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Arlene & Jeff, some form of cast list or wiki?

Tera
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I was thinking of picking up Arlene and Jeff again. Thing is, I quit reading at book 3 chapter 4 and there are alot of characters by this point. It was a long time ago that I read it, and now I have a hard time remembering who's who. Some long stories have cast lists or even wiki sites, and I was wondering if anything like that exists for A&J so I can look up names I don't remember?

jarron04

It's such a great story I would recommend starting at the beginning and enjoy the adventure.

Crumbly Writer

Personally, maintaining cast lists for longer stories takes a LOT of work, especially as you have to keep track of which characters appear in which chapters so you can exclude those who don't appear in multiple chapters.

If an author didn't plan when they first started, there's little chance they'll stop writing long enough to compile one from scratch. Essentially, the only way to compile one at that point is to read each chapter, mark each new name, add it to a master list, and then search the complete story to see which chapters each name appears in. That's not hard if you compile the list as you're writing, but it's a bit much to expect when everyone is bitching about when the next chapter is going to appear.

sunkuwan

Yeah, either the author has to do it from the start or a fan compiles it.
One of the stories I read had a google sheet which listed every character that appeared more than once and had listed its appearance for every chapter.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sunkuwan

That's probably not a bad idea if the story contains significant stroke content (deliberately not naming AWLL as an example).

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  sunkuwan
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

That's probably not a bad idea if the story contains significant stroke content (deliberately not naming AWLL as an example).

In the old days, that's how we compiled book indexes (sort of), except, in those days, you had to hand code each index in MS Word using embedded coding. A real pain in the patootie! Still, it made finding references (for reference works) a snap.

sunkuwan

@awnlee jawking

It is not a bad idea for all stories that have a big cast.

Replies:   REP
REP

@sunkuwan

To me, a cast list should provide information about how the character fits into the story and plot. Unfortunately, what I typically see in cast lists is - Character X is the 'add relationship' (i.e., friend, brother, sister, etc) of Character Y and a physical description of the character (e.g., 5'-3" tall 121 pounds, 36C-24-36, 36 years old, long blond hair, blue eyes, very cute).

If I don't remember Character X and their part in the story, then the description is meaningless; all I have is a mental image of what the character Y looks like.

Then there are the stories that provide an updated cast list of 20+ characters at the start of every chapter and I have to follow the links to characters to figure out how the character is related to the overall cast. For example: A is a friend of B, B is a cousin of C, C is the roommate of D, D is the MC's brother.

robberhands

I look at a cast list in a story as a crutch. That means something went wrong if you need one.

richardshagrin

@robberhands

Depends on the story. Lets talk about "War and Peace", the Russian set hard cover novel. If you can keep track of all those Russian names you are a far better reader than I am.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@richardshagrin

That's not a counter argument but rather a supporting statement. For any none Russian, the many Russian names in "War and Peace" represent a problem. Hence the need for a crutch.

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

I look at a cast list in a story as a crutch. That means something went wrong if you need one.


As an author I can only say I need a cast list to keep straight who's who in the story. That's mostly due to the many hundreds of characters in my over 100 stories. However, if the cast list gets lengthy or it's a long story with people who vanish for multiple chapters, I include the cast list to help the readers.

Tera

Well, I didn't really get an answer to my question, but if anyone in the future come across this thread looking for the same thing, there's a cast list in the beginning of chapter 1 of book 3.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Tera

That is probably the latest.

Replies:   eqtwink
eqtwink

@REP

A character list really doesn't matter since he's abandoned nearly all the characters that were introduced a few years ago. The story is bogged down in the same introduction of the same "Alpha Powers" to a new set of people then they disappear, or the story spins its wheels on minutia of the work going on at the other planet. It would be different if these new characters were cycled in periodically to become involved in the aliens storyline, but we only get a handful of people mentioned in that plot every few months. Even most of the wives have disappeared from the story.

Replies:   sunkuwan  REP
sunkuwan

@eqtwink

I quit with chapter 350 or so, it was just becoming a Wedding simulator.

REP

@eqtwink

Yes I mentioned asked about a couple of the subplots that RoustWriter had dropped, but didn't get an answer.

Last year he said he planned to end the story with Ship heading off to find its creators. I recall someone saying it would end early this year. With the current subplots, I would say he could go for another year, if not longer. Right now the main thing keeping them from leaving is the pirate spaceship. Once that is taken care of they could leave.

Replies:   eqtwink
eqtwink

@REP

At one point I kept thinking he's adding all these people to fulfill roles within the ship when it finally leaves, but nothing has ever been done to flesh that out.

For the life of me, I can't figure out how the score for this story has actually gone up over the last few months.

Hopefully something interesting will happen with Selina and the "columns". It better given how excruciating that whole subplot has been.

Replies:   REP
REP

@eqtwink

Maybe the columns will turn out to be a machine for linking minds. Perhaps Jeff will use it to overcome the pirates.

PrincelyGuy

For the life of me, I can't figure out how the score for this story has actually gone up over the last few months.


Because the only ones still reading and rating it are those who love it and are rating it a 10. Me, I left it over a year ago.

Sparky-1953

Instead of following it weekly I find that I enjoy it more if I wait 3 or 4 months, re-read that last chapter or two I read last time and then read a dozen or twenty new chapters. The re-read refreshes my memory and reading a block of chapters enhances the continuity. I had given up on it but gave it a try this way and find it more enjoyable. How long is it now, anyway; the equal to 25 or 30 dead tree novels?

Replies:   sunkuwan
sunkuwan

@Sparky-1953

25 to 30 Weddings long ;)

ToucanSam

@robberhands

I kind of agree, except by something going wrong it could be as simple as the story releases too slow or frequently, but with too small of a chapter. Which I fear is what this story suffers from.

StarFleet Carl

I had not read it before (yeah, silly me) and I just binge read the whole thing over the course of the last couple of weeks via download to my iPad.

I found a couple of character lists part-way through.

One advantage to the iPad - oh, it's another wedding scene and the same general theme is repeated - scroll left, skip three pages - ah, there we go.

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