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  • Fanfiction: Installments vs. The Whole Thing

    Post your fanart, fanfiction, AMVs, fan projects, etc. Keep it clean and Sonic related.

    How do you prefer fanfiction to be presented?

    In installments
    In a block
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    Fanfiction: Installments vs. The Whole Thing

    Postby Velvet D'Coolette on April 1st, 2008, 7:23 am

    I've nearly finished writing a story and it looks like it's going to have 5 chapters. In the past I've always written a whole story and then posted it up on the basis that I like to go back to earlier parts of the story and change/add bits, which I couldn't really do if I'd already posted the first chapter or so up.

    But it looks to me that, on sites like ff.net and others, people who put their stories up in installments, leaving time between each chapter, get more reviews and perhaps encourage more reader loyalty.

    I'd like to know what other peoples' experiences are with posting stories in these two different ways and which you would recommend I do: post the whole story in one go or use my cliffhangers properly by making my readers wait?
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    Postby SoloWing on April 1st, 2008, 9:22 am

    Ah, the infamous question of reviews...

    In my mind, the only reason that a story posted in instalments gets more reviews is because it is continually bumped to the top of the listings, and as such has a greater chance of getting noticed. A story that is posted in one go quickly gets dropped down the pages and falls into the depths of the site.

    There's also the question of 'internet mentality'. Life on the internet is fast, and as such people on the internet have a two-second attention span. If you force a person to spend hours with your project, odds are that they'll lose focus on the story and drop it after a while. If you continually throw internet users small snippets of information over a period of time, they tend to absorb and take to it better.

    So, if you want the best of both worlds, I would say write out the entire story on your hard drive, do your revision, and then post the chapters one at a time on the internet.

    Of course, in my case I tend to post chapters as soon as I've proofread them because I have a lot of irons in the fire; I have four to five stories going on at any given moment. If I were to focus my attention solely on one then I'd quickly get burned out. By spreading my attention out across multiple works, I find that I tend to update them all quicker than if I were to try to write one story from beginning to end and then post it.
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    Postby Velvet D'Coolette on April 1st, 2008, 10:14 am

    Yep, sounds good.

    I'd be optimistic to say that I think I'll have it finished (minus beta) by the end of the week, but I'm hoping to (lassoo you in) ask you if you would beta it.

    If that would be alright?
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    Postby Renz on April 1st, 2008, 12:45 pm

    I've recently been attempting to complete a story before posting it (Aurora), but as I wrote began to realise that the absence of reader feedback was making the story on the whole worse. Once I began to upload it unseen mistakes and problems came to light, one in particular being a huge part of later chapter. If I hadn't posted it then I would have ran straight into making these mistakes.

    I find the points of view expressed in reviews to be invaluable (except, maybe, 'Good! Update!'...), and make it a point to read and consider each and every one.
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    Postby SoloWing on April 1st, 2008, 5:09 pm

    Velvet D'Coolette wrote:If that would be alright?

    In the immortal words of Sonic the Hedghog: "No prob". ;)

    I'd be glad to help out.
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    On the installment plan

    Postby Asher Tye on April 1st, 2008, 5:50 pm

    Personally I find it more helpful to completely write the story, but break it up into sections that can be uploaded piece by piece later. That way I'm able to update fairly regularly, only having to proof read, and the story is fairly easy give minor changes to as the reviewers comments. This way also you get to keep your eye on the completed story and know what changes NOT to make (Sometimes there's a reason for a character to be acting OC, or for a setting not to get a thorough description until later). Let's be quite frank, feedback and suggestions are nice, but this is your story and you shouldn't be overly eager to change its more integral parts. I like to look at the first completion as more of a rough draft, along with the first chapter unless you happen to have a beta reader. Its got the whole plot down and most of what you want to say, and it can easily be changed based on suggestions.

    More importantly, I think, is the fact that this method helps to make writer's block more private and easier to deal with. One of the worst things I've seen is some reviewers getting absolutely harsh with a writer just because the story has stagnated. It really aggravates the situation and sometimes causes the writer to lose complete interest in the tale, leaving both sides completely unsatisfied.

    Of course chapter installments also have other advantages. People tend to get very scared by large amounts of text, anything over fifteen pages can be very daunting to read, no matter how well written. Some of the most popular stories are well over ten chapters but each chapter is only about ten pages long so readers nearly always make it to the end of a chapter to leave a review.

    Well that's about all i can say on the subject for now. I look forward to seeing your story. :)
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    Postby Elisto Dragonwings on April 1st, 2008, 6:30 pm

    I don't read much fanfiction, but personally, I prefer it all at once because too many projects I've followed have never been finished, so I'm wary of ones done in segments. However, I agree that when it's long, people are less likely to read it...I know I put off reading/watching longer projects.

    I like Solowing's suggestion of writing the whole thing, then posting it in parts. It seems like the best of both options, unless you don't want to worry about spacing out your updates.
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    Postby Thony Hedgehog on April 2nd, 2008, 8:03 pm

    I follow Elisto ideas, sometimes if you don't do it all straight away, you can have other priorities occurring and/or less time to finish it, so the project slowly dies, while doing in parts can give yourself invaluable reviews.

    My idea is: if you think you won't have the patience or time to do it in parts, do it all in one-shot but make it read by a few friends before officially posting it on the net. Sometimes you'd have to correct some mistakes while other times you'd have to change a complete chapter, but it's worth it.
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    Postby Ironrind on April 3rd, 2008, 5:25 am

    I have to say that I am naturally a skimmer by nature, but if I can manage to buckle myself down and clear the room of any distractions, I'm able to read a chapter or two. Most cases I'm not. So I'd say if in installments, I'm more likely to engage :)
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