In literature, a serial is a printing or publishing format by which a single larger work, often a work of narrative fiction, is published in smaller, sequential instalments. The instalments are also known as numbers, parts or fascicles, and may be released either as separate publications or within sequential issues of a periodical publication, such as a magazine or newspaper.
Serialisation can also begin with a single short story that is subsequently turned into a series. Historically, such series have been published in periodicals. Popular short-story series are often published together in book form as collections.