As you’ve hopefully struggled to miss if you follow my various web presences in the last few days, the last chapter of the Hobson & Choi webserial on JukePop debuted on the site, bringing the whole 1.75 years of its life to a close.
The story of Hobson and Choi themselves will continue in the self-published book editions, the second of which comes out in January. However, future cases will be written in longer chapters, entirely with the books in mind. I thought the loss of week-to-week serialisation from my life warranted a few words.
As I’ve said in various places, including the quick blurb at the end of the final serial chapter, I grew up on serialised books, TV shows and comics and they still form a majority of my cultural intake. So yeah, a weekly serial, with a breathing universe to slowly unpick and characters who unfold other time, is always something I’ve wanted to do.
The heavily serialised nature of the H&C web version, with characters coming and going, smaller story arcs unfolding within bigger ones and plot threads drifting around before finally exploding, is very much something I’ve taken from those. The way characters took on their own lives, combining in interesting ways and weaving together to form the wider tapestry of the Hobson & Choi universe was exactly like I hoped it would be.
Unfortunately, it was kinda its own undoing in the end – the bitty nature of the text made it harder to translate into novel format, and since those are intended as the ‘final form’ of the whole story, the one that might make proper money from it, it seemed foolish to keep on with the weekly serial, generating more work and making little cash.
Honestly, what I’d love to do is start a Patreon or similar for an ongoing serial in the H&C format (about 1.5-2k word weekly chapters, not necessarily crime genre) fully intended for and owning that structure, justifying itself through the regular flow of backer money. And then I could probably do some kind of collected editions as well, but it would be less pivotal that they succeed.
Unfortunately, not sure I’m there yet in terms of fan following, but one day, my friends. Maybe once the H&C books sell a few thousand million copies.
Anyway, just because the H&C serial is going away, I don’t want to shit on what I did achieve. As of now (29th Nov 2014), H&C is still the most voted serial ever on JukePop, along with the various monthly chart achievements and biannual award win. I’ve had loads of comments, received good reviews on various websites and met some excellent people through the webserial community, both on JukePop and beyond.
So yes, it was great to live my writing-a-serial dream, but the fact other people came on board and gave a damn was almost better. I knew Angelina was a decent character, but actual teenage girls getting in touch say they totally felt for her, rather than screaming at me for butchering their demographic, is definitely going on the list of achieved writing goals.
Not yet had any cynical detectives with dark pasts get in touch to compliment my portrayal of Hobson, but there’s still time, guys! Email me now!
TO BE CONTINUED
If you’re worried that this is the beginning of the slow death of the H&C franchise, I hope to prove you wrong. Already written the first 5000 words of Case Four, the first post-serial story, and Case Two is damn near ready to go in January. Will start whipping Case Three into book shape that same month.
In the meantime, if you want more H&C right now, as ever, Case One – The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf – is out now and features an exclusive bonus story digging into one aspect of the universe. That extra story is a decent length too, quite pleased with it. Another fun aspect of owning my own serial world. A similar book-only story will be bundled with Case Two in January.
There’s also a short exclusive H&C case available to mailing list subscribers, so if you go sign up now, the link to download that will be emailed over, and you’ll be told when important future H&C/Nick Bryan developments happen.
That really is it, guys. I think I’m done looking back wistfully over the weekly H&C serial, it’s time to march onto 2015 with our eye set firmly on future book-shaped developments. It’s been good, though. Hopefully I’ll get to do it again one day.