Monday, September 15, 2008

Corduroy Mansions

In The Telegraph, Alexander McCall Smith is writing his first online novel, Corduroy Mansions.

A new chapter will be published each day, with suggestions from readers welcomed - as the author explains.
Readers will also be able to contact me with suggestions as to how the plot should unfold, as at any time in the publication of the novel I shall only be about 20 episodes ahead of the one that is published that day. This should make the novel interactive - to some extent at least. I obviously have my own ideas of what will happen, but I shall be open to persuasion.

Why do people appear to enjoy serial fiction? My experience of writing Scotland Street over five years suggests that much of the enjoyment is the feeling of involvement that this particular form of fiction brings.

When we read a novel, the very nature of the book itself conveys a sense of completeness. This is a finished work; the author has resolved the issues he raises. With the serial novel we know that this is not so, and so we feel a greater sense of immediacy. This is still happening - even the author has not seen the end. People respond to that - it reminds them of real life.

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