I am working on an urban fantasy series. The series is currently divided into a number of episodic chapters that follow a "monster of the week" format. Each one is projected to be about 30-45 typed pages and somewhere between maybe 10 to 15 thousand words each based on my calculations. There are about 15-18 chapters, so this would be approximately 600 manuscript pages all together.
The chapters themselves can almost function as their own self-contained short story but contribute to an overarching plot and long-term character development that ties them all together as a single story. The reason the story is set up this way is I originally wrote it as a screenplay for a 13 episode television series, but switched to making it a written series when I realized it played better to my writing abilities and gave me more creative control.
However, I have run into some problems with the structure of my story. First, I've noticed that "monster of the week" plots, while working very well in television, don't work well in written fiction because they give the reader places to stop reading and don't encourage them to read the whole book. At worst it gives them plot whiplash due to constantly starting a semi-new conflict each chapter. But perhaps more importantly I have found out that urban fantasy books tend to be quite a bit shorter than your average fantasy novel, most of them tend to be 400-450 printed pages in length. Publishers don't like to consider longer urban fantasy stories unless they are broken up into smaller chunks, and it costs a lot more to publish them.
I'm not really keen on the idea of removing whole chapters of the story or stripping them to their bare bones and ruining the pacing in order to get the story to fit within a 450 page limit. There is a good spot to break the first book into two books, but it would essentially be leaving the plot on a cliffhanger and starting the second split-off book right in the middle of the action. I've heard readers hate cliffhangers in general, and in this case it would mean each book would be only half of a plot.
I suppose one potential option would be to send the various chapters to various magazines as short stories and then publish the series as a whole as an anthology, but I'm not even sure if people read fantasy/sci-fi magazines anymore.
The structure of the series is almost perfect for a web serial given its "each chapter is a semi-independent adventure" format, but I've heard from several places that publishing your work online basically kills any chance of it being published in any other format and it would be nice to be able to publish my work in a higher-profile and potentially more marketable manner than simply posting it on Wattpad.
Given this, what I'm trying to figure out is what is the best way to structure my story. Is there some way to salvage what I have, or do I need to burn it all down and totally re-structure it from the very beginning? Should I just focus on writing the dang thing and then think about rewrites, or should I be fixing this problem now before it becomes a bigger issue?