Coils of the Serpent – 10k Views

Coils of the Serpent has 10k views

In comparison, it’s not much, but recently my novel Coils of the Serpent crossed the 10,000 views mark on Royal Road. The more popular works receive that many in a day, but it is almost two years to the day since I posted the first chapter there. Add in the few thousand views the novel has received on other sites (plus the three views it got on Wattpad before I deleted it), and that’s a substantial number of readers. Far more than I expected when I began.

Synopsis – Coils of the Serpent

Coils of the Serpent is a fantasy novel about a group of war veterans tasked with discovering why the iron barges have stopped coming down the river. However, right from the start there are issues, and what was supposed to be an easy journey, with a few laughs along the way, turns into a fight for survival against rampaging bandits, a maniacal witch, savage goblins, and something much, much more malign.

The Experiment

Cover - Coils of the Serpent

The project began as an experiment. While I had written novels before I’d never written one with the intention of publishing it on the web, effectively in real time. My plan was that I would begin on 30th June, 2022 and then release a new chapter each and every day until the novel was completed. I almost made it.

I knew I couldn’t literally write a new chapter and publish it the very same day. I could, but the quality would suffer, and I wanted the work to be as good as I could make it within the limitations I’d set. So I had written about twenty chapters in the lead-up to 30th June with each going through roughly five drafts. Then I caught COVID (for the only time). No it wasn’t the stress, my Eldest brought it home from school and he infected everyone, except my Youngest.

For me, COVID wasn’t too bad (about as bad as a hayfever attack), but I knew I was too out of it to maintain the original schedule. I pushed it back a week, and on 6th July, 2022 at 6am (local time) the first chapter was released. From then until chapter 48 I released a new chapter every day.

However, at the end I lost my buffer. Over those two months it had been slowly whittled down until I was effectively writing a chapter and publishing it the very next day. However, for Chapter 49 (the final chapter) I needed more time. I posted a note to Royal Road about the delay, and then took the next week to write the ending, which I then published.

Reviews and Takeaways

The story has received favourable reviews (mostly 4 or 5 stars), despite it not being my best work by a long way. I took some shortcuts, especially closer to the ending, and that has compromised the quality. But it’s fun, and amid all the drivel there’s some good writing in there. Some of which I am very proud of. However, it’s essentially a first draft, and the process of writing in that manner doesn’t engender excellence.

There’s a bunch of things I would change, if I had my time over again. Firstly, I would give myself much more lead in time.

A plan would have been nice too. Apart from the general idea of the characters investigating the lack of barges, I had very little idea where the plot was going, especially with regard to character development.

I certainly wouldn’t make the chapter headings the names of the points-of-view characters. I think that got confusing after about chapter five.

In all, it was a good effort. But while I enjoyed the experience, I wouldn’t do it again.

Btw many of the articles I post on this blog relate directly to Coils of the Serpent, especially the World Building Category. And yes, the scene depicted on the cover of the novel does actually occur, albeit exceedingly briefly.


I’m skribe. I’m a writer, a film-maker and an actor. While I’m originally from Perth, Australia, I currently reside on a tropical island, the Lion City of Singapore. Fingerprint: 79A1 DC6C D367 8A31 135A 7AFA 940E 4231 D7B9 B15C If you like what you see buy me a coffee.

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