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Multiple version stories. What's up with that?

September 22, 2009
Posted at 1:11 pm
Updated: September 25, 2009 - 5:23 pm

For those of you who like to know this kind of stuff, this is another chapter in the saga of how an idea gets born and then grows up to be a full fledged story. Actually, stories, in this case. I'd have liked to put all this in the foreword to the stories, but it would be an awfully long foreword, so I chose to do it in a blog entry.

That way only you strange people who like learn about the inner workings of my mind have to be exposed to it.

I read a story on the internet. I can't remember what site it was on, or who wrote it, or what the title was. But in it there was a description of a young girl in an apple tree, with an older man down below and she wasn't wearing underwear and things got hot and heavy between them. It stuck in my mind because it was a pretty good erotic scene.

So one day I was thinking about that and decided to write my own version of it. I did that, called it "Orchard Flower," and sent it off to Plan B to edit. It was a fairly short seven chapter story.

I got it back with a comment something like "Too bad [such and such] didn't happen. That would have been hot."

Now for you authors out there, you know what happened next. When somebody says something like that to an author, the author thinks "That could have happened, but it would have been a different story." And then the author thinks "Hmmm, that WOULD be a pretty good story." And, if that author doesn't happen to have anything else beating down the door to the writing room, he might say "I could write it that way ... but I already have this other story written. I don't want to waste that one.

Thus is born the multiple version story idea.

OK, so what that meant was that I already had version Alpha written. Now all I needed were however many other versions I thought would work. In this case it was two (more.)

In version Alpha, there was intense attraction between a young girl and an older man. The young girl's mother had other plans, though, and that's how that version played out.

What Plan B had suggested was the harem version of the story, where the older man got both women. That might not be YOUR kink, but I kind of like that sort of story. That became version Charlie, because Version Bravo had to be the opposite of version Alpha.

Don't worry if that doesn't make any rational sense to you. It's just how I think.

Now, when I write a multiple version story, the idea is that people can choose to read the one that's the closest to their own interest. Some people like M/f, while others like M/F, or m/F. So ideally, when you come out with a three version story, you post all three versions at the same time, so people can choose.

There were two problems with that scenario in this case.

First, experience tells me that people are curious. For the same reason they slow down and peer at an automobile accident, they tend to read ALL the versions that are being posted, rather than just the one that appeals most to them. Maybe they want to see me wreck things. I don't know. But it can cause problems because when people do that they can get confused between the versions.

Secondly, while version Alpha was seven chapters long when it was finished, by the time my muse let go of version Bravo, it was fifteen chapters long. I haven't finished version Charlie yet, so I have no idea how long it's going to be. The point is, it would be impossible to post the same number of chapters for each version, and have things go along in concert. One would end long before the others.

So I talked it over with Plan B and we decided to post them in order, rather than concurrently. I'm going to put version Alpha out first, starting it on Monday, 28 Sep 09. Once it is completely posted, I'll start posting Bravo, and then Charlie. That will avoid confusion, and stretch the posting out, which all of you know is one of my favorite ways of torturing you.

Now I have to say here that these versions will have some similarities between them. In some cases they share text. The first couple of chapters of Alpha and Bravo are quite similar, for example, though there ARE small differences that become important later on. So when you read all three versions (you know you will - don't even try to lie) don't just jump ahead thinking that you've already read this part in the last version you read. You'll miss something important if you do.

And, if you decide to vote on them when I turn voting on, please judge them on their own merits instead of comparing them against each other. Remember how it used to feel when somebody compared you to your brother or sister.

Thanks for reading.