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Page Breaks

G Younger

SOL has made a change so that there are no longer page breaks in your stories. I asked about it and they told me they removed paging because it was causing more trouble than it was worth at this point. With the June move to new digs, they got almost unlimited bandwidth so the main reason to limit output was gone.

The trouble they were having was with some browsers behaving in unexpected ways, some people couldn't reach some pages when their browser cached an improper redirect due to paging and browser malfunction.

I thought everyone should be aware of this, especially if you post a long story without chapters or long chapters. I sometimes don't get to read a full story and it would save the page I was on so it was easier to find where I left off.

I'm not really asking Laz and the gang to change it. For me it might be a wake up call that I've been writing way to long of chapters since they are normally two pages on SOL. Of course that might mean it would take me over a year to post my stories at one chapter per week... ;-)

G Younger

PS. Before you send me email ... I would post two per week.

Switch Blayde

@G Younger

The trouble they were having was with some browsers behaving in unexpected ways


Interesting. I thought the reason for the page breaks was because older browsers needed it.

There's a discussion on this in another thread that discusses the Google search engine. It was too technical for me, but I think it said pagination was hurting SOL.

Grant
Updated:

@G Younger


I sometimes don't get to read a full story and it would save the page I was on so it was easier to find where I left off.


Yep.

Magestic is a good example of this where each book was posted as a single entity.

It's going to make it harder to find where I was after a break the next time I read it.

If authors could put a larger spacing break between days, or between morning and afternoon, or between scenes, etc (depending on what's happening) within each chapter it should make it easier to find where we were when getting back to the story (at least for any new stories) that has long chapters.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
sejintenej

@G Younger

I'm not really asking Laz and the gang to change it. For me it might be a wake up call that I've been writing way to long of chapters since they are normally two pages on SOL.


Using Internet Explorer on Windows (various versions up to 7) on a laptop and Firefox on an iPad (latest OS) I have never had any problems with the old SOL system over many years. If the laptop goes to sleep or is rebooted it always goes to the top of the page I was on (even if it was page 2 of a story).

I frequently see two page chapters - which is no problem but I have noticed that I don't see more than 2 pages per chapter any longer. Lazeez' new system should be no problem - I am neutral on that

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Interesting. I thought the reason for the page breaks was because older browsers needed it.


Years ago Lazeez mentioned it was to do with bandwidth restrictions.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Grant


It's going to make it harder to find where I was after a break the next time I read it.


One of the reasons I use the coloured headings in my stories is to make it easier for readers to find where they left reading to have a nap. The other is I write in a format set for print and e-pub book usage where it's better to have chapters, sub-chapters, and section headings.

When posting I post a SoL part / chapter every other day of between 5,000 to 12,000 words that break at a chapter or sub-chapter end.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@G Younger

I thought everyone should be aware of this, especially if you post a long story without chapters or long chapters.


I would have preferred page breaks in Jack Spratt's 'conclusion' to his Everett Mountain story. The chapter was extremely long, with no convenient way to remember position except for leaving a browser window open.

AJ

Jim S

As a non-author [so far... :)], I thought that limiting oneself to 25-30k/chapter was just good practice. Because, silly me, I thought most authors here either used SOL for practice in the real world or just as a learning experience in how to write. [Ducks quickly as sharp objects are chucked his way]........

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Trent C
Ernest Bywater

@Jim S

silly me, I thought most authors here either used SOL for practice in the real world or just as a learning experience in how to write.


Many of us post at SoL because we haven't got the money to pay for a Literary Agent because nearly all the big publishers won't even read an email unless it comes from a Literary Agent, let alone a manuscript. We want to share our work, so we self publish via Lulu or similar sites, and post at SoL as well.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Trent C

@Jim S

For me, Jim, I wanted to share a story I'd been working on for over ten years. I'd been lurking here for over a decade and felt reasonably comfortable making that leap.

For me, it was a learning experience in how to write because one of my readers offered to help me learn. (20+ years of writing ambulance run reports is not a good writing workshop, in case you're wondering. I had a lot to learn.)

Replies:   Bondi Beach  REP
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

because we haven't got the money to pay for a Literary Agent


If a Literary Agent charges you money they are not legit.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

If a Literary Agent charges you money they are not legit.


Some do, and some don't, but all insist you visit them at their office - it takes money ti travel long distances and stay in hotels. This is especially true when it' rural Australia to New York to see most - they're extremely thin on the ground in Australia and most don't have any strong links outside of the academic publications world.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@G Younger

I'm not really asking Laz and the gang to change it. For me it might be a wake up call that I've been writing way to long of chapters since they are normally two pages on SOL. Of course that might mean it would take me over a year to post my stories at one chapter per week... ;-)


Actually, I might reinstate it.

It bothered those who saved the files to their computer without premier membership, but that was its only negative for most people with properly functioning browsers. I removed it because I was tired of getting daily "bug report" with 'I can't reach page x of chapter or story, your system is broken'.

Honestly, I was surprised to receive multiple complaints about removing the functionality. It seems it was truly useful for long stories/chapters. Especially that an author posted a 500 KB story with no chapters that same day.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Interesting. I thought the reason for the page breaks was because older browsers needed it.

It wasn't so much the old browsers, but the assumption everyone was reading on desktop or laptops, whereas Lazeez has, like the rest of the world, been moving to device independent screens (responsive pages). Fewer people are reading pages where the old page breaks made any sense.

As far as chapter lengths go, I long ago limited my chapters to UNDER 10,000 words (where the old page breaks would occur), under the assumption it was just too much per chapter. I later shorted my chapters even more (1,500 to 3,000 words), but my readers weren't as happy with the shorter chapters. I've since (in my newest story) switched to 3,000 to 7,000 words, and it seems like a better compromise. I can now spend more time with my characters being contemplative, as well as giving readers more to chew on each posting.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

One of the reasons I use the coloured headings in my stories is to make it easier for readers to find where they left reading to have a nap. The other is I write in a format set for print and e-pub book usage where it's better to have chapters, sub-chapters, and section headings.

Sub-chapters have a place, but it's wise to break any time there's a scene change (i.e. POV, time or location change). That way, while there isn't a clear title to focus on, you can at least count how many section breaks you were into a given chapter. If nothing else, think of them as 'email breaks' rather than 'nap breaks'. Most people can't go long without checking their emails or messages nowadays.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Some do, and some don't, but all insist you visit them at their office - it takes money ti travel long distances and stay in hotels.


Since I've never had a literary agent represent me or worked with a traditional publisher, I can only pass along what I've heard from those who did.

A literary agent never asks for money from the author. They make their money by taking 10%-20% (usually 15%) of what the author makes on sales. If they ask for any money up front, don't do business with them.

Some scam artists represent themselves as literary agents and "recommend" an editor to get your manuscript ready to sell to a publisher. Those are crooks too. They are either in cahoots with the "editor" or often are the editor themselves using a different name.

Other scam artists pretending to be literary agents charge a reading fee. Again, they are not legit.

The authors I've spoken to never see their agent or the publisher's editor in person. Everything is done through email and on the phone. One author I converse with is in New Zealand and her agent and publishers are in NYC.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

The authors I've spoken to never see their agent or the publisher's editor in person.


A few years back I did try the literary agent route, and found the most reputable only worked for a cut, bu they were based in major cities where the big publishing houses were established. The down side was they all insisted on an initial face to face meeting before taking on a an author, and that killed it for me since I didn't have the money fro such a trip.

On the other side of the coin mobs like The American Star Books don't ask for a face to face, just $x to promote your book - naturally I give them no money at all.

Bondi Beach

@Trent C

For me, it was a learning experience in how to write because one of my readers offered to help me learn. (20+ years of writing ambulance run reports is not a good writing workshop, in case you're wondering. I had a lot to learn.)


At one point in my life I was reading police reports, never examples of very good writing in the first place, and made worse by the common custom of writing in the third person.

If we define "good" in this context as "clear" or "effective," I was stumped one day by a report with such tangled pronouns it could be read as the "reporting officer" was three different people. Not what he meant, I'm sure, but I had to read it several times to figure out what happened.

Seemed funny, but they were documenting serious stuff and that wasn't funny.

bb

REP

@Trent C

For me, Jim, I wanted to share a story I'd been working on for over ten years


Welcome to the club. I started one of the stories that is still incomplete back in the early 80's.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

The down side was they all insisted on an initial face to face meeting before taking on a an author


Times have changed.

I'll be sending query letters out soon for my new novel and don't expect the face-to-face meeting if they're interested. I hope I'm right.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I can understand publishers wanting a face-to-face meeting. They would be making a considerable investment in your book and they need to know that you'd be prepared to actively promote it. If you can't be bothered to meet them in person, it doesn't augur well for promotional tours and book signings.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

A few years back I did try the literary agent route, and found the most reputable only worked for a cut, bu they were based in major cities where the big publishing houses were established. The down side was they all insisted on an initial face to face meeting before taking on a an author, and that killed it for me since I didn't have the money fro such a trip.

That might no longer be true, especially since the 'major publishers' no longer have the power and clout they used to (i.e. they can no longer 'get away with it'). However, even if they do, you could probably achieve the same thing using Skype. What's more, most of the face-to-face time is with the publisher's editors, who've changed over the years from 'in-house' editors to independent editors, who more often work by email than directly on a one-to-one basis.

Times change. Don't assume situations don't.

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