SERIAL, N. A Literary Work, Usually A Story That Is Not True, Creeping Through Several Issues Of A Newspaper Or Magazine.

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SERIAL, n. A literary work, usually a story that is not true,
creeping through several issues of a newspaper or magazine.
Frequently appended to each installment is a "synposis of preceding
chapters" for those who have not read them, but a direr need is a
synposis of succeeding chapters for those who do not intend to read
_them_. A synposis of the entire work would be still better.
The late James F. Bowman was writing a serial tale for a weekly
paper in collaboration with a genius whose name has not come down to
us. They wrote, not jointly but alternately, Bowman supplying the
installment for one week, his friend for the next, and so on, world
without end, they hoped. Unfortunately they quarreled, and one Monday
morning when Bowman read the paper to prepare himself for his task, he
found his work cut out for him in a way to surprise and pain him. His
collaborator had embarked every character of the narrative on a ship
and sunk them all in the deepest part of the Atlantic.
-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"