Charles Dickens did it. So did Mark Twain, with both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn!
Back in the Victorian era, many writers published their fiction chapter by chapter, in weekly or monthly magazines.
Readers LOVED the stories.
Readers flocked to buy the weeklies.
Dickens' good friend Wilkie Collins was so popular after he started writing The Woman in White that readers lined up to buy the next installment.
Among other writers who published in serialized format in the 19th century: George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, George Meredith and Robert Louis Stevenson. Later, much of Joseph Conrad's fiction was first published in British and American periodicals (Both Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness was serialized in three parts in Blackwood's Magazine.)
And now, with book publishing in a monumental revolution, it seems timely to try it again.
Starting this week, my new novel, Seeing Red, will be serialized right here on ,y HuffPost blog.
Seeing Red is a love story, and it takes the reader on a wild adventure across the warm and sunny and very romantic region of southern Spain known as Andalucía (a wonderful time of year to get away to Spain :)!!
It's a love story just in time for Valentine's Day.
But it's much more than a love story. It's a story of discovery. It's a woman's journey to find herself as an artist, and her slow and often painful realization that even though she adores her guitarist lover Jesús, and even though she has chased him half-way across the globe (he has those eyes like melted chocolate!) in the end, she doesn't need him to be happy.
As I say in the promo for the book on the Seeing Red website, Ronda Cari spends half a lifetime searching for true love, and then she discovers it, in the magic of her own (flamenco) dancing!
The Huffington Post isn't alone dabbling in serialized fiction on-line. A group of science fiction writers are hard at work composing Mongoliad.com, billed as a "rip-roaring adventure tale set in 1241." According to its writers, Mongoliad.com is not only exciting reading, it's "also the beginning of an experiment in storytelling, technology, and community-driven creativity."
It's an experiment worth pursuing!
Books in print may disappear someday.
But stories never will. As I say in my other experimental on-line book, the "blogga saga" Sister Mysteries, stories are what make us human.
Storytelling is as old as human beings; stories are how we make sense of the world and its chaos.
So get ready for another experiment in storytelling and digital technology! Seeing Red, starting Monday, January 31st! We hope you'll be a regular reader -- if you want to sign up to receive notices of new chapters, email My_Story_Lives@yahoo.com.
Follow Claudia Ricci on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RicciCJ