Web serial novels—sometimes referred to as “webfiction” or the “online novel”—are the prose equal of webcomics, which also happen to contain unique Story Arcs. A novel is posted online by a writer, typically an amateur, in several brief chapters (frequently daily or weekly).
Quite frequently, the work in question is some kind of fanfiction, but completely original works are also included in this category. The majority of long-form fanfiction is published in installments on websites like FanFiction.Net, so this trope would apply.
The serial novels that Charles Dickens (and many other authors of the era) first published in serial form in newspapers and Dime Novel form are the spiritual successors to web serials.
Publishers started paying attention to Japanese-language “web novels” in the years before The New ’10s. Recuts of these stories now account for a sizeable portion of the market for light novels, and some of them have gone on to become mainstream hits through anime and manga adaptations. One of the most well-known sites for this in Japan is Shousetsuka ni Narou (“Let’s Become a Novelist”), where more than a hundred of the works have been picked up for publication.
Web series have been around for almost as long as the internet. It makes sense. People enjoy sharing their tales with others and want them to be read. One of the simplest and most accessible ways to achieve that is to write a web serial.
Without exaggeration, there are probably more web novels available than there are actual books that have been written. Online story submission is open to everyone. Given that, it’s not difficult to imagine that there would be a huge variety of web novels available. Finding what is worthwhile can be difficult, though, when quantity trumps quality.
Do you want to discover the best free continuing or finished online serials? Do you want to read works that rival some of the best fantasy novels now in print? Fortunately, you can find what you need right here.
1. Super Minion by Gogglesbear
An exceptionally well-written continuing web series in the superhero genre is called Super Minion by Gogglesbear. Super Minion is the antithesis of Worm by Wildbow, which is an extremely grim and dismal take on the superhero genre. This is a humorous and light-hearted book that will guarantee a smile on your face. Tofu, the protagonist, is a lot of fun, especially given that he isn’t a human. Many people now consider it to be their favorite work of superhero fiction since it is such a great plot. One of the most entertaining ongoing web serials is this one. You should, of course, do your research first.
2. Delve by SenescentSoul
Among web serials worth reading, Delve by Senescent Soul is probably the most subtly written. The primary focus of this slower-moving isekai is on the protagonist discovering more about the setting in which he finds himself. It’s about discovering how to maximize a novel circumstance. a tale of a fish out of water. This is a fantasy online serial that progresses, but it’s not only about obtaining the most strength. It’s about the people you encountered along the way, the things you discovered, and the information you discovered through fully exploring. Although slow to read, it’s a good time.
3. Twig by John C. McCrae (Wildbow)
Worm (number 5 on this list), written by Wildbow, is the author of Twig, his third web serial. The plot revolves around characters and how they develop. It takes place in a dystopian environment and is a coming-of-age story. Everyday existence includes immortality, human experimentation, monsters, and biological warfare. Twig, like Worm, is a story with repercussions and little to no plot armor, thus everything the characters do could have negative repercussions.
4. Worth the Candle by Alexander Wales
Worth the Candle, a logical fiction LitRPG online series by Alexander Wales, is still active. Thousands of times have been used the isekai formula in both Japanese and Western literature. With a twist, Worth the Candle uses that formula. What if the main character has been thrust into a universe that is a combination of his inventions?
The theme of WtC is how your past experiences can influence the person you become in the future. It takes a while to get going, but as you discover more about the world, the characters, and the magic, it simply gets better and better. You’ll enjoy this web series if you like D&D and the meta-deconstruction of RPG tropes.
5. The Gods Are Bastards by D.D Webb
One of the most spectacular web serials to read in 2021 is The Gods Are Bastards by D.D. Webb. TGAB can be characterized as a Greek-style epic that combines elements of high fantasy, western, sci-fi, and mystery. But what sets TGAB apart is its enormous array of characters. All of the characters are fully developed, with unique motivations and perspectives on the world. Both the “good guys” and the “bad guys” are not universally morally upright.
Additionally, this web series is a rational fiction, just like Harry Potter and Methods of Rationality. Do you prefer it when the hints and narrative lines in your novels aren’t too obvious? Do you enjoy getting rewarded for reading critically? In that case, The Gods are Bastards is among the top online series you should read in 2021.
6. Worm by John C. McCrae (Wildbow)
Dark superhero stories have established a strong following since the recent release of Invincible. In comparison to most superhero fiction, there is another superhero story that is significantly darker, more realistic, and, in some ways, even better.
A finished dark superhero web series by Wildbow called Worm deviates from the typical good vs. evil narrative. Some of the villains can be rather likable, and the heroes aren’t all flawless people. Worm stands apart, though, because of how compelling the narrative is. Despite having 1,680,000 words, this web series never becomes dull. Chapters are issued one at a time in web serials. By the end of each chapter, the author wants the reader to want to read more. Worm completely encloses that framework. You want to read the following chapter to find out what happens. One of those books that will keep you up at night is this one. Why? Because you refused to put the web novel down.
7. A Practical Guide to Evil by ErraticErrata
Another ongoing web series worth reading is Erratic Errata’s A Practical Guide to Evil. The blurring of the lines between what is good and evil is what makes the story compelling. The plot centers on Catherine Foundling as she enlists in the wicked empire to advance. She is not, however, evil. She desires a fundamental transformation of the empire.
It is a thought-provoking idea that casts doubt on the idea of the greater good. Is it ethical to kill 10 people to save 100?” or “Should you obliterate a little town to rescue a country?”. This web series may be ideal for you if you enjoy exploring morals.
8. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
Harry Potter is one of the most well-known young adult fantasy series. Harry Potter continues to enthrall adults, teenagers, and kids all around the world. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that after the series concluded, fans decided to continue the Potterverse on their own through fanfiction. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a particularly outstanding example of this type of fanfiction.
The plot of HPMOR is filled with “what ifs”: what if, instead of being obsessed with magic, Harry Potter was obsessed with rational thinking, science, and philosophy? what if, instead of being raised by abusive, uncaring adoptive parents, Harry was raised by loving and intelligent people who cared for him like he was their son? but, of course, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of this parallel universe Yudkowsky has created.
Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, HPMOR is one of the best-finished web serials worth reading.
9. The Wandering Inn by Pirateaba
One of the most adored web series with the most devoted fans is The Wandering Inn by Pirateaba. Given how fantastic the series is, it should come as no surprise that it is one of the most popular and widely read serials on the list. A cozy, slice-of-life online series with litRPG elements is called The Wandering Inn. Consider playing a videogame in which you manage an inn in a fantastical setting. You would interact with characters from a variety of backgrounds and perhaps complete one or more side quests with them. The result of putting that idea into a literary framework is this web serial.
From beginning to end, The Wandering Inn is a story that is utterly engrossing. Given that there are 7 volumes and that it is still ongoing, it can take some time for you to get there. Don’t be alarmed if that appears intimidating. Perhaps the audiobook will simplify things. The audiobook is highly suggested, in my opinion. The vast cast of individuals and the world is vividly brought to life by Andrea Parsneau.
10. Mother of Learning by Domagoj Kurmaic (Nobody103)
The fantastic fantasy web novel Mother of Learning by Nobody103 has time loops, a wide variety of magic, and fantastic characters. There are also a ton of minor things that initially seem unimportant but ultimately turn out to have a big impact on the story. One of those stories that merit the reader’s cautious attention is this one. A finished web novel called Mother of Learning has about 2,882 pages and 861,718 words.
The theme of this web novel is developing yourself by working hard and being committed to your goals. You’ll adore this serial if you enjoy reading about bright people with extraordinary work ethics (and outcomes to match).