Author Showcase: S. Kay (Installment 2)

June 24, 2011


This Author Showcase features S. Kay, @blueberrio, and trapeze magazine’s first serial publication.  In this interview I have asked S. Kay how she created her serial, “Survival Media.”  Enjoy!

tm: This time around you presented a wonderful serial in place of three stand alone Twitter stories.  What inspired you to write a serial?

S: When Trapeze chose me for its Author Showcase and selected three stories, they were quite different from each other. I thought I’d like to do something more cohesive. It was also an opportunity for people to read several stories over a fairly short amount of time, allowing them to stay fresh and work sequentially. It was a good fit.

tm: In our last interview you said that “the twist at the end after a vivid setup” is the most important element in a stand alone Twitter story.  Are twists as important in Twitter serials, given the larger amount of characters you have to work with?

S: Definitely. Each story in a serial has to stand alone, since a person reading the one at the end might not have read earlier stories on previous days. Although they do progress and are better as a whole, the parts must be strong, and I’ve approached each much as I would any other story.

tm: How does writing a Twitter serial compare with writing a novel?

S: Aside from 5 minutes versus 5 years, a novel is meant to flow in one reading while in a Twitter serial, parts are meant to stand alone. There are similarities with using larger arcs and subplots, and being able to add more depth and detail. But even the most complex Twitter serial doesn’t provide the same immersive experience as writing a novel, among the most difficult things to create.

tm: In your opinion, is a serial easier to write than a stand alone story?

S: Not for me, although I can see how it might be for some writers. I personally prefer to write a story in a single tweet or publication, to be disciplined with constraints. I like the challenge. In a Twitter serial or Twitter novel, the tendency is to expand and sprawl, using a tweet for a line of dialogue, for example. I’ve tried to avoid that by writing a small mosaic of stories that stand alone, while remaining linked. I hope they succeed.

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