Web Writer


Web fiction is written work of literature available primarily or solely on the Internet. A common type of web fiction is the webserial. The term comes from old serial stories that were once published regularly in newspapers and magazines. – Wikipedia

A number of years ago, I wrote a webserial called The Smell Collector.  The blurb is :

The experience of smell is the closest thing we have to intimate human contact.  A woman’s perfume, a whiff of cigarette smoked, a little bit of diesel fume, and some spearmint gum might come close to someone’s first kiss, for example.  Of course, it’s impossible to create a first kiss without the human element, but for Jim Bronson, it’s the best he can do.

It’s been read through only 132 times.  This is very small for a web serial, but the people who have read it love it, mostly.  Here are some of the reviews and comments.

“The Smell Collector is a story with high originality marks, because it’s something new and offbeat” – author of one of the most successful web serials of all time,  The Worm

“This is a fairly simple story, yet it manages to be funny, original, and ultimately, beautiful. It could easily have gone wrong by being too silly, or getting maudlin, or losing our sympathy for its oddball characters, but instead it hits all the right notes. It’s not often a story makes me smile and giggle, and also makes me cry.” – Fiona Gregory, Editior of The Web Fiction Guide

“Wow, this story is amazingly creepy (thus, awesome). I stumbled upon your blog when I was searching about webfiction. The way you write it is very interesting (the many different POVs), and it really would be perfect as movie! I just finished reading all the chapters you’ve written until now, and I’m amazed at how well I can see everything happening in my mind!”  – Reader Alice

It’s ranked the 4th most popular webserial in the category of modern fiction on topwebfiction.com, which a very small category.  I’m not sure what the problem with this serial is other than the fact that it’s not about super heroes, vampires, science fiction, or One Direction which is the vast majority of web fiction.  The story is creepy or unsettling at times.  The writing is not exactly professional.  Someone wrote that the first few installments were like jumping into ice water because the character’s mind is so foreign.  I do see many people read the first chapter and quit, so I changed it this week.  I started with a little action, which is a good rule.

I speculate endlessly about the prospects of this work.  I can see a film so easily, but I have no idea how to make that happen.  I don’t think the writing and storytelling is consistently at a professional level, but I think the characters and premise are unique and strong.

I plug this serial on Facebook and Twitter from time to time, and have very little luck getting people to read it.  Most of my reads come from other sites promoting it.  The main source of readers comes from The New Devil, which is a web fiction serial about a seventeen-year-old kid who dies and unwillingly becomes the Devil. He writes:

If you’re a sucker for an enigmatic lead character like I am, you might enjoy this clever and captivating serial.  It’s about a guy who is obsessed with learning how to recreate all kinds of smells, including each individual’s personal scent.  He’s creepy but endearing, and the stuff that happens in his life is fun to read.  This story is now complete, too, so you can get the whole story instead of having to check back for updates.

Web serial writers often depend on other writers to help promote their work.  The author of The New Devil will know that I promoted his site because his site will shoot him a notification.

The thing is, despite it’s very modest success, I think The Smell Collector has a greater potential.  I wonder sometimes if I should just let it go.  I have a very well-planned serial/novel which is just waiting to be written.  I’ve written a detailed outline and character sketches, as well as a rough first chapter.  The Belly of the Church.  Premise:  A reporter discovers the truth about his home town when he uncovers its dark secret.  In the process, he deals with his own dark truths.

I’ve also writting 50k words in a novel called Fly By Night.  It leans toward super hero.

Daniel is a 30-something computer programmer whose life has so far been a series of very fortunate events. His friends and family consider him to be lucky. To them, he just seems to sail through life. In fact, his nickname is “Lucky”. Well, Daniel’s luck is beginning to run out. His marriage is falling apart. His career is stalling. He can’t deal with his two children. He feels alone and depressed. Daniel is losing his way…that is, until he encounters a guide. This guide isn’t a therapist, a pastor, or a guru. In fact, Daniel’s not even sure if it is human. And soon, Daniel will a night job and a new direction.

It was my first attempt at fiction, and remains one of my best.  I just haven’t figured out exactly how to finish it.  It was well-received, but remains incomplete.

I think everyone fantasizes about being a professional novelist on some level.  I am not a professional writer, nor am I likely to be.  But I do have ideas that are worthy of professional writing.  My writing is not bad at all, but I know that it’s nothing as good as anything I read.

I write this post, not to promote my work, but to describe what I and many amateur or aspiring writings experience.  We badly want attention and recognition for our work, but we don’t want to pester anybody about it.  We just want someone to read it and enjoy it because it is good.  As you can see from the various comments I’ve quoted, people do like it.  I confess, I didn’t post any of the negative comments, like the review entitled “The Smell Collector Doesn’t Stink” which was a very mixed review by a very prominent web serial author.

So far, mywifesaysimcomplicated is a far more popular blog than any of my fiction blogs.  I don’t know why that is.  It’s still my writing and storytelling.  Maybe the title The Smell Collector is unsettling.   Perhaps I’ll attend some workshops to understand why it is not as popular though critically acclaimed in it’s own small way.  Until then, I’ll continue writing this blog.  Thanks for reading!




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