When I was writing Slow Motion Whirlwind, I wrote it like a novel. The only exception I made for posting it on wattpad was to shorten the chapters into more “bite-sized” pieces because it was more suitable for the way people read there. When I posted the novel, I left it to read like a novel. That meant that I didn’t use the graphics capabilities or create author’s notes or encourage people to comment or anything else besides post the words that belonged in my book. I don’t regret this choice, but I did want to try to craft a book that was uniquely for that type of platform.
I already told you all about how I came up with the idea of a serialized novel which only included a portion of a day from each week. I intend to publish the story on Mondays every week so that the chapter of what happens to Julie on February 3rd will be posted on February 3rd. Another thing I am going to try this time is to insert graphics and author’s notes into every chapter.
The decision to include them was a relatively easy one until I started to think about how I was going to actually incorporate something like that into a story in a cohesive way. So far, I have used canva to create headers and graphics related to the story and I’m pretty happy with them. I don’t want to give too much away yet, but they are integrated into the story without being mandatory for understanding the plot.
As far as the authors notes, I wish I could tell you what I plan to do with them, but I just don’t know yet. I’m not sure how I want to use them for engagement or how often I want to use them. I don’t want to drag people out of the story, but I do want to experiment and see what the platform of a web serial can offer me. I’ll update you if I have any major breakthroughs on that front, otherwise you will find out with me when I start posting this story in February!
Side note: If you are just starting out with graphic design, I highly recommend canva. It doesn’t allow you to do all of the fancy things some other programs (like photoshop) can do, but it has a lot of templates and possibilities that make it simple for a beginner to use. That means that even if you have little to no graphic design skills, you can get pretty good at making graphics on there with a little practice.
Do you have any online stories that you think use author’s notes well? What kinds of things do you like to see in author’s notes? When you share your creative ventures online, how do you decide what information to share outside of the work itself?
Check out more posts about A Year in Mondays or click for details on my works in progress.