Dickens wrote a great deal of quality work. Is it possible that the actual process of serialization helps a writer develop? I can think of these benefits (even if Dickens didn't do these):
- You have to show up to write, but you don't have to write it all today.
- You have to have something exciting/important/gripping happen in regular intervals to keep the reader's attention so they'll buy the next version, but doesn't this help maintain interest in the long (novel) form too?
- The possibility of feedback? If you have a bad episode, the readers might complain! But you have a chance to fix it before the printers set the type for the long version!
- Offers a chance to let the characters develop as they will, instead of having to map out an entire book at once. (I don't know enough about Dickens to know if he did write this way, but it seems like it might be a positive thing. Any Dickens scholars out there?)
- The possibility to use/exploit current events in your story line. ( the news in poetry?)
I came across a Latin quote that seems to sum the idea up nicely: Sic transit gloria mundi (thus passes the glory of the world). I don't know the source or context of this quote yet (a grave inscription?), so allow me to put it in a context for myself for today: There is glory (truth, beauty, things to be grateful for, love, learning, pleasure) in each of the moments passing through our lives. It is there, in the quotidian, waiting for us to acknowledge it.