A novel that's published in multiple parts. Popularized in the 19th century, when many writers (including Charles Dickens
and Arthur Conan Doyle
) would publish their novels first as monthly or weekly installments in magazines, alongside short stories and novellas. Venues included both dedicated "digest" magazines like Strand or Astounding, and more general magazines like Life or Esquire (and sometimes… Playboy
.) As time has passed, most readers now get their fix directly from separately printed books. Stephen King
published his novel The Green Mile
in six installments; also, quite a bit of the more popular Fan Fiction
is published in a serial format.
The Web Serial Novel
can be considered the format's online Spiritual Successor
Examples of Serial Novels include:
- From the 1930's or earlier until quite recently many Science Fiction novels have first appeared as serials. These include Dune, Glory Road, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, and hundreds more.
- Bridget Jones began as a newspaper column in The Independent.
- Tales of the City was originally a serial in the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Several of Alexandre Dumas's novels were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and Twenty Years After.
- Vladimir Nabokov wrote Pnin in installments in The New Yorker while he was looking for a publisher for the controversial Lolita.
- Musashi, was published over four years, and it shows in it's episodic nature.
- The Doll originally ran as a newspaper serial in 1887-1889.