Since authors could publish early chapters before later chapters were written, serial publication could sometimes lead to meandering, picaresque plots. Dickens, perhaps the author most famous for serial publication, would sometimes let audience reaction determine how he completed his novels: The Pickwick Papers, for instance, introduced a character called Sam Weller in the early chapters, who became so popular that Dickens made him a central character later in the book.
Note: This guide is still in the early stages of development.
Three question marks mean I have to write more on the subject. Bear with me.