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A Few Noob Questions

luciferia

Hi there, everyone. I'm considering posting my story on SOL but I have a few questions first.

1) Would you recommend submitting my chapters in parts or in one big file?

2) When it comes to sexual content tags, should I only tag what is currently in the story - or should I include things that are mentioned in passing/will happen later?

3) Does anyone have any tips for quickly formatting submissions to work with this site?

3.1) I'm currently using MS Word. Will that interact strangely with curly bracket markups at all?

4) Any other submission tips would be greatly appreciated. :)

Ernest Bywater

best to read the official infor first:

http://storiesonline.net/author/posting_guidelines.php

http://storiesonline.net/doc/Text_Formatting_Information_Guide

Q1. If the story is finished and you're posting it all on the same day, one file with the chapter listed with the first word for each chapter being Chapter is the easiest. Many will post a chapter per day or two to have it showing on the front page for longer.

Many post as they write and many wait until the story is done to post.

Q2. Best to have all the tags in the story listed up front so people know what they're getting into. Only list tags for what is vividly described. If someone says they were raped, no tag needed, if you describe the rape in detail the tag is needed.

Q3 Read the links above, SoL can convert the MS Word file as is and handle it if it's done as they ask.

Q4 Read the thread on this the other day:

http://storiesonline.net/d/s2/t628/expanded-formatting-guide

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@luciferia

1) I post individual chapters. But I have each chapter as a separate Word file so it makes sense to do so. Also, I post the chapters several days apart so by doing it a chapter at a time I control when they get posted.

2) I list all the codes up front. I can do that because I complete the story before posting the first chapter.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Many will post a chapter per day or two to have it showing on the front page for longer.

Posting it all at once (or even once a day, as Ernest does, is fine if you're interested in getting in and out as soon as possible. However, many of us prefer to deliver them over time. That means only a chapter or two per week. That gives the story time to be seen by everyone on the site, while also giving us time to finish new stories as the older ones post (says he who hasn't posted anything for the past 7 months).

You'll have to decide for yourself how you want to post. Many new authors prefer posing a chapter at at time in order to see what kind of response they get, while a few of us who've been working at it for a while prefer fine-tuning the story (fully editing the entire story in one pass) before posting anything. The key to number of posts is how long you want to keep your story in front of readers.

Concerning tags, you need to provide tags for whatever is included in the story (especially if it's a 'squick' (a story element which might turn someone off) or a draw (something readers would actively search for).

Because I post to my own site online, and publish via epub, I post to SOL using html (I can clean it up better than I can M$ WORD files). The key to remember is that SOL will ignore the vast majority of advanced features in either WORD, text or html files, so you need to learn what to mark and what to ignore. Filing text chapters takes less work, but it's not always as straight forward (depending on what you're doing otherwise).

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Concerning tags, you need to provide tags for whatever is included in the story (especially if it's a 'squick' (a story element which might turn someone off) or a draw (something readers would actively search for).


And don't forget that something that is a squick for one reader might be a draw for another reader.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

And don't forget that something that is a squick for one reader might be a draw for another reader.

All the more reason to label them. Informed readers can (hopefully) make better choices and (ideally) are less likely to punish authors for unexpected surprises. However, actual results vary from the theoretical applications.

Bondi Beach

@luciferia

I'm considering posting my story on SOL but I have a few questions first.


Go for it. Looking forward to reading.

bb

luciferia

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Here's hoping I don't derp while adjusting my Word files somehow. xD

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Posting it all at once (or even once a day, as Ernest does, is fine if you're interested in getting in and out as soon as possible. However, many of us prefer to deliver them over time. That means only a chapter or two per week. That gives the story time to be seen by everyone on the site, while also giving us time to finish new stories as the older ones post (says he who hasn't posted anything for the past 7 months).


CW, luciferia,

As I've said in the past, more than once, I write the story and when it's completed I create a tagged text version. Since I write in story event defined chapters I break the finished story up into SoL Posting Parts of 5,000 to 9,000 word groups with breaks at chapter ends for posting. I have each of these Parts in a separate file. When I upload the story I upload each file as a separate upload entry, but I change the Queue Date for them (there's a change link on the right of the page). I have to upload the first Part and wait for it to be posted, then I upload the rest and set the Queue Date for the next part as 2 days later, then each later Part as another 2 days down the line. This way the readers get another good read every other day and it's all in the SoL system so if I get hit by a truck or something, they still get the rest of the story.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Since I write in story event defined chapters I break the finished story up into SoL Posting Parts of 5,000 to 9,000 word groups with breaks at chapter ends for posting.

We'll probably need to talk at some point in the future. I've been changing my style. Since I've never been able to cut as much from my writing during editing as other authors, I've learned the only way to trim my stories is to write more concise stories. As a result, I'm now writing 1,500 to 4,000 word chapters instead of my traditional 4,000 to 10,000 words. Right now, I'm planning on posting shorter chapters, though I'll double up some especially short chapters. However, I've got to figure out what the best ratio for combining chapters is.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


However, I've got to figure out what the best ratio for combining chapters is.


If you ever work that one out, let me know!

I write in chapters and sub-chapters. Yes, some run out way too long, but most don't. Which is why I combined chapters and sub-chapters to make a Posting Part and make a break at the end of a chapter or sub-chapter.

The way I decide on the breaks is: I know roughly how many words go on each of my 6 x 9 inch format pages I write in. So I look at break point at about that many pages, then use the software to count the number of words and characters in that, if it's near the 8,000 to 10,000 word mark I let it stand (for now). I make a pass through assigning arbitrary breaks like that. If they all come out as good, no worries and that's it. But sometime one chapter is just too long, so that becomes one Posting Part which will likely have multiple pages, then I look for ways to properly break up what's before it and after it in fairly even cuts.

I try to make 5,000 words the minimum and 10,000 words the maximum for a part, but can't always hit that. BTW I say 10,000 words, but the reality is the SoL system will break into pages after 58,000 characters (including spaces, punctuation marks, and coding instructions in the text - including formatting ones) which nominally equates to 12,000 words, but never does. Thus I aim for the 10,000 word mark as being within that character limitation and still a nice read.

It's because the Posting Part cuts are arbitrary that I post my Real Table of Contents broken up into Posting Parts with the story.

I hope this is more helpful than confusing. But the bit to watch is the 58,000 characters limit.

typo edit, of course

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


If you ever work that one out, let me know!


Since I'm writing shorter chapters, I'm willing to let the shorter chapters stand--regardless how short they are. If they advance the story, they're legit. However, since my chapters don't fall neatly into subchapters, I'm planning to simply post the chapters as they are, meaning my SOL chapters will go from 6,000 word averages to 2,000 word averages. I've hit one chapter that was extremely short, only 900 words, so I simply combined the chapters for SOL. That means my SOL chapter count won't mesh with my book's chapter count.

My question now is whether my fans will feel the same about my more concise 2,000 word chapters as they did my more rambling 6,000 word chapters. Since it takes several books before I reach that stage, I'll see how they respond as the chapters begin shrinking over time. If they complain, I may set a new minimum chapter standard.

The other option, is to simply post two chapters instead of a single one, which is a simpler solution (though I didn't really want to post a 900 word chapter, in either case). But two 1,500 chapters might be a different story.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

The other option, is to simply post two chapters instead of a single one,


That's what I do.

In fact, if a chapter has no sex, especially if it's the first one, I might post two chapters at a time no matter the length.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

In fact, if a chapter has no sex, especially if it's the first one, I might post two chapters at a time no matter the length.

That's the difference between us. Since I'm not terrific at writing sex scenes, they're few and far between, capturing only the significant changes in a relationship, rather than the newest fuck of the week. The downside of that, is that my sex scenes consist more of talk then actual screwing.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

That's the difference between us.


But I write erotica so the expectations of my readers is erotica. So I can get away with non-sex chapters, but only after I give them what they want.

Saying that, my current novel is YA (no sex at all). But it will be published under a different name.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

But I write erotica so the expectations of my readers is erotica. So I can get away with non-sex chapters, but only after I give them what they want.

I write what the story demands. If the story demands it, I'll include sex scenes. If it doesn't, I'll leave it out. My most recent stories didn't involve any sex (though they frequently have some cursing), a couple upcoming stories return to 'minimal sex'.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I write what the story demands.


If the genre is romance, the story will demand romance. It will revolve around romance. So if the genre is erotica, the story will demand sex. In fact, it typically drives the plot.

Now if the sex does not drive the plot, it's porn.

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