1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tutorial Long Sagas, how do you prefer to see them?

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Feb 12, 2015.

?

Which do you prefer?

  1. Long stories being released piece by piece.

    8 vote(s)
    72.7%
  2. Long stories being released all at once.

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
  3. Something else (explain below)

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Forget long stories, give me more short stories.

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,762
    Likes Received:
    15,658
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This poll is mostly for my own fluff pieces, but this can apply to many other authors.

    Releasing a story piece by piece lets readers get involve speculating things and a writer can incorporate suggestions from writers. Releasing stories piece by piece is generally faster. Cliff hangers may be exciting.

    A long piece written all at once is less likely to meander and will have fewer plot holes since the whole piece can be proof read at once. The nature of writing is that sometimes installments would be close together and sometimes they'd be distant. Cliff hangers may be annoying. Also, once the last part of a piece is done, all future readers will be able to read it all at once anyway, so why stagger it?

    I'm also open to comments for how to stagger or if anyone prefers middle ground styles (releasing several parts at once, taking a break and releasing more). Another option is to write the whole thing and then release it piece by piece. Would that be a good way to allow commenting or would that just be a frustrating delay from finishing the story?
     
    Paradoxical Pacifism likes this.
  2. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,911
    Likes Received:
    5,614
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This is comment, not wisdom (wisdom in short supply at my place)


    As a beginner writer I deliberately chose to use a saturday morning serial format - trying to pop out a chapter every week or two. I never imagined that the False Moon War would go for 60000+ words or even hold together as a "novel" all to itself. Benefits to the serial include getting frequent feedback and encouragement. I might never have finished if it weren't for Rychek's cornflakes.

    It is very episodic - every geographic chunk is a little piece of story. There is a meta plot which connects the randomness, but your bite sized saturday morning serving is satisfying ( and nutritious).

    Now I am trying to write "serious" comedy fiction and I am shy about showing my cards too early. The next book (next week maybe) might be 50000 words but it is only one story. Each bit might seem silly or disjointed when it is separated from the entire book context.

    I am going to serialize it anyway for cold blooded commerce reasons, but this will be done strategically with the whole thing having been completed (which is why you have had to wait over a year for the next trashy instalment)

    In the mean time, I have been sharpening my writing skills and amusing myself with story competition entries. And if you wrote a story which I dissected like a frozen rat it is because I am learning stuff by analyzing other things i like to read.

    Getting back to Scalenex's actual questions.


    A progressive Serial is good and suited my needs at the time. feed back and reader input is good.

    BUT the end product is a dog's breakfast with rewrites and posts in the middle. Resign yourself to putting in masses of bookmark posts, only to discover you needed three more and having disjointed comments. Or else go with the comment stream as you go, thereby making the final product unreadable.

    You really need to collate and resubmit the whole thing when it is done, but then you lose the magic of interaction that got you and your readers so involved in the first place.


    Released as finished product makes sense but... instead of 6 comments per chapter, you will get 6 comments after 50000 words. There is not a lot of oxygen to keep the love of writing for others alive. Scalenex had a black moment years ago where he was ready to give up because...get this... I was the only reader who commented. As if anyone else matters! (I get appreciation-oxygen from the view count and from the $3.09 I have earned from my blog.)

    Worse than that, your saga and its six comments is suddenly page 2 on the subforum and will never be seen again. It is maddening! (Scalenex is clever in the use of his sig to lead folk back to his stuff, and it works because he is so active across all forums.)



    You might know that I have been putting cartoons and words on about 6 WHFB forums. I have tried "Every new piece is a new thread = lost in the archives (L-O)" , "progressive and continuing thread which contains all mediums of my stuff - with comments (underempire)" and "first thread has the latest release. It gets changed next time. The body of the thread has a copy of each of the releases in order giving space for comments (Warseer)"

    Each has merits. The last one probably looks the most professional, but if someone stumbles across it during boring week, they might not come back. I regret not making an index for my stuff early (Scalenex even offered to do it for me) given that I have 30+ threads on LO alone.



    Summary:

    It is a marketing vs fun decision.

    The first thing someone reads should pull them into your universe. At point of entry, the universe needs to be logical and easily accessible. There should be room for comments and suggestions. If your universe is big and ambitious this is harder to do.

    Once the someone is in your universe they must never ever be allowed to leave.



    As a reader, I like me a serial with comments interspersed.
     
    Paradoxical Pacifism likes this.
  3. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    560
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Just me saying but I hate unfinished stories. I have enough problems trying to remember who and what I've written without adding that to it. This might not be true if you've read most of the board.

    The exception are stories that function indendependtly, like my 'day of the hunter' trilogy

    But still like em all at once
     
  4. Valvorik
    Skink

    Valvorik Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Agree about unfinished and the risk that "the long story never gets done" is one reason I prefer short - I'm actually fine with long I just worry about the effort having greater risk of no payoff.

    Also, for those of us a little thick, when releasing chapter by chapter make clear which is "the End".
     
    Paradoxical Pacifism likes this.
  5. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,762
    Likes Received:
    15,658
    Trophy Points:
    113
    So I'm about half-way done with my next longish piece (I don't plan to approach Legacies' length until I tackle the End Times). Hypothetically if I finished writing it and released it in weekly installments would that whet people's appetite in a good way or would I be jerk for not just releasing the whole thing?

    I could release pieces as I finish them but that is likely to lead to some pieces being days apart and other weeks apart. That and I tend to make minor changes to early parts throughout the writing process.
     
    Paradoxical Pacifism likes this.
  6. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,911
    Likes Received:
    5,614
    Trophy Points:
    113
    A leopard. Spots. Just go with it.

    Your stuff (so far) has been pretty episodic. From the industrial espionage I have done I think you can drop things in chunks which tie themselves up OK. It is also a handy way to show passage of time off screen - if we have to wait a week, we come back thinking "I wonder what our hero has been doing" or "perhaps this one died of natural causes while I was away."

    If building suspense is a jerk move, there are worse ones. Just promise I won't have to wait more than a week between installments!
     
    Paradoxical Pacifism likes this.
  7. Kcibrihp-Esurc
    Razordon

    Kcibrihp-Esurc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    434
    Trophy Points:
    63
    All of the above?
     
    Paradoxical Pacifism likes this.

Share This Page