AuronLu came up with the idea for this topic, a support/encouragement group for those of us writing multi-chaptered stories (about 10+ chapters), as we finish and upload chapters of our stories. The topic isn't limited just to fanfiction, it's for those writing original stories as well.
Basically this is a place for you to encourage each other on the progress of your fics, post about problems you're running into and rant about writer's block...reached a milestone in your story/am really excited about writing a future scene? Tell us here and we'll celebrate together.
As this is a support group thing, it might be helpful if you gave us a short summary of what you plan to do in your story, and later on when you've added more to it, you could post saying you're written more. Don't just say "I've added a bit more to my story", though, tell us about the problems you ran into during that section or the ones you're going to have to write your way out of in the next few parts.
If you discovered good tips to keep yourself motivated or solutions to problems, post them here, too. It may help others.
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Finally, do bear in mind this is a support group - to help and encourage others. We're here to talk about our stories, not to ask people to read them.
Therefore, links to stories are not allowed in this topic, and neither are requests asking people to read their new section/story. These posts will be deleted and the posters warned. Also, if anyone is interested in reading any of the stories mentioned here, do not ask for a link to it in this topic. Go to the author's profile or PM them if the story is not yet up.
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Good luck to everyone writing a multi-chapter fic ^_^7/5/2008 #1
Well I have a couple of mutli-chaptered fics that i'm working on, although one may not be 10+ chapters. I guess I'll discuss this one first as it is giving me a bit of trouble at the moment.
Title: Someone To Watch Over Me
It's a Strek Trek Voyager story. Basically I'm rewriting the episode of the same title from near the end of season 5. At that time in the show, Seven of Nine and Chakotay sort of just worked together and not much else (but I lov them as a pairing). So I'm changing it up a bit and she and Chakotay are going to go on a date (The Doctor is giving her social lessons). Over the course of my story, Seven and Chakotay are going to warm up to each other. I've watched the episode enough times to kmow how the episode goes (her first date is a disaster but oh so funny when she picks up the lobster..yes a whole lobster and breaks it in half at the midsection) but I seem to not be able to start chapter 2. I know what needs to happen; she and the Doctor discuss her hobbies (or lackthereof) and she has to decide who she wants to go on a date with (poor Harry. There's some lingering crush from season 4 on his part). So I don't know, maybe I just need to sit down and write it? Just write and see what happens.
The other story I'm working on right now is going a lot more smoothly.
TItle: Closer To You - Year 4
It's the 4th story in my AU Harry Potter series. This year, Snape ends up teaching Defense (i'm loosely following the overall storyline of the seires). I'm thinking I may bring in Slughorn to teach potions. I was never fond of Moody or Umbridge, hence their lack of appearances. Well I know that the whole teaching of Occlumensy is going to happen in this story, as well as Snape helping irlynn to hone her visions (it's a gene he passed to her. Ok so a little background. Harry and Irlynn are half siblings AND twins. Lily slept with both James and Snape when she got pregnant. Snape is obviously Irlynn's father. To cover herself, Lily gives Irlynn up for adoption at birth as she never told James she was having two babies). So there is going to be some Horcrux hunting in this story. I don't think they'll find/destroy all of them but there will be some. There's also going to be the fear that Voldemort finds out about Irlynn. Right now the story is going well. I'm on chapter 5 of about 23 or 24. I've got chapter 6 planned. I think I will probably run into some trouble when they get back to school.
I have a few other stories I plan to write that will be on the long-ish side so I'll come back once I've started those.
I'm off to try and finish chapter 5 of Closer To You before the Wimbledon match starts. Go Roger!7/6/2008 #2
Props to you for writing more than one multi-chaptered fic at a time! I know I can't manage that (I've tried).
So I don't know, maybe I just need to sit down and write it? Just write and see what happens.
Your first draft doesn't have to be the one you use. Try writing it from different angles and different events, as you write you may find one of the scenarios/scenes fits better and voila, you have the beginning to chapter 2!7/7/2008 #3
Well it turns out I did just need to sit down and write it. I cut it a little short to give myself some exttra material for chapter 3, which I also ended up writing yesterday. I'm quite happy right now with the progress of the story. I think for now, I"m past the road bumps in "Someone". As for "Year 4", chapter 5 didn't turn out exactly how I planned but it was fine. Chapter 6 is going to be entertaining, stick SNape and Sirius in a room together and let the good times roll.
I used to be able to juggle 4 or 5 mutli-chaptered fics at a time. But I've decided/realized it's better to keep it on the low side so that you can focus on really making the story a fun thing to read.7/7/2008 #4
It certainly is more interesting to write out a couple of stories at once, since sticking with one fic for an extended period of time kinda bores you after a while (especially ones with multiple chapters). Then again, you usually lose focus with so many things to deal with. Then again, t depends on how much you can really handle.7/7/2008 #5
I agree. I've realized I need to devote more time to school come fall because I'll be writing my senior thesis for my major. So keeping it to a few at a time will help. I can do one story at a time and not get bored but it is nice to be able to switch it up now and then.
Maverick, are you working on any stories you need support for?7/7/2008 #6
Eh, not really...I'm just here hanging around the forums. It looked like an interesting place to browse. But thanks for asking anyway.7/7/2008 #7
Well, I'm writing a multi-chaptered fic myself, in the Metroid fandom. I only have three chapters up, and I'm working on the fourth, but I don't feel motivated.
I had a trying ordeal a few months ago, involving a Mary Sue character. Since then, I've been questioning my ability to write. I have reviews telling me that my story is good, that it has potential, yet I'm somewhat frozen by the thought of posting another chapter. Can I prevent the ordeal from happening again? Is my story really good enough? Do I have the skills needed to exploit the potential my story has? Has the mental work that I've made on my story and my characters been enough? And so on, and so forth. Even my harshest critics admit to liking the story, but at the same time, I'm not getting very many faves, and I handled the ordeal pretty poorly.
Another stumbling block is that the object of my envy is posting on FFNet. While her story recieves glowing reviews and faves, I'm left with modest reviews and crit. The worst part is that her story deserves every single word of praise it gets. And she has people doing fanart for her original story that she posted a long time ago. Frankly, I'm envious. I want to trade places with her so badly, I can taste it. I don't care what she says; I am NOT her equal, I am NOWHERE NEAR as good as she is. There is NO WAY she can make the mistakes I have. Heck, the mistakes she makes are so minor, that it doesn't make a lick of difference. To you, this probably sounds silly, but it's really ripping into me. It's an obstacle that's keeping me from writing, and I'm really having trouble pushing it away. Whenever I write, I just compare myself to her. I think that there's NO FRIGGIN EXCUSE why I'm not as good as her. She's only one year older than me! Shameful.
One last thing is actually writing. I just don't think that I'm doing a good enough job writing the piece. This next chapter doesn't look too good; I'm definately gonna want a beta. I also just tend to fantasize about the later parts of the story, where all the meat is (The story's set up so all the good stuff happens around the climax). Honestly, those scenes interest me more than what I'm writing now.7/7/2008 #8
Well, I'm writing a multi chapter fic in the Sailor Moon fandom that is going to be around 32 chapters long by the time it's done and it currently has about 135,000 words averageing about 5,628 words per chapter. I'm working on chapter 25 right now. Here's my problem.
I had to step away from my writing for nearly a month because of a move to a new house. I finaly have time to write again now that things have started to settle down, but I don't realy know how to pick back up and start again. Any advice?7/7/2008 #9
@ Venomous Woe:
Take a deep breath. You can do this. Forget about this other person. Pretend they don't even exist. No need to compare your work to theirs. Focus on just you. Usually, reviewers don't lie about liking a story (some do but not often). So if they say they like the story (and they are your critics) then believe them. They believe in your talents as a story teller. Let that belief feed your own. Belief in yourself is a great asset.
As to your ordeal, learn from it. Look at it and figure out what you did wrong. Grow from the experience. Know that you can only get better. (I haven't seen many writers go downhill before so don't even think about it). Everyone has their problems with Mary Sues (heck I did and i cringe even thinking about my first few stories. But I too learned from my mistakes).
About not wanting to write, definitely get a beta if you feel it would help I'm not familiar with your fandom but if it's grammar stuff you need help with, I'll beta for you. If you feel more interested in later parts of the story, go ahead and write them now. You can build up to them afterwards.
Try rereading what you've written. Go over the plot in your head and see where you want to go next. If scenes pop up in your head but they aren't in order, write them anyways. You can connect them later. Also, just try writing freeverse. Just open a document and start typing. That may help get you back in the groove.
I hope this helps for both of you. If you ever want to talk more privately, you can PM me.7/7/2008 #10
Venomous Woe: I concur with protejerinnocencia. It is hardly fair to compare yourself to another person, and really, the ironic thing in life is there is someone better than you at things. However, this does not mean that you should think bad about yourself. Your fic may not be as good in terms of grammar, style, plot, but I'm sure it has some places where it shines, or has the potential to shine. Either that, you can aim to reach the level of the other writer by trying to improve yourself. Not all of us are expecting a brilliant story to be written, but a good one will sometimes surfice.
Neuroleptic: Well, just take it easy and maybe check out stuff that usually might motivate you to write (for me, it would be playing games, watching TV and tons of chocolates...they get my brain running). Rereading your fics again might be a good idea, and it would refresh your memory especially if you have written a long one.7/7/2008 #11
I've got another story to add to the list!
Title: The Q and I
IT's another STar Trek Voyager story, set during season 3. It's sort of AU since Kathryn accepts Q's proposal to be the mother of his child. He thinks a baby will save the Q Continuum. They end up eventaully kind of falling for each other. I could take this through seasons 4-7 if I wanted to and I may do that. I think the problems I'm going to run tino with this one are trying to keep Janeway and Q in character. That and deciding what actually is going to happen once Quinten is born.7/9/2008 #12
...Can't help here. I don't watch or know much about the Star Trek series...7/9/2008 #13
The other fun little situation you'd have would be keeping Q from doing Janeway a favor and sending them all back to the delta quadrent happily ever after to please his one true love. I never was a fan of voyager, but I gotta wonder how you'd pull that off if they actualy somehow fall for eachother.7/10/2008 #14
Argh. I'm fifteen thousand words into a long story, and I can't stay motivated to save my life. It's not that I don't want to write, just yesterday I wrote and posted a 2000 word one-shot, so it's not like I'm feeling uncreative. But somehow the one story that I really want to finish, I just can't seem to make myself write.
I'm wondering if it's a product of my writing process. Usually I write one-shots without much of a plan in mind, and the story takes shape as I write. But for longer stories, I usually plan a little more, and draw up a detailed outline for the whole thing before I actually write it. It helps me keep from going off on tangents, and makes sure that my pacing stays even. But it also means that I know what's going to happen. There are no surprises left in the story for me, and I'm wondering if that's part of the reason that I can't seem to just do it. I get distracted by shiny one-shots that are just worlds of possibilities, instead of just plonking my butt down and churning out the last eight thousand words or so of what I know is going to happen.
Sigh. My work-ethic is failure right now.7/10/2008 #15
Motivation can be much of a problem. Just take it easy and relax. If planning out stories in advance seems to be the reason why you lack motivation, why don't you not plan it in advance? My technique is that I have the idea for the beginning and the end. Whatever comes up in the middle is up to the spur of the moment, so this means I do a lot of editing of the story in my mind.7/10/2008 #16
Finally working on my fourth chapter, and I'm peeved because it looks rushed. I am going to get my second-ever multi-chapter done, though...if only I could stop writing oneshots. XD7/10/2008 #17
|Z Cloister Black
Ooh, I'm writing a story (up to chapter 12) that I'm anticipating to reach about 32. Anyway, the biggest thing I've learned that keeps me on track, and out of plot holes in particular, is to keep on a separate page a timeline of all events, dates (so you're consistent), and what you believe will happen in the next chapter. It's my lifeline. I would probably so ridiculously inconsistent if I hadn't done this that my story wouldn't have survived. It also helps to write 'bios' for any obscure characters, especially OC's, so you can keep them for the most part in character the entirety of the story.7/13/2008 #18
I absolutely agree with keeping timelines. I like to use Microsoft Excel, although I'm sure any spreadsheet program could work. I select the whole worksheet, adjust the cell widths to 30 or 40 and then set them to word wrap and type away. I'll run dates across the top, and then I can use rows for keeping track of what individual characters are doing on those days, or what is happening at certain hours or whatever a particular story needs. It's great because it keeps everything lined up and organized. Throw in a little color and you can split things up in visibly discernable ways to help keep track of you individuals, days & nights, weeks, hours, whatever, as well. It works beautifully, especially because Excel saves where you were working so when you open it up again you can see right where you were when you left off.
Use it to keep track of your back story so you don't have to go reread whole chapters to refresh your memory of the chain of events or to find exactly where/when something happened, and you can use it to plot future events because with the ease of inserting new rows/columns and dragging and dropping the contents of individual cells to new locations you can shift and move things with ease as the story develops.
I also use my Bookmark feature in Microsoft Word as I write (I write my stories as a continuous document and copy finished chapters for posting), and when I hit a scene that I may want to refer back to or know I will want to reread to refresh my memory later (Now, lets see, exactly how did the dream sequence six chapters ago play out?) I make a bookmark for it so I can locate it quickly without all the afore mentioned rereading.Saves a lot of time.
I highly recommend timelines.
On a more personal note, I have a number of tales going and I'm not sure I could write a short story to save my life - LOL. Somehow they all seem to take on lives of their own and keep growing longer even when roughly plotted from start to finish. All my current 'works-in-progress' take place in the same fandom -- Pitch Black/Chronicles of Riddick -- and while most are, for the most part, stand alone, when finished they will chronologically constitute a semi-continuous story arc.
In almost all cases I know where my story is going, it just a matter of finding time to write. The only one I am having any real problems with is one I call Be Still: Chances. It has been sitting somewhat dormant for over a year because it deals with a rather sensitive issue I have no experience in - sexual child abuse. The subject itself is never gone into in any detail, but it was pointed out to me privately that my OC's behavior was inconsistent with the past I had created for her. I've edited based on what I was told, but without additional assistance I'm not sure I'm handling it correctly and to me accuracy is very important. It is further complicated by the strong Christian overtones of the story and I have a very sensitive chapter coming up that I absolutely want to get right if I can. I thought I had an individual who was going to help me, but it fell through and never happened so at this point I'm afraid I'm just going to have to wait until I have time to research the tragic subject personally.
Venomous Woe - I hear you and just wanted to say keep your chin up. Comparing your writing to someone else's is often like comparing apples to bananas. They have completely different shapes, flavors and growing conditions. I don't know if you know this person who writes so well personally, but there are so many factors that could influence her ability. Maybe her mother is an English major and has had her writing creative fiction since second grade! You say she doesn't make mistakes... but maybe it’s a case that she's already made them, learned from them, and moved on. Maybe she's not as young as you think she is. Maybe her skill for writing stems from some aspect of her life that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy... If your only contact with her is over the internet you really have no way of knowing who she really is or what her life's been like.
And what if she IS exactly what you say she is... only one year older, maybe even exactly the same amount of writing experience, etc...It may be she has a gift for writing, but I bet you are gifted in other areas. Do you play an instrument? Do you paint? Can you bake a mean soufflé? Can you speak a foreign language? Can you make a stick grow? Don't focus on what you think you can't do, learn to appreciate the things you can do!!! I bet if you two could compare your lives aspect for aspect, there would probably be some area she would say "Oh, I wish I could do that as well as you." Make a list of things you do well, and when you feel down on yourself go over it. Focus on the positive.
Now, how to improve the writing you are doing. To get better at writing, read... I have a couple authors here I love. They are my betters in so many ways, and one of the things I do when I read their work is make note of the things I like... the way they describe something, the way they turn a phrase, how one in particular makes a glance and an eyebrow or the shift of a hand speak volumes... When I come across something that makes me say "wow" I stop.I reread it several times. I try to pick it apart and try to figure out what I like about it and when I write I try to adapt the technique. Sometime I get something I think is as good as their's. More often I don't, but I am constantly trying to improve. There is also a plethora of information out there to help writers improve. I have a few links on my profile that might be useful and the library has bunches of creative writing books. Is their one aspect to your writing you like least? Get specific and set out to change it. Just like you weren't born knowing how to write your letters, you weren't born knowing how to write stories. Both are skills that have to be developed and they don't normally happen overnight (You want to talk about Mary Sues and bad grammar? You don't even want to see some of my early works - LOL - I am SO thankful they didn't have the internet when I wrote those!).
My last bit of advice is ask yourself why you write. If you are writing solely for the faves and reviews, I think you are writing for the wrong reasons. You should write because you enjoy it. I think I've done well if I write a chapter/story and I find myself wanting to come back read it again because I enjoy it. When the reason you write is for your own pleasure, then when you post it and get reviews it's icing on the cake.7/14/2008 . Edited 7/14/2008 #19
I absolutely agree with keeping timelines. I like to use Microsoft Excel, although I'm sure any spreadsheet program could work. I select the whole worksheet, adjust the cell widths to 30 or 40 and then set them to word wrap and type away. I'll run dates across the top, and then I can use rows for keeping track of what individual characters are doing on those days, or what is happening at certain hours or whatever a particular story needs.
Hmm, I never thought of doing this but it sounds like a great idea. I guess I've got to check my stories for timelines though. Until now I used my chapter titles as a way to keep track of what happened when. I love using titles, which work kind of like a short summary of the chapter and I use the document structure feature of work to navigate between them. There's something else what I think it really helpful, writing a background story or vignette to your main story to write things from another perspective or point of view.
Like you I write my longer stories in a single word file, because I don't like splitting it up. I like to have everything in one place so I don't have to juggle files.
What I did before was creating profiles for people (both OC and CC) and places for my stories to help me keeping track of them.
To Venomous Woe:
Have you considered that some readers might like your style better than hers? There are some very good authors on this side, who write good stories but their style simply isn't my cup of tea. It's nearly impossible to really compare writers, because it's just like Amita4ever said, comparing bananas to apples. Some might like bananas better or apples for that matter.
Another thing, which I think helps a lot, is knowing the end. I've got my second longest story in the making and I never was this sure of being able to finish it like this; and it's all because I know the ending all ready. Well, I start after the end, going backwards and from there towards the end.7/14/2008 #20
To Venomous Woe:
There will always be someone out there who writes better than you do. There are authors in my fandoms who I would kill to write like. I'm wondering whether I'll ever manage to write anything novel-length let alone anything original, and they're posting on their blogs about their book deals. I'm hoping that my sad scenes aren't a pile of steaming wangst, and theirs make me cry. And I hear you about the fanart - man, I'd love for someone to be inspired to draw one of my characters, since I'm a stick figure artist. Hasn't happened yet.
There is absolutely nothing wrong in aspiring to be as good as this other author, but the only way that will happen is by writing. People wouldn't be leaving you crit if they didn't think your work has something.
I know what you mean about wanting to get on with the rest of the story, too. I've sat there feeling like all this boring stuff is going on and on and taking way too long...when it comes to it, you'll realise it's not so bad. It just feels long because you write so much slower than you read.7/14/2008 #21
Well, I got the latest chapter of my story up (Chapter 25! YAY!
That's got to be some kind of mile stone or something. Anyway, I just wanted to thank people for there advice here. It has helped out a lot both with the current problem mentioned in this thread and others I'v asked about on other boards in W.A. while writing this story.7/15/2008 #22
Everyone, thank you for responding to my post. I held off on replying, because I didn't think anything else I had to say was important. But that wouldn't be fair to you all, after you took hours of your time out to help me.
I admit that I'm not in the most...stable...frame of mind. I won't burden you with the details, but I will say that with these issues, integrating new ways of thinking is like having an organ transplant. My mind will just refuse to accept new ways of thinking, even though the old ways are making me sick. It's a real challenge, and I've been struggling with it for a while. But I'm thankful that you have given me extra ammunition to fight with. Maybe the stories that I've dreamed up, including the endings that I spend so much time focusing on, will be complete. Maybe that old story I abandoned will be resurrected in full, making real the dream I came here to realize...
Anyway, I decided to compile all of your posts into a Word document, as well as two PMs that I recieved. Whenever I'm feeling down, I should take a look.7/16/2008 #23
You're welcomed...:)7/16/2008 #24
O_O *facepalm* Oh jeez, I missed your post in my compiliation! I thought I had everybody! I'm sorry man...
I'll add yours right away.7/16/2008 #25
...Nobody loves me...*falls off chair* (insert sarcasm)
It's alright, don't sweat it.7/16/2008 #26
It's alright, don't sweat it.
Well, thank you for being gracious. However, I feel it must be added, so I have added it, and printed a new document.
I'm not a fan of wasting paper, but a few extra pieces of paper may just save me. :)7/16/2008 #27
Venomous Woe said
Maybe the stories that I've dreamed up, including the endings that I spend so much time focusing on, will be complete. Maybe that old story I abandoned will be resurrected in full, making real the dream I came here to realize...
Here's a thought... How well do you work with others?
I can relate to your difficulty of adapting to new things. Perhaps not to the degree you describe, but I can get that way too (although I think I'll attribute mine to being of a 'set in my ways' age and sleep deficit for a lack of anything better - LOL). The reason I ask is I was reading the story of an individual I've beta-ed for on occasion. This individual has a wonderfully diverse imagination and can come up with good plots, but can tend to rush through stories and not build up the foundation of plausibility that would make the tale really work. In this case the story caught my interest enough that I found my brain had pulled one of the scenes and started rewriting it, adding more description and some "layers". I typed it up, but I'm not sure if they would consider it a compliment or a hostile take over so it will likely sit on my hard drive and gather ion particles. It has, however, prompted me to considering asking whether they might be interested in collaborating on something altogether new. We might make a good team.
I guess what I am wondering is whether you might do well seeking more of a co-writer instead of a beta... someone who shares you passion for your fandom who can encourage you and help you flesh out the blank spots in your stories... who could work with you to reach that end you've already envisioned. I don't know if the issues you have to deal with could work within those parameters, but I figured I'd throw the idea out for your consideration.7/16/2008 . Edited 7/16/2008 #28
Oh boy...where do I even begin?
I'm working on three different multi-chapter fics, and that can get a little strenuous. I am focusing more on just one, but I still drift to the other two because I have ideas about them. Nonetheless, sometimes working on more than one can be a little rewarding because you aren't technically stuck with one. If you have writer's block with one, you have others to choose from. ^^;
In my Kingdom Hearts fic Tears To Roses, I'm a little...stuck. Why? Well, I got word that it is recommended to be finished before September 1st because it's a contest entry. It doesn't sound complicated, but to me it does. There are times where I work in a productive manner to complete what needs to be done (when placed under immense pressure), but not with my written work. It's a Beauty and the Beast entry, so that only makes it slightly harder. As much as I would love to pull out a sixth chapter from my pockets, it's just not working for me right now.
Sorry, just ranting about how suck-y my writing "career" is going right now. It's a first for me to have writer's block after so long. It's like my resources have run dry after excessive use. (sweat drop)7/16/2008 #29
Everyone runs out of steam now and again. Have you tried perhaps just taking a small break to recouperate? Maybe take a look at some things in your fandom to refresh you? I know when I have trouble, especially with my Voyager stories, pop a DVD in and I'm good to go (especially since I just got a new season!).
Anyways, I am falling behind on all of my stories. The reason; food poisoning. Sunday night was hell. But I'm hoping to catch up today. Finish Someone To Watch OVer Me and get a jump on Year 4 and The Q and I. I'm fairly certain I know where Year 4 is going. The Q and I, I have decided to take to the end of season 7 so that's going to take some more planning.
My biggest question for people is, I have another Voyager story I want to start called Detours. Do you think I should wait until I get a little farther into both Year 4 and The Q and I before I start it, or should I just jump right in after I finish Someone To Watch Over Me?7/17/2008 #30
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