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Serials are Back!

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Serials are back. No, not cereals. No, not serial killers. I am talking about the novella-length or short-story-length writings that present an extended story in episodes or volumes. Some writers of serial stories have begun to group them into "seasons," imitating the TV shows. Some serial titles may be only four or five volumes, while others may have dozens of volumes. Serials are now available in just about every genre of fiction. Decades ago, serials were very popular. They followed the same formula as the soap operas of early radio and TV. How are they different from a regular book series? In several aspects. The entire collection of volumes develops one main story with its central characters. Each episode leaves you waiting for the next one. There are often cliff-hangers that motivate you to get the next volume. Not all serial authors use cliff-hangers. Each volume is usually readable in one sitting, although this also depends on your reading speed. A serial vol