I tried, I really did try.
Kindle Vella is an Amazon beta program in the US which allows authors to post serial stories in episodes. The mechanics of setting up a Vella story, posting episodes, and editing them is easy. There aren’t any deadlines, and there isn’t much of a risk since stories can be deleted and republished later as a book.
I was undecided about whether Vella and I were a good fit, but committed myself to giving it a try…
I sent Amazon an email, and they deleted the story for me.
Why did I give up?
Much of the decision whittled down to the old saying, “Writer, know thyself.”
I’m a writer who enjoys a challenge, but I should have taken a more realistic view of my writing process, something I’m happy with after more than a decade of producing books.
Which kind of writers might enjoy crafting Vella serials?
- Writers who have experience writing serials. Teagan Genevienne and Kymber of Kymber Writes are talented writers who post serials on their blogs, and Teagan’s serial Dead of Winter is available on Amazon. They’re good at it, and by now, it’s clear they enjoy the process.
That’s not me. I’d never tried a serial before jumping into the deep end.
- Writers who hit the publish button and move on. They don’t feel compelled to backtrack, rewrite, and edit posted episodes. The story moves forward without tweaking to avoid confusing its readers.
That definitely isn’t me! I backtrack, rewrite, and edit chapters constantly as a story evolves. 20% of my writing goes into the first drafts, 80% is massaging the thing into shape, including significant rewrites.
- Writers who stick to schedules. Vella may not have deadlines for episodes, but readers are waiting. Building momentum and holding their attention is essential.
Not me either. My life just doesn’t work that way. Publishing an episode on a regular schedule is difficult. My self-imposed deadlines slipped and slipped, and the pressure started peeling away my enjoyment.
- Writers who can tolerate lots of stress without having a meltdown. Unless a story is already written, producing a FINAL polished episode before the rest of the story is drafted is nerve-wracking!
Honestly, this was the straw that broke Vella’s back for me. My story started whining that it wanted to evolve. Then it began nagging, and I couldn’t deal with the tantrums. Too much drama. I could force myself to finish it, but then I’d have to rewrite it or it would never be happy.
I decided to stop, go back to paragraph one, and craft the story the way I always do, the way it wants to be written. The relief feels liberating.