Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of throwing chunks of my work-in-progress novel on to this blog, possibly in 500 word segments or even a chapter at a time. It’s a crime fiction novel set in modern day London, following a corrupt undercover detective as his double-dealings unravel around him. This is my first attempt at writing something that will have elements of a police procedural, so no doubt it’s full of inaccuracies, but I can iron those out later.
Each week I’d post a piece of it, with a brief disclaimer about typos and it being a WiP etc, just to see what it looked like ‘out there’. So far I’m almost 20,000 words in, possibly a quarter of the total projected novel length. So I have enough to post to get me started, and as long as I keep working on it I’ll have more to add as I build it up. I might even pick up some tips and useful critique.
But I’m not convinced it’s necessarily a good idea. While it will give me guaranteed blog content for a few weeks, it will basically be me showing the world (or the couple of lost internet travelers who stumble across it) my first draft. And first drafts are always a bit stinky. Combine this factor with the possibility of receiving some harsh criticism from readers and it could be pretty off-putting. Plus, I’m not entirely sure what direction the narrative should take, so without a strict outline I’d be writing blind and asking people to read it.
Do people actually read what is in effect serialized novels by unknown, unpublished writers? Have you ever done it, and what did you get out of the experience?