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Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Souderwan, Oct 1, 2005.

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  1. ELDRITCH Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 1998
    star 1
    This thread is too good to sink into the depths of message board hell...

    I think it is very possible to write a story ala 24. Still, even in this case time is relative to writing and reading. Ten seconds could pass, for instance, in a Dickens novel and it might take him 54 pages to describe it. Or, a battle to end all battles could take place outside Minas Tirith and Tolkien seemingly spends a page a half on the good stuff.

    The closest I came to timing a story's speed was in writing a combat scene that I was writing to music. In this case, I actually have an official soundtrack accompanying the story and there are specific places in which to begin a song. The trick was writing the scene so that the best part of the song was being heard at the time the reader was at the corresponding part in the scene. It required many iterations of writing and then reading what was there to the music and, judging reading speed and ease of reading the content, to add or subtract in order to get the reader in roughly the correct time. I'm sure it's not always successful, but I think it's more successful than not.

    It's my firm belief that almost anything can be done through writing. I think you can actually get a reader to speed up his or her reading, slow him/her down, 'make' them feel the emotions you want them to feel, etc. Almost anything. Storytelling and craftsmanship are always intriguing and rush-inducing, the REAL challenge of what we do.
  2. Art_Of_War Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2005
    star 2
    Bringing this to the surface so that a new discussion may comence.


  3. The_Face Ex-Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    Hey, I learned a lot about filming just now. Thanks everbody! ;)

    I know that Rogue1-and-a-half has a fic that aims for this style over on Beyond the Saga...

    Here it is (hoping I'm allowed to link it [face_worried]): Coruscant Time

    Anyway, I think a race against the clock can be great tension. I used a countdown for the very end of the climax in my second Galaxy Noir story. When it hit zero, kaboom. Every couple paragraphs or so, I listed the time they had left. It was hard enough just timing out that one scene, and I was sort of cheating. One, the reading time didn't equal the story time. Story time did, however, equal the listed time. So I guess that's not real-time actually. Well, I almost had something pertinent to say. :rolleyes::p

    Face
  4. Souderwan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6
    Hello all! My most abject apologies for my long absence. My fight with DRL has been long, arduous, and remains ongoing. Thank you to those of you who kept the conversation going. ELDRITCH, you rock! :D

    I suppose I could leave this topic up for a while longer and watch the discussion die down but I think it's time we move on. As always, if you still have a thought on the current topic, feel free to keep talking. As I've said on more that one occassion, this thread is yours, not mine. You're all free to take the discussion wherever you like and if you want to start a new topic, as long as you're respectful of others here, go right ahead.

    That being said, our next topic comes to us from our friendly neighborhood leia_naberrie!!


    NEW TOPIC!!!!

    How much is too much?

    How many stories do you try to tackle at once? Do you have an upper limit? Do you do a disservice to the other stories if you're writing too many? Is there even anything such as "too many"?


    Let the discussion begin!!


    Edit: Putrid version of green... :oops:
  5. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    It definitely depends on the writer. After all, I've got a very prolific brain and the several stories that I have going at once feed off of my plot bunnies. Some people work best one at a time, others need to be moving constantly.
  6. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    There is such a thing as too many, at least for me. I've got 5 epics going on at once right now and I'm about to start pulling hair out.

    Ish is a brilliant writer and can whip up anything almost at the drop of a hat, but for someojne ike me, it's near impossible.
  7. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Gosh, I usually have two or three going with six in the background awaiting inspiration, a voice, or plot details. Then if a particularly good plot bunny for a one post or viggie slaps me, I write it and post.
  8. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    I've limited myself to two a season (winter/summer). I don't write vignettes much, only full-length things, so I keep myself stuck with two. I simply don't have time for more since I have to write massive amounts of stuff for school on top of them.
  9. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    My only self-requirement is one vignette a day. I write as many as I can handle.
  10. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    I have one epic story going on (forever it seems) but if the plot bunnies strike, I'll pay attention to those. However, never more than 2 stories at a time including the epic. I much prefer vignettes. But since I like to make my stories really descriptive and visceral, that takes time no matter how long or short the story is.

    I tried to do more than that one time and just drove myself crazy. So never more than 2.

    However, I know several people who write beautifully and yet can juggle many stories at once. Kudos to them!
  11. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    I recently had to put a longer novel aside to finish another one. The stories became too complicated and I was confusing one AU to the canon universe of another. I will write a vignette when inspired and can jump from Saga to Beyond pretty easily.
  12. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    It depends on how much time I have on my hands or what type of plot bunny grabs me. Vignettes I can write at almost any time, but at the moment I'm taking a break from vignettes. :p I normally write everything out by hand first and then type it up, so I generally have many stories going at once, but only some come to the boards. At the moment, I'm trying to balance three longer fics at once.
  13. TheCrazyRodian Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2004
    star 4
    Is it bad of me that I think one story is too much to be working on at a time? :p

    I'd much prefer to have a story finished before I post it rather than try to balance writing with the posting and replies process. Besides, I lose focus easily if I start to hear what other people have to say before finishing things.
  14. The_Face Ex-Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    I'm kind of with TheCrazyRodian there. :p One is about all I can handle, and typically I'm posting something finished (or close) while doing the actual writing on my next big thing. I will, however, put together a shorter story or one-poster on the side as I go. Sometimes those help to get the creative juices flowing.

    Of course, I also have about half a dozen fics in the prewriting stages at a time. :rolleyes:

    I think it really differs from person to person. Personally, I don't think you should commit to more than one good-sized story at a time unless you're very good about updating on a regular schedule.

    I feel like I want to devote all my writing energy at one project at a time to make it as good as possible. I can see how two fics might feed off each other though...
  15. Layren Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5
    I may be the odd one but I've discovered lately that since I've been working on this huge epic series of mine, my muse isn't interested in writing anything else, even vignettes. At least that's the way it's been for me for the past several months. My muse has a one track mind, which is kind of weird because I used to always have several stories going at a time, until I picked up this epic series.
  16. Pandora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2005
    star 3
    Is it bad of me that I think one story is too much to be working on at a time?

    If it is, then I'm bad as well. Not that I feel that way all or even some of the time, but occasionally I do.

    I should be only posting one story at a time, as that is really all I can handle. But I'm not. Instead, I'm posting two stories, (down from three), though I know this doesn't work for me. I know that, so why do I do it? One of them is always being neglected for the other, so that I am technically only posting one at a time. Or I can't decide which one to work on, freeze up, and wind up not working on either of them.

    Then there is the fact that I have other, original stories I'm working on.

    I've learnt my lesson this time, and I won't be starting anything else until my two current stories are done, and with a THE END to mark the spot. Or so I hope.
  17. RamRed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    You want the reality based reason? Padme married Anakin after only a few days/weeks of really knowing him - I don't count the 10 years of faded memories as knowing him at all. She was seeing him through the honeymoon stage of a relationship and since they really didn't have much in common plus they were hiding a really big lie, it was doomed from the start. Padme kept making comments about honesty to Anakin but the lies, in the end, were too much.
    On the other hand, Leia and Han had known each other for years - saw their good days and their bad. Even though those two were in love for a while, they didn't act on it, didn't rush headlong into marriage but explored their relationship instead.



    Time doesn't really matter. It doesn't matter whether A/P or L/H knew each other for a period of a few days or years before either couple got married. Nor did it matter on whether any of them had much in common with their respective partners. I tend to be leery of couples who seem "perfect" or have too much in common, which wasn't the case with either SW couple.

    The real problem with A/P is the manner in which they had conducted their marriage. They were not open and honest about it to the others. Their marriage became a secret surrounded by deceit and lies and it led both to cling toward one another, a lot more than they should have.
  18. Eleventh_Guard Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2005
    star 5
    I really can't do more than one WIP at a time. I've tried, with disastrous results. I'm a one-epic girl. However, I can take breaks from it to do vignettes or short stories; it's rare that I'll finish anything longer than 10,000 words without stopping at some point to write something else that's short and then go back to the main project.

    Now, I've planned future fics while working on a current one, or had plotbunnies bite that I use later, but for active stories longer than three or four posts I will only have one in progress at any given time.

    I'm actually about to break that self-rule, because I have something I want to post although my current fic isn't done. However, since both fics are built on the same plot, and the one I'm about to start posting is just from a different character's perspective and has one subplot excised, I don't consider them separate stories. More like Windows 3.1 vs. Windows 95.
  19. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    For me personally, I wouldn't tackle more than two big stories at the same time unless I had all the others written out beforehand, or at the very least outlined in great detail. Vigs are another matter - if I had a couple epics going, I could set those aside and do vigs because the latter come much more easily. And there's less pressure with a vig. :p Write it, post it, be evil and leave the ending hanging. knowing you don't have to add to it.

    Of course, if the vig inspires a whole new epic, then you're in trouble. [face_laugh]

    I think it's nice to have something besides one story going because it gives your brain a rest. Whether it's a vig, or the next chapter to another story, it would keep me from drowning in one particular plot.
  20. oqidaun Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    How much is too much? I've two big stories going on right now and I'll definitely step up to the plate and say that's alot.

    How many stories do you try to tackle at once? I try not to have more than one epic and maybe a short story or two thrown out there. Alas I have two epics to contend with now. Fortunately all of my stuff is linked and interwoven with the same characters and worlds, but there's still a lot to think about.

    Do you do a disservice to the other stories if you're writing too many? Is there even anything such as "too many"?
    Definitely. First off, one story always gets a little neglected. I update TKoS about 2-3 times per month, but Sixty has about a month between posts. I'm really insistent that the quality of everything that I post is about as good as I can do and if I'm juggling two storiess I feel that in terms of time one is always going to receive the short end of the stick. I like my readers to get a hell of a story and it's not worth posting if I'm not giving them the 'product' that I've promised.

    Additionally, I think writers that post alot of stories and keep a lot going on all the time sometimes overtax their readership. I have a small crew of people that tend to always read my obscure little stories and I know that they don't have all the time in the world just to read my stories. I take that into consideration when I'm spreading things out and such, particularly when I have one story that provides clues for another story <--yeah, I'm evil like that.

  21. correllian_ale Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2005
    star 4
    How much is too much?

    I'll have to say, I'm currently "posting" two Epic WIPs, with a third recentyl in the works, and the two originals have been WAY too much.

    How many stories do you try to tackle at once?

    Well, between the 2 epics, and challenges, and other miscellaneous 'plot bunnies' that come up, I'd say at one time I was trying to write 5 things at once. Two of them were challenges, which I had never finished.


    Do you do a disservice to the other stories if you're writing too many? Is there even anything such as "too many"?

    Definately. I used to update my epics once every two weeks (alternating weeks between the two) but then, like I said, I between challenges and other things the updated became infrequent, and "thrown together" just to post an update.

    I won't even start posting my third epic until I finishe the other two later this summer...
  22. unknown_shore Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2005
    star 1
    How much is too much?
    I'm working on just one fanfic right now, and another full-length orignal work, and...I am going to have to ditch one for the other pretty soon. For me, I can write viggies (not good ones, mind you) or short chapters in different universes/eras fairly easily, but something about a full-scale story scares all the multitasking ability out of me.

    How many stories do you try to tackle at once?
    I think I was able to juggle three at once at one time...and that wasn't for very long. My big problem -- and this might be just me -- is that if I try to write things in completely different universes (say, a SW fanfic and a World War II story) then certain elements (things characters say, how they act, sometimes even direct description) might start...crossing over. And look, you really shouldn't have a lightsaber on a sub (and I haven't gone THAT far, but the imagery's pretty funny).

    Do you do a disservice to the other stories if you're writing too many? Is there even anything such as "too many"?
    When I get embroiled in one story I tend to focus on it exclusively and kind of ignore the other stuff I've got on the table. It's not that I mean to; I just get very involved in it, be it fic or otherwise, and while I hate the phrase "that's not fair" it's really not.

    It's probably some sort of concentration thing.

    Or laziness.

    :)
  23. leiamoody Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2005
    star 4
    AKA "dropping hints for the sequel," at least in my case. :p

    But I digress (like always)...

    How much is too much?
    For me, it literally depends on how I feel. I can do one chapter a week on a larger fic, then toss out a couple of vigs if I'm feeling pretty confident and have a certain amount of energy. But other weeks, it's a struggle to complete one chapter. It's tough being depressed sometimes, but you have to work with it.

    How many stories do you try to tackle at once?
    Again, it all depends on how I feel. Ideally, I'd like to tackle two chapters from two different larger fics, and maybe pop out one vig a week. I could get more accomplished that way, and maintain a better presence as a writer.

    In reality, though, I usually only can tackle one or two small things at a time.

    Do you have an upper limit? Do you do a disservice to the other stories if you're writing too many?
    I wouldn't be doing a disservice if the stories I'm working on are taking place within my AU GFFA. One way or another, they all relate to each other. But if I were to suddenly get the notion to do an EU fic, that would definitely be doing a disservice to any of the AU stories I'm working on. Because one would be canon, the others are not. I'm not flexible enough to jump back and forth between disparate ideas and plots. So that means some ideas never get turned into fics.

    Is there even anything such as "too many"?
    God, of course. You can do too much of anything. Especially trying to write too many stories at once. You overtax the creative impulse, the ideas, and yourself. That does no good.
  24. ___Sithspawn___ Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2004
    star 3
    *sneaks into board*

    How much is too much?

    For me, it's when I can no longer concentrate on any one of them - I can only split my focus so many times before it's complely obliterated. I prefer to take it one at the time; to focus on the task at hand.

    How many stories do you try to tackle at once?

    I'm not one of those people whose stories seem to come off a conveyor belt; I'm a little slower. I generally work on one WIP (mine are usually short stories, I guess I'm not brave enough to attempt an epic) but periodically get distracted by vignettes, which is perfectly fine with me.

    Do you do a disservice to the other stories if you're writing too many?

    More to my readers than to my stories - when I am writing more, I divide my attention and thus update slower. If I have more than one WIP (that only happened once), I get inspired for one and the other gets a little neglected.
  25. Mirax_Corran Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2005
    star 4
    I'm such an inconsistent writer that even one WIP can be too much. I have a long history of months without the ability to write squat (that's usually when research papers get assigned :p ), of letting bunnies die, and the like. So I am often working on several fics at the same time, but I try not to have more than one living multi-part bunny posted.

    Too much is ... well, I've not really experience too much ... but I would say that it's when the number of fics you're writing starts to overwhelm you and take control.

    Good lord, stories at one? I have about four WIPs saved on my computer. But WIPs that I post, I really try to only have one going - and that one usually dies, so I'm trying to have like half of this new one written before I post it at all.
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