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Serial Story -vs- Novel

bevinst

I just want to say this with the introduction of story conversion to kindle pub; epub pubs; or others.With paste issues with incomplete stories, I wait until the story is complete and download the kindle pub edition.

I've found that long seriels are very repetitive in novel form that has been made available via the download options available.

I domt wan't to hear about you're bathroom produtions everytime.

-Tommy

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@bevinst

I just want to say this with the introduction of story conversion to kindle pub; epub; or others. ... I wait until the story is complete and download the kindle pub edition.

I've found that long seriels are very repetitive in novel form that has been made available via the download options available.

I domt wan't to hear about you're bathroom produtions everytime.

Again, that's the difference between 'writing on the fly' and revising and polishing a work. In most cases (unless I'm changing a book title), whenever I create a book from an online posting, I do a complete revision (review, change and edit).

But I can definitely relate to your frustrations.

Jay Cantrell

I understand readers' frustrations with serialized stories. I used to get a ton of e-mails about my decision to post my work chapter by chapter.

Then I explained my rationale and it all went away.

Maybe this will clarify why some writers post their stories in increments:

The proofreaders, editor and I put a great deal of work into the stories that I post on SOL. I think those stories deserve a chance to find a readership. The best way to let readers find the story is to post it as a serial.

Stories posted whole got lost quickly in the New Stories queue - particularly since some "authors" find it necessary to bombard the site with 10 or more files a week.

Even if the story scores well (never a given the way SOL scoring is set up) it won't be available without a search for more than 30 days.

I simply will not put in the time and effort (nor will I ask the volunteer editors and proofreaders to donate their time, knowledge and energy) to something nobody is going to be able to read without a huge amount of effort.

Then there is the primary reason:

It takes time to get the chapters edited, proofread and formatted. I can't ask my editor to send all 90 chapters back at once. I can't ask my proofreaders to cull through that many words. I can't set aside enough time to format and post that number of files. Well, I suppose I could but that would mean that it wouldn't hit the site for years or years on end.

As it is, my editor can send me back a handful of chapters as he finishes them. I can format them and ship them off to the proofers. Once a few are back in hand, I can put them on the site.

It lets me finish my next story while I have one running on the site.

Simply put, serialization works well for the people who put in the work even if it's not always convenient for the reader who is getting it for nothing.

Best wishes,
Jay C.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Jay Cantrell

The proofreaders, editor and I put a great deal of work into the stories that I post on SOL. I think those stories deserve a chance to find a readership. The best way to let readers find the story is to post it as a serial.


G'day,

I take a sort of between route. I write the story as a single novel and it's complete before I start to post it. Then I post it in what I call SOL Parts, segments of between 5,000 to 10,000 words with a number of complete chapters or sub-chapters in each Part. That gets the best of both worlds, in my mind.

As to my editors, one prefers to have the whole story to work on at once and does it all in one go, the other prefers to get it at once and to work on a few chapters at a time, but setting his own pace. Even so, he gets the full story back to me within a few weeks.

However, whatever method you use, it has to be one you're comfortable with. I have one, you have another, and others have different again. Whichever method you use you need to be aware of how that it can have an affect on the story development and take that into account. But, best of all, just keep writing.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
anim8ed

I believe the original post was referring to those never ending stories (Arlene and Jeff as an example) rather than those who post over time rather than all at once.

Stories with a good plot and structure move along without becoming repetitive or dragging due to excessive detail. Some of the stories are like reading a daily journal with details that do not move the story forward.

When it comes to stories posted by chapter versus posting it all at once anything over about 50kb should be posted in sections, if for no other reason, to increase the story's exposure. Posting the whole story at one time will get you listed on the new stories list only. Posting in segments will place your story on the New stories list, Updated stories list and eventually on the concluded stories list.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@anim8ed

Some of the stories are like reading a daily journal with details that do not move the story forward.


And some simply repeat themselves. "Six Times a Day" comes to mind (never finished it). The author bragged that the story was over a million words. A good edit would have cut 70% of it. And I just checked the score -- 8.89. *shaking head* I'll never understand how people rate stories.

Replies:   Joe_Bondi_Beach
Joe_Bondi_Beach

@Switch Blayde

And some simply repeat themselves. "Six Times a Day" comes to mind (never finished it). The author bragged that the story was over a million words. A good edit would have cut 70% of it. And I just checked the score -- 8.89. *shaking head* I'll never understand how people rate stories.


I've forgotten the exact quote, but it's something to the effect of "Rashers of sex, lashings of sex!" spoken by a published and well-reviewed author to a struggling author (and narrator) in Lawrence Durrell's wildly purple overwritten "Alexandria Quartet" (which I nevertheless have read several times).

That's why "Six Times a Day" is probably the minimum. (Joke.)

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Joe_Bondi_Beach


"Rashers of sex, lashings of sex!"


bb,

What does that mean?

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

As to my editors, one prefers to have the whole story to work on at once and does it all in one go, the other prefers to get it at once and to work on a few chapters at a time, but setting his own pace. Even so, he gets the full story back to me within a few weeks.

As I've noted before, some editors prefer performing a read-through of the entire story so they can understand where the story is going and catch any plot holes. They'll mark anything which catches their attention, but they leave the 'heavy editing' for their second, more detailed review.

As Ernest notes, it's important to keep writing, I point I'd like to add to. Even during a final revision/review process, where you're spending most of the day staring at an endless procession of words, it's important to keep writing new material. That's because you need to keep your creative writing muscles in practice, otherwise the changes you make to the story will sound forced and awkward. I'll typically start a new story while editing an earlier one.

anim8ed, I think most authors post over time, but many (like Ernest) post a chapter-a-day, while others post once-a-month. I typically post twice a week to boost my numbers. There's a big difference in exposure from posting a story over a couple weeks and a few months.

Perv Otaku

Well you've got your folks that write a chapter, then post it, write another chapter, then post that one, and so on until they get tired of it and stop, with or without a "proper" ending. You've got your folks that write out everything until it's finished and only then starts posting it one chapter at a time on some sort of schedule. And then you've got your folks that write out everything and then post all of it in one go.

Each of these arguably has their advantages and disadvantages. I know what I prefer for myself, but I ain't one to judge how others want to manage their writing.

sejintenej

As a reader I strongly prefer chapters posted individually; imagine trying to read all 339 chapters of Jay Cantrell's Daze in the Valley or Dual Writer's Florida Friends series straight off.

However I do appreciate and prefer it when writers blog that they have completed 50 out of a projected 60 chapters before they post chapter 1; it tells me that I am not going to be left high and dry

Replies:   anim8ed  Crumbly Writer
anim8ed

@sejintenej

However I do appreciate and prefer it when writers blog that they have completed 50 out of a projected 60 chapters before they post chapter 1; it tells me that I am not going to be left high and dry


I agree

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@anim8ed

I like the countdown too. It lets me plan when to start reading so I can read the whole story at once. This doesn't work as well for chapter counts in the high double digits, or more. Still, it means I can start the story and expect to complete it in the next week or so.

Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

However I do appreciate and prefer it when writers blog that they have completed 50 out of a projected 60 chapters before they post chapter 1; it tells me that I am not going to be left high and dry

The blogs not really an ideal space, as it disappears quickly (off the main page), and gets buried under other blog notices. It might be a good idea to put it in your story descriptions ("This story contains 43 chapters").

Replies:   docholladay  sejintenej
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

One possible solution is to write this information on the story's index page for a multi chapter story. Some stories have lots of information about the story on that page which isn't a part of either the blurb or the codes used during a selection process. Of course I do know that what works for one story will not always work for others.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

One possible solution is to write this information on the story's index page for a multi chapter story. Some stories have lots of information about the story on that page which isn't a part of either the blurb or the codes used during a selection process.

I never considered that. I've added files to my story index pages (book covers only), but never added any text to it.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Crumbly Writer wrote: "The blogs not really an ideal space, as it disappears quickly (off the main page), and gets buried under other blog notices. It might be a good idea to put it in your story descriptions ("This story contains 43 chapters")."

I've just been disappointed too often; sorry

Sounds good but I would prefer that the author states clearly that 43 chapters have been written rather than that (eventually and if the muse stays home and Great Auntie Bessie doesn't have a turn) 43 pages are outlined or expected

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@sejintenej


Sounds good but I would prefer that the author states clearly that 43 chapters have been written rather than that (eventually and if the muse stays home and Great Auntie Bessie doesn't have a turn) 43 pages are outlined or expected


Sorry, but speaking as someone who never outlines or storyboards my plots, I can't imagine anyone that married to specific chapter numbers. If you don't know how long a book is (i.e. it's not finished), you'd never identified how many chapters you plan for the story to take. That's just sloppy writing!

Chapters are a very fluid thing, and they flow from one story version to another. Some authors change chapters from publishing to posting, and many (like me) change chapter numbers to make a particular chapter more powerful (ex: shifting the 'not quite on target' details to a subsequent chapter).

I think most authors will be safe in stating "This story is (or "consists of") 43 chapters."

docholladay

@sejintenej

Sounds good but I would prefer that the author states clearly that 43 chapters have been written rather than that (eventually and if the muse stays home and Great Auntie Bessie doesn't have a turn) 43 pages are outlined or expected


The idea is fine. But most writers online are posting stories before they are completed. The only way they could possibly have an actual chapter count would be if its finished for all intents and purposes.

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