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Writing Web Serials

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by BTT, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. BTT

    BTT Third Year ~ Prestige ~

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    In recent years, web serials have become more and more popular. I'm mostly thinking of stuff on royalroad, examples of which are He Who Fights With Monsters, Everybody Loves Large Chests, or xianxia things (see wuxiaworld and the smattering of things recommended on DLP already). Even Worm/Pact/Ward and whatnot are web serials.

    Leaving aside specific examples, though, I think there's an interesting discussion to be had about what the genre's conventions are, how pacing and story structure and updating pace change, and how to break into the business. Recs go into their own threads, though.

    To start us off, I think one of the important things is you can't go back and rewrite bits that end up not working when you take the story in a different direction. Anything you put online will remain online. Does that change the way you'd write?
     
  2. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    I think one point is the breakneck speed with which you have to write to maintain the update pace. 1-2k words doesn't sound much in a day, but it absolutely is over months or years. And being consistent with that pace is critical and difficult. I think that'd wreak merry hell on someone who's a planner.
     
  3. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Moderator DLP Supporter

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    It doesn't really change how I'd write in general I give something a brief review and then post it. The type off person it takes to write that kind of content on a daily basis though is pretty admirable and not something I can maintain.
     
  4. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    The pace would be an absolute killer. I'm generally only an arc or two ahead of what I'm writing, but the sheer pace would prevent the better ideas having time to properly percolate. If I were to attempt a web serial, I'd have to have the whole thing plotted and planned ahead of time.
     
  5. TMD

    TMD Professor DLP Supporter

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    You'd have to have a significant buffer written in advance, with the rest of the story already plotted and planned. There's just no way it's possible to consistently maintain that pace of output, with rigorous consistency for that long of a period. Life will undoubtedly throw shit in your way, you'll get stuck at certain parts etc. iirc, Wildbow had written 7 arcs of Worm before he posted the first chapter.
     
  6. BTT

    BTT Third Year ~ Prestige ~

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    Yeah. Reading xianxia there were occasionally notes like "the original author hurried to the hospital for his son's birth right after posting this", and honestly, I could never match that level of commitment. I've put my pen down just because I wasn't feeling it that day.

    Anyway, another benefit of prewriting: you get to offer "bonus" chapters in advance to your Patreon supporters. No extra effort on your part, since you're ahead anyway, but you give people an incentive to support you financially.
     
  7. Lamora

    Lamora Definitely Not Batman ~ Prestige ~

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    I mean, web novels have definitely gotten more popular (I follow Practical Guide to Evil religiously myself), but the format really hurts some of them.

    If you're not writing a story specifically built to benefit from a cliffhanger every 6-8k words, your shit is going to drag almost inevitably.
     
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