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Multi Chapters - Maintaining the Edge Options · View
Michael
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 3:00:00 PM

Rank: Author

Joined: 10/22/2011
Posts: 2,005
Location: Expat in, Russia
Many of the stories posted on Lush are multi-chapter, with new chapters being released daily or weekly. I would love to hear from authors on the discipline necessary to write a successful mulit-chapter story.
Do you outline before writing the first chapter?
Are you adjusted the outcome as you write it?
How do you maintain the "edge" when writing about the same character on a multi day basis?
Any other challenges posed by multi-chapter story and how you overcome them?


clum
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 3:33:39 PM

Rank: Clumeleon

Joined: 5/13/2011
Posts: 4,468
Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The first time I wrote a 'multi-chapter' story, it was unplanned and came about because of the popularity of the first 'chapter'. I was quite unsatisfied with the sequels and sort of wish I hadn't written them. I learned from this that planning is very important.

The current series I'm (supposedly) working on, The Ethan Blake Story, is very much planned out and I have a basic outline for 16 further instalments (whether or not I write them all is a different matter). The idea is that each story introduces a new sexual experience for Ethan; my challenge is to write in almost every category. I have a good idea what I'm working towards and what I want to achieve on the way, but the exact path is liable to change as I go.

You can't be too rigid with your plan or you'll back yourself into a corner. After the first story was written, I loved one of the characters so much that I decided to keep her as a recurring character and have since had a great idea for a reappearance. My point is, stories and series evolve as you go but without a general direction, you're likely to become distracted and erratic and not produce your best work.

You're right about keeping the 'edge' - it can be difficult to keep readers interested in the same ongoing story. The important thing, in my opinion, is to try to do this without making the stories ridiculous. You might decide to introduce new characters from time to time to keep it fresh, take your characters out of their comfort zone, throw in occasional surprises, or any number of other things; it really depends on you and the stories. In erotica, I would advise against having the same kind of sex act in story after story or you risk becoming boring.

Other challenges? Getting the writing done. I'm so busy just now and haven't written a full story in about two months. I just really hope there aren't people who are patiently awaiting the next instalment.

Every day is a school day.
Lisa
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 4:12:17 PM

Rank: Moderator

Joined: 3/3/2009
Posts: 5,190
Location: Victoria, Australia
I started writing a multi-chapter story that fizzled out into nothing and throughout the process I learned it's better (for me) to not post any chapters until I've finished writing the whole series. It put too much pressure on me to keep going and I lost interest in the story.

I'm two chapters in with a new story now and I'm better motivated this time around because I'm more focused on the writing than worrying about keeping people waiting.

I've outlined the story and know generally where I'm headed. I'll have to wait to see if it turns out the way I intended!

Michael
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 4:31:58 PM

Rank: Author

Joined: 10/22/2011
Posts: 2,005
Location: Expat in, Russia
Clum, your comments are both thoughtful and helpful. I had written a story with two chapters when I was becoming dis-enchanted with aspects of the story. I took a divergent path and wrote a totally different story in one evening, which was well received. Today I have returned and written the third chapter to my first story. I struggled for a while before I found my characters. I basically had to reread my story to be able to continue it.

Lisa, I wholeheartedly agree with not publishing until completion, I now feel "obligated" to write a new chapter as though it is a pending deadline.

I do hope to hear more authors input on this subject.

DirtyMartini
Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 6:28:49 PM

Rank: Purveyor of Poetry & Porn

Joined: 10/19/2009
Posts: 5,789
Location: Right here on Lush Stories..., United States
Lisa wrote:
I started writing a multi-chapter story that fizzled out into nothing and throughout the process I learned it's better (for me) to not post any chapters until I've finished writing the whole series. It put too much pressure on me to keep going and I lost interest in the story.



I think that's a lesson too many learn the hard way, and too late...you're either forced to rush the next chapter to keep up the continuity, sacrificing quality in the process...or worse yet, I think...the next chapter doesn't post for months later after everyone forgot what the story was about in the first place...

Mostly all of the experienced multi-chapter story writers I've talked to write the whole story first and then post the chapters...it also allows you to change something in an earlier chapter if you find it necessary later on...

It really is the better way...


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clum
Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 2:49:58 AM

Rank: Clumeleon

Joined: 5/13/2011
Posts: 4,468
Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
DirtyMartini wrote:
I think that's a lesson too many learn the hard way, and too late...you're either forced to rush the next chapter to keep up the continuity, sacrificing quality in the process...or worse yet, I think...the next chapter doesn't post for months later after everyone forgot what the story was about in the first place...


Ahh, but I always try to make my chapters readable in their own right, especially where the series spans different categories (I'm just talking about erotica here now). It's clear in The Ethan Blake Story that there's more to come but I don't believe I've left readers in months of suspense and they should be able to fall back into it really easily. So while it's good advice in general, I think it's more relevant for those writing a novel-style series.

It is something I'll bear in mind and I'll probably write at least the next few parts before posting again.

Every day is a school day.
TantricDrummer
Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 7:08:43 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 10/24/2011
Posts: 9
Might be that the answer is in a thread somewhere else, but are there groups of writers that put multi-chapter stories together?
Either chain writing, to see where the story leads and to keep your writing chops sharp, or using the power of multiple perspectives to have a broader set of characters who are developed more thoroughly because each contributor takes responsibility for a character or two?

Have never done it, but think it would be a great exercise.

Of course I don't know what I don't know about the pragmatic reality of trying such a thing and what the pitfalls are.
SITTING
Posted: Friday, January 06, 2012 6:30:52 AM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 709
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom
I never outline, mainly because i like to know what the readers think. And my moods change...A LOT.
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