Agatha Christie Teaches the Art of Serialization
Or at least her editor does
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Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, serialized in the Saturday Evening Post, May 1939
With a book, we commit. We hold the complete work in our hands (or on our screens). Metaphorically, we say, Yes, I’m going to read you.
Serializations are different; we promise them nothing. The author (or her editor) has to leave readers wanting to find out what happens next.
As you know, I like to learn from the masters. We’re going to look at Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None,1 which was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in 1939. It’s a brilliant serialization and teaches us to
write installments, not chapters;
think like an editor;
understand the magic of cliffhangers.
And, believe it or not, Dame Agatha wasn’t the geniu…