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Alternate chapter

Capt Zapp

What is the proper way to post an alternate chapter for a story? I have 2 versions in a story I am working on now, one with 'just the basics' and one with graphic details of violence, abuse, and mutilation. The JTB version does not provide many details of why certain characters behave how they do in later chapters, but the graphic version may squick many readers into abandoning the story and/or giving it a low score.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Capt Zapp


but the graphic version may squick many readers into abandoning the story and/or giving it a low score.


I don't know, but something else to consider. How would you handle story codes?

You may be better off with two versions of the story rather than an alternate chapter.

docholladay

That is why the code usage has both good and bad sides. On SOL among other sites the writer codes the entire story. While on other sites the writer codes individual chapters as posted. Both have their advantages and disadvantages from what I have seen as a reader. No one coding method will fit every story. Some stories the codes affect every chapter. While other times the codes will only really affect one or two chapters in a multi chapter story. Yet on sites like SOL the readers/voters seem to require all the codes regardless of how much they really effect the story.

Capt Zapp

@Switch Blayde

I don't know, but something else to consider. How would you handle story codes?

You may be better off with two versions of the story rather than an alternate chapter.


The story is currently 16 chapters, with the one chapter being the only one that concerns me.

As for posting the same story twice with just the one chapter difference, I doubt if readers would want to go through the same chapters in both just to get the one that is different.

Should I just post the uncensored chapter as a separate story and put in the notes that it is an alternate chapter xx of the main story?

REP

@Capt Zapp

Should I just post the uncensored chapter as a separate story and put in the notes that it is an alternate chapter xx of the main story?


What about the option of taking the squick version to the point that the reader has a good idea of what is to come and then fade out and fade back in with some commentary of what happened without the details.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Capt Zapp

As for posting the same story twice with just the one chapter difference, I doubt if readers would want to go through the same chapters in both just to get the one that is different.


They wouldn't. One set of readers would read the milder version while the other set would read the other version.

Bondi Beach

@Capt Zapp

Should I just post the uncensored chapter as a separate story and put in the notes that it is an alternate chapter xx of the main story?


Yes.

Another solution would be to push the "basics" version as far as you can and stop before getting into squick territory.

bb

sejintenej

As a reader who hasn't had the problem I would feel happy to have a conventional link in Chapter 15 to and to see Chapter 16A with a bold or italic header stating that Chapter 16B is the original but may be too [violent] for some readers and giving a link to Chapter B for those who want that version At the end of both versions have links to Chapter 17 and also to the other version of Chapter 16.

Of course I'm not sure if this is technically feasible.

docholladay

Another alternative since you have probably coded for this segment in the story. Use the multiple page option on SOL for chapters. I am not sure if it can be done, but how about at the beginning of the pg version having a link to say page 2 for the extreme version with links at the bottom of both pages for the next chapter. This takes for granted that you can post the following chapter at the same time as the problem chapter. This would allow both versions to be available yet giving the reader the option of which version to read.

Ernest Bywater

@Capt Zapp


The story is currently 16 chapters, with the one chapter being the only one that concerns me.


Apart from the chapter under question, is there any graphic sex in the other chapters, and do you plan to have an graphic sex in the rest of the story? If the answers to these questions are no then the simple answer is post the story with graphic sex at SoL and post the version without the sex at FS and put a note in the SoL version there is a No Sex version at FS.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
docholladay

But keep in mind that regardless of which choice you make. You will make some readers unhappy. That is the bad side of your problem. There is no way to make them all happy. Some will read both versions (if available). Just to see how well you managed both versions how ever.

Capt Zapp

@Ernest Bywater

...is there any graphic sex in the other chapters, and do you plan to have an graphic sex in the rest of the story?


The issue with the chapter is not graphic SEX, but graphic violence, including rape, gang bang, torture, kidnapping, and mutilation, as well as references to cannibalism.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Capt Zapp

I thank everyone who has made suggestions for how to handle this issue. I believe I will post the 'violent' chapter as a stand-alone with reference in the sanitized version.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Capt Zapp

I thank everyone who has made suggestions for how to handle this issue. I believe I will post the 'violent' chapter as a stand-alone with reference in the sanitized version.


Make it clear in the description that the violent chapter IS NOT a story. Most people have a limited number of stories to click on per day and they will be quite angry to find out they wasted a click on a chapter rather than a story.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

You may be better off with two versions of the story rather than an alternate chapter.

That's what I'd do. I often provide a clean version, which I post to finestories, and an adult version which I post to SOL, outlining the differences on my blog so readers can choose between the two (though, honestly, most readers are unlikely to see the blog entry since they only read a story once it completes).

However, if you decide to post both version on SOL, I'd change the title and post it as a separate story entirely, with a line in the story description about the 'softer version of the story' for those intrigued by the description, but turned off by the codes.

The story is currently 16 chapters, with the one chapter being the only one that concerns me.

Ahh, that's an entirely different problem. In that case, I'd post a warning at the start of the problematic chapter, warning sensitive readers in case they want to skip it entirely, or at least skim it to get the basics without being squicked into quitting the rest of the story. You'll have to decide whether posting two separate stories is a better option than posting a warning on a single chapter.

As for posting the same story twice with just the one chapter difference, I doubt if readers would want to go through the same chapters in both just to get the one that is different.

In my option, readers would choose to read either one story or the other, rather than each reading both. After all, if someone reads the explicit version, why would they want to read the clean one? Likewise, if they enjoy the clean version, why would they want their experience destroyed by reading the squicked version? Instead, let the readers decide for themselves which they'd rather read.

@Seijen...

As a reader who hasn't had the problem I would feel happy to have a conventional link in Chapter 15 to and to see Chapter 16A with a bold or italic header stating that Chapter 16B is the original but may be too [violent] for some readers and giving a link to Chapter B for those who want that version At the end of both versions have links to Chapter 17 and also to the other version of Chapter 16.

Of course I'm not sure if this is technically feasible.

That would be easily to implement, though you'd have to post the links after the story posted. Just get the page address for each chapter, and then attach an < a href="">name of chapter< /a> html command.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

What about the option of taking the squick version to the point that the reader has a good idea of what is to come and then fade out and fade back in with some commentary of what happened without the details.

That might be a better option, or alternately, fade back to a discussion between the characters about what happened, what it means and how they each responded to it. That way, you don't have to be explicit, but can deal with the implications instead.

Think of it as a dialogue about what happened (essentially, showing readers the telling version of the encounter, revealing the characters's feelings while skipping the actions themselves).

Crumbly Writer

@Capt Zapp

The issue with the chapter is not graphic SEX, but graphic violence, including rape, gang bang, torture, kidnapping, and mutilation, as well as references to cannibalism.

In that case, I'd avoid posting the offensive chapter entirely and instead have the characters deal with the aftermath. The readers can pick up what happened without having the actions thrown in their faces. In the end, they'll know what happened, they'll know how it affects the characters and how it impacts them, but they can skip over the squick material. You may lose the cannibal/rape crowd, but most readers aren't into that anyway.

You don't need to show a rape to show how a character has been affected by it.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

You don't need to show a rape to show how a character has been affected by it.


Very true CW. Its the over coming of the acts consequences, not the actual act which will be most important. People handle those events differently that is where the character's personality will show through.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

You may be better off with two versions of the story rather than an alternate chapter.

Better ask Lazeez about that first.
I asked him about that once. He listed a number and reasons against, and said it would have to be demonstrated as providing a benefit to readers.
That said, I hope very different story codes is enough to demonstrate an adequate benefit.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ross at Play

Have you considered posting the violent version on SoL and the nonviolent version on finestories?
That might help readers avoid unintentionally using their allowance for just one alternative chapter.

Capt Zapp

Have you considered posting the violent version on SoL and the nonviolent version on finestories?


The nonviolent version still has a great deal of sex in it.

If anyone would like to read the two versions to help make a determination, I would be happy to send them to you. Send me feedback or a comment from my page.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Capt Zapp

If anyone would like to read the two versions to help make a determination, I would be happy to send them to you. Send me feedback or a comment from my page.

Sight unseen, I'd suggest anything which potentially squicks readers, for no real purpose other than shock value, just isn't worth it. I'd go with a universal version which treats the actual scene as a off-screen encounter, followed by an after-the-fact discussion by the participants about it's impact. You get all the character impact, all the reaction shots, without exposing nervous readers to scenes they aren't likely to enjoy.

The fact you keep asking about it implies you're not confident the scene is necessary to the story. Follow your conscience. After all, your characters know the story better than you, the author does. Trust their opinion.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I'd suggest anything which potentially squicks readers, for no real purpose other than shock value, just isn't worth it.

I'd suggest the purpose of an uncensored site with story codes (for violent content, if not age) is so authors can write as they please, BUT with codes as warnings for readers who do not want squirks.
The author must ask Lazeez sometime; he may as well ask now. Lazeez is entitled to, and sometimes would, not allow two versions of the same story.

awnlee jawking

@Capt Zapp

I personally would just publish the unexpurgated version, but as I've shown, I'm actually rather fond of the little posse of 1-bombers who bother to follow me.

One option would be to publish the unexpurgated version with a note at the top telling readers the chapter is optional. Then in the next chapter, drip feed a summary of the previous chapter so those of a sensitive disposition can catch up with the story without being exposed to the graphic details.

In one of my sci-fi stories (published elsewhere), the evil aliens set a sophisticated trap for the human forces by sealing some exhausted human slaves in the hold of a derelict spaceship, with minimal life support, no food, no sanitation, and only a little drinking water. The leader of the human forces would have fallen for the trap were it not for the persistence and resourcefulness of the heroine. Although there wasn't any cannibalism, I was very graphic in my description of the condition of the human slaves when those still alive were rescued, but to my surprise there were no reader complaints. Perhaps people are becoming inured to such horror because of widespread media coverage of similar real-life events. Your unexpurgated version may attract less complaints than you expect.

AJ

docholladay

It would be a good option maybe if SOL had something like those "Spoiler" tags on other sites. Where the reader can click on the "Spoiler" tag and expand it to display other text or whatever but can be skipped if a reader desires.

I am not sure how workable that idea might be here however.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@docholladay

It would be a good option maybe if SOL had something like those "Spoiler" tags on other sites. Where the reader can click on the "Spoiler" tag and expand it to display other text or whatever but can be skipped if a reader desires.

I am not sure how workable that idea might be here however.


I had previously brought up the idea of "hidden tags" where some tags on the story would be used for category search and category exclusion, but would not be displayed to the users.

Lazeez replied that it could be done, he stores two versions of the tags, one full text and one of abreviated code version.

That said, he didn't consider it worth implementing.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Dominions Son


That said, he didn't consider it worth implementing.


Not quite. He didn't want to get the customer complaints it would generate.

I thought what DocH suggested was something to click on that would expand the part of the story that might offend some people. I don't see Lazeez doing that for maybe a one-time need.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I thought what DocH suggested was something to click on that would expand the part of the story that might offend some people.


If so, it makes no sense to refer to it as a "spoilers" tag. To constitute a spoiler, it would have to either cover story codes or part of the story description.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

If so, it makes no sense to refer to it as a "spoilers" tag. To constitute a spoiler, it would have to either cover story codes or part of the story description.


I've seen it used. It's a warning that if you click on it, it will expand hidden words that would be a spoiler if read.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


I've seen it used. It's a warning that if you click on it, it will expand hidden words that would be a spoiler if read.


In the middle of the story, by definition, it can't be a spoiler unless it's reveling something that happens later.

Something in the middle of the story that the reader might want to skip wouldn't be a spoiler.

A spoiler is something that gives away the end of the story. Something that the reader might want to skip in the middle of the story doesn't qualify.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

In the middle of the story, by definition, it can't be a spoiler unless it's reveling something that happens later.

The suggestion was for a hidden 'spoiler' tag, which if you clicked on it, would reveal the secret tag which would spoil the story's surprise ending, but which would still allow the SOL filters to prevent those with specific squicks from clicking on it.

It would never be used in the middle of a story, as the readers would already have chosen the story by then. It's a tag, not a secret passage!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


It would never be used in the middle of a story, as the readers would already have chosen the story by then. It's a tag, not a secret passage!


No, the suggestion wasn't for a spoiler or hidden tag. He used the spoiler link as an example. He said:

and expand it to display other text or whatever but can be skipped if a reader desires.


So if the reader is reading a chapter, the "spoiler link" would bring up the "alternate chapter" part of the story.

EDITED TO ADD:
Imagine a movie critic reviewing a movie. In his review he writes that the hero is really the villain and then realizes it would be a spoiler for someone who hasn't seen the movie. So he hides that part of his review, but gives the reader the ability to click on the "spoiler link" to see it.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Switch Blayde

I thought what DocH suggested was something to click on that would expand the part of the story that might offend some people.


You are right. I don't think it should be implemented just for one or two stories. The option should only be used if it would be useful for enough stories to make it worth while.

docholladay

@Switch Blayde

So if the reader is reading a chapter, the "spoiler link" would bring up the "alternate chapter" part of the story.


definitely what I was aiming at. Although I will admit I probably could have worded the option a little better.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@docholladay

I probably could have worded the option a little better.


It was perfectly clear to me. :P

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