top of page

5 of the Most Popular Serialized Fiction Series of All Time

What is serialized fiction?

Serialized fiction is a work of fiction released in installments, either in print or electronically, rather than as a complete work.

This format was popular in the 19th century for novels that were published in magazines or newspapers and has seen a resurgence in recent years with the rise of online platforms. The story is typically broken up into chapters or episodes and released on a regular schedule.

Why is serialized fiction so popular?

Here are a few reasons why readers love serialized fiction:

Serialized fiction brings the reader along on a journey as the story develops over time.
Serialized fiction brings the reader along on a journey as the story develops over time.


Serialized fiction creates a sense of anticipation in readers as they eagerly await the next installment to find out what happens next in the story.


Serialized fiction often ends each installment with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader wanting more and eager to find out what happens next.

Control of pacing

Serialized fiction allows authors to control the story's pacing and reveal information at a slower pace, keeping readers engaged and invested in the story for a longer time.

Great for long-form stories

Serialized fiction is great for long-form stories that would be too long to be published as a single book or lose some of its impact if condensed into a single volume.

On-going engagement

Many readers find it more engaging to follow the story over a longer period of time, as it allows them to feel a deeper connection with the characters and the story's world.

5 popular serialized fiction series

Serialized fiction has been popular for centuries. Many people are surprised of the great works of fiction that were originally presented in a serialized format. Here are a few examples:

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

The Pickwick Papers is a novel by Charles Dickens, initially published in serial form in the magazine The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club between 1836 and 1837.

The story follows the travels and adventures of the members of the Pickwick Club, led by the wealthy and genial Samuel Pickwick. Along the way, they encounter a variety of characters, from the scheming solicitor Perker to the lovelorn Tony Weller, and become involved in a series of comical and sometimes poignant situations.

The Pickwick Papers is considered one of Dickens' early works and is known for its humor and social commentary.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

This classic novel was first serialized in a newspaper in 1862. The story takes place in Paris, France, during the early 19th century and follows the lives of several main characters, including ex-convict Jean Valjean, the impoverished and desperate Fantine, and the idealistic student Marius Pontmercy.

The story explores themes of poverty, justice, love, and redemption, and it is known for its portrayal of the struggles of the working class during the period of political upheaval in France.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

This collection of short stories was originally published in serial form in The Strand Magazine from 1892-1893 and features the famous detective solving various mysteries.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes features a total of twelve short stories, each one featuring a mystery for Sherlock Holmes to solve. These stories are widely considered to be some of the best examples of detective fiction, showcasing Holmes' remarkable powers of observation and deduction. Some of the most famous stories in the collection include "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," and "The Adventure of Silver Blaze."

The stories are set in late Victorian London, with Holmes and his loyal friend Dr. John Watson as the main characters. The collection showcases Sherlock Holmes' exceptional abilities of observation and reasoning, which he uses to solve the various criminal cases brought to his attention, and also highlights the relationship between Sherlock and Dr. Watson.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

The first novel in the Harry Potter series was first serialized in the British newspaper, The Daily Prophet in 1999.

The story follows the life of Harry Potter, an orphan who discovers that he is a wizard and has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Along with his new friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, Harry begins to uncover the truth about his family and the evil Lord Voldemort, who killed his parents.

The story follows Harry's journey as he learns about magic, makes friends, and uncovers the truth about his past. Along the way, Harry and his friends must face off against Lord Voldemort and his followers, known as Death Eaters, as they attempt to prevent Voldemort from regaining his power and destroying the wizarding world. The novel also introduces the readers to the magical world of Hogwarts, its professors, and other characters such as Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Malfoy.

The Walking Dead

This popular comic book series, created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, which was originally released in monthly installments starting in 2003.

The Walking Dead takes place in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies, or "walkers", following a zombie outbreak. The series follows a group of survivors, led by a police officer named Rick Grimes, as they struggle to stay alive and find safety in the midst of the chaos. The group faces not only the constant threat of attack from walkers but also the challenges of living in a world where the social order has broken down, and other survivors may pose a greater danger than the undead.

The series has been known for its graphic violence and horror elements, but it also deals with themes of survival, morality, leadership, and the human condition. Over time the series has also explored the concept of a new society and the challenges of rebuilding after a catastrophic event.

Serialized fiction with a twist!

Whether you already love serialized fiction or want to try it out, any of the above stories is a great choice. You can also check out Fiction Letters! It’s serialized fiction with a twist!

Rather than being published in a newspaper, magazine, or on a website, Fiction Letters are sent directly to you through the mail as personalized physical letters from a fictitious friend who has an amazing story to tell you.

There are four Fiction Letters series to choose from. Each series contains eight letters from your friend, sent one per week over two months. In the letters, your fictitious friend brings you along on a journey filled with adventures and twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next letter to arrive in your mailbox.

For example, in the Scavenger Hunt series, your old friend Sarah writes to tell you about a new job and an exciting team-building scavenger hunt she’s participating in. While on the hunt, Sarah finds a map hidden in the arm of an old statue. Is the map just a clue in the scavenger hunt or a life-changing treasure map? You’ll be riveted as Sarah’s eight letters bring you along on her amazing adventures.

Check out all the Fiction Letters series here, and get ready for two months of excitement in your mailbox!

bottom of page