Some Personal Lessons From “Probabililty Chain”

Probability Chain Pt1 photo        When Regan Keeter offered me a review copy of Part 1 of his novel “Probability Chain,” I did what I usually do when I’m offered an ARC: I accepted. (I rarely turn down free books unless I know there’s no chance I’ll read them.)

I recently wrote about cliffhangers and how indie lit readers seem to have an angry mob mentality about them as a literary device, despite irrefutable evidence of cliffhangers’ recurrent success in pop culture and classics – and in multiple media: TV, film, books, video games, et al. And I expressed fear that great indie writers, their work, and our collective ability to nurture future generations of critical thinkers are threatened by the current mob-minded trendiness of attacking cliffhanger-based books.

I was especially eager to read “Probability Chain” because I was so intrigued with Keeter’s risky format for his work. “Probability Chain” is a serial novel. Basically, you buy the novel in pieces. My review copy was eight chapters and 92 pages in hard copy format. Kindle downloads are 99 cents; hard copies are priced a bit higher.

I love the way Keeter’s serial model celebrates the cliffhanger. When I finished Part 1, I was invested and ready to read Part 2 (which isn’t available yet – Part 1 was just released in September). I say, “Great! Leave me hanging!” And I mean it!

In the world of indie lit, we’re all taking chances and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. I talked to Regan by phone, and he explained that his serial novel approach is an experiment. He’s trying to find the model that works in his own niche of indie lit. I think that’s brave and necessary. We’re all trying to find a silver bullet in this new age of indie publishing. Indie authors are pioneers! Continue reading

Breaking Bad, Cliffhangers, and the HEA

Hank&Gomie bordered 3I’m not a hard-core TV fan, but I am utterly committed to Breaking Bad. With only two episodes left, I’m torn between relief at freedom from this obsession with an impeccable series that will never have to jump the shark, and sadness at the demise of a show that so brilliantly embodies every element of great storytelling, without fail, in every single episode.

I pause here to offer a spoiler alert. (1-2-3.) End of pause.

Breaking Bad. The Hunger Games. Mad Men. Harry Potter. Twilight. All My Children. The Lord of the Rings. General Hospital. The Catcher In The Rye, for heaven’s sake!

What do they have in common?

Two things: Cliffhangers and wildly committed fans. Continue reading