about giving yourself a buffer of fifteen extra posts?)
I should mention that if you’re not currently writing a serial but are interested in beginning, WeSeWriMo is the perfect time to get yourself a massive boost in preparation. Your goal could be creating a thorough overall outline, character background documents, chapter-by-chapter bullet points, and even start your first installments.
Whatever you choose, everyone taking part in WeSeWriMo will applaud and cheer you every step of the way.
Registrations are open through August 1, so sign up now! Visit WeSeWriMo.org for details, or start the process now by choosing your goal, signing up at the EpiGuide community if you’re not a member yet, and then posting your goal in our ongoing WeSeWriMo registration topic. We’re a tiny, close-knit community with members who support one another and will happily give you ideas for pushing through the rough spots (and we all have them during these marathons!).
If you have questions, please do ask, because I’d love to hear from you. I’m not just the admin of the WeSeWriMo project and the EpiGuide: I’m also a writer of one of the longest-running webserials, “About Schuyler Falls,” which launched in 1997 and now has 1.3 million words. I’ve done WeSeWriMo myself nearly every year, and believe me, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that has literally saved the life of my serial when illness and writer’s block threatened its continuation.
I hope to see lots of new and returning screennames in the WeSeWriMo sign-up thread. And many thanks to the wonderful gang at TuesdaySerial for allowing me to introduce Web Serial Writing Month to you.
About the author: Kira Lerner is the cofounder and administrator of the EpiGuide Webfiction Community and the driving force behind WeSeWriMo. Her own webserial, About Schuyler Falls, premiered in 1997 and weaves tales of psychological drama, mystery, humor and romance as seen in a troubled upstate New York town. Her traditionally-published works include the paranormal / gaslight romance novel Fierce Moon and the comic romance Tropical Treasure. She’s also collaborating on a series of YA fantasy novels, and freelances as a proofreader, copy editor, book doctor and web designer via Falling Sky Web Design, Editing and Content Services.