Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#1
I'm not somebody who's intending on turning writing into a carrier, but there is this one single concept I've wanted to turn into a story for a long time. I've finally decided to do it and am currently in the process of creating lore/characters and basic plot overview. A "mini-version" of the actual full thing if you will so that I will know exactly where to go/what to write once I actually start writing the real full thing. However I have a few questions as I'm completely new to novel writing:

1. I hear this place is home to lots of sci-fi. Does this place specialize in that specifically or is this more of a general novel reading/writing site?

2. Is this a good place to share design documents/notes for feedback? I hear it's common for people to request feedback for stories/drafts for stories, but I'm talking about the actual design notes. Descriptions/list of lore, character blueprints, general overview of story arcs/chapters etc but not actual written chapters/stories.

3. If the answer to number 2 is yes, would it be best to send this stuff over to individual people via some kind of messaging? This may sound paranoid but I fear posting everything online might lead to people stealing story concepts.

4. Do people like stories being released all at once or one chapter at a time?

5. What is considered too long or too short for a story? The idea is to make a book length story but at the same time I don't want to drag it out with filler. I have certain concepts I want to explore but I don't want to water it down with unneeded story padding.

It would be very nice if you could help me understand the design process better :)

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#2
1. This site is actually home to mostly LitRPG, Isekai, and portal stories which are the most popular stories, but sci-fi also has a big foot in this website. It's an amalgamation! 

2 &3. This site is good for getting feedback for actual stories and drafts. Most stories posted on here are later polished and published. I have seen some stories posted where they have a couple of chapters dedicated to lore, characters, and world-building though! You could post a request for feedback on your concepts and ideas and ask that they PM you if interested!

4. People tend to prefer large releases and longer stories from what I've seen but authors can get more exposure by posting a chapter every couple of hours or at least every day.

5. There are books on here that are over a thousand pages long, but there are also books on here that are only ten pages long. I have seen success on both ends of the spectrum. Story length doesn't matter as long as you get the story you want to tell across! But for popularity and trends, longer stories seem to be the go to here.

Hope I answered all of your questions and welcome on board!

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#3
Thanks for your reply! And yea I'll be sure to ask for feedback once the first few chapters are done. Currently the idea is breaking the story up into 3 different acts containing 3 chapters each (except for the second act which will have 5, since that is where most of the plot's action will take place). Since people prefer larger releases I guess releasing the story 1 act at a time may make more sense than 1 chapter at a time?

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#4
1.- As it was mentioned before, it focuses on LitRPG as a general genre, but u'll notice that most of those novels are either fantasy related or sci-fi. I think most are fantasy or a fantasy sub-genre. But there's a big number of novels with a sci-fi focus.

2 and 3.- I'm ambivalent on sharing certain knowledge right off the bat. Usually is best to find someone interested you could talk to and chat with that person in private. The forum works for general stuff I would say, and you can always ask ppl to review your stuff, not just content wise, but also the writings that you do.

4.- Personally, I think the best approach is to make yourself an upload schedule and follow it to the letter. Don't upload every day, nor more than once a day. What's important is showing consistency. Any number of uploads between 2 to 5 times a week is great I suggest.

5.- That really depends on ppls likes. I, for instance, don't like to read book length novels. Any novel that has a cover or title that says something like "Book 1" or "something something series" and the name of the author and everything is a turn off. I love this site because of its amazingly long web novels, which is exactly what you don't wanna do.

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#5

White Wrote: 4.- Personally, I think the best approach is to make yourself an upload schedule and follow it to the letter. Don't upload every day, nor more than once a day. What's important is showing consistency. Any number of uploads between 2 to 5 times a week is great I suggest.



White Wrote: 5.- That really depends on ppls likes. I, for instance, don't like to read book length novels. Any novel that has a cover or title that says something like "Book 1" or "something something series" and the name of the author and everything is a turn off. I love this site because of its amazingly long web novels, which is exactly what you don't wanna do.


4. In that case I think I would be better off releasing the entire novel as a single release. I'm busy with other things so I doubt I would be able to maintain strict consistency in regards to releases. I still hope it's possible to request feedback on individual acts/chapters however.


5. I can see your point. Tbh I think the final length of the novel will just be whatever length is needed to tell the story I want to tell.

I just googled LitRPG. Good lord I wasn't even aware this was a thing. I just came here because somebody on reddit suggested it was a good place to release sci-fi content. Does this mean my story would be completely out of place? Keep it in mind it has nothing to do with RPGs. In fact until now I wasn't even aware "LitRPG" was even a thing. If this site isn't well suited for general purpose sci-fi then perhaps it's not the right place?

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#6
Hello fellow sci-fi author. I am currently writing a sci-fi (space fantasy, to be more exact) novel.

While fantasy, litrpg and isekai stories tend to have an easier time attracting readers, there have been more than a few successful sci fi stories on the site. You may have a somewhat harder time attracting readers, but success is possible. So do not give up. Write, post chapters, promote your story and eventually readers will come.

I would recommend stacking up a few chapters, so that you may post one per day for three or four days. This will allow you to get maximum exposure. From there on, you can either maintain that routine (easier if you have already written the chapters ahead of time) or slow down (personally I update once every week, which gets me less views but allows me to maintain my sanity).

It should also be noted that most people do not read a story until it has at least 20-25 chapters, so do not expect instant success.

Also, releasing all your novel at one day is a sure way to ensure very, very limited exposure as it will be on 'latest updates' for a few hours and then no one will notice it again. It is best if you update one chapter per day/x numbers of days/week (depends on your personality and schedule).

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#7
1. A big number of stories have sci fi tags, but many have litrpg/cultivation/dungeon core plot structures. A lot also have the isekai premise.

2. Until your story interests somebody enough to become invested you can try that in discord, at least as far as design notes go.

3. Comments or discord yet again.

4. It's better to post a couple of times per week/weekly for a month until you get 25 rating stars and a cover, then post daily for another month. That might land you into trending.

5. As long, or as short as you want. But when you start a new work, many people might refuse to move over.

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#8

splattenburgers Wrote: 4. In that case I think I would be better off releasing the entire novel as a single release. I'm busy with other things so I doubt I would be able to maintain strict consistency in regards to releases. I still hope it's possible to request feedback on individual acts/chapters however.

I just googled LitRPG. Good lord I wasn't even aware this was a thing. I just came here because somebody on reddit suggested it was a good place to release sci-fi content. Does this mean my story would be completely out of place? Keep it in mind it has nothing to do with RPGs. In fact until now I wasn't even aware "LitRPG" was even a thing. If this site isn't well suited for general purpose sci-fi then perhaps it's not the right place?

First, do not release your entire book all at once. You'll be sabotaging yourself. The site has an easy to use release scheduler built into the chapter uploads, so all you have to do is figure out your schedule and apply the correct date to each chapter as you upload them.


Second, you'll be fine. Of the five best-rated stories on the site, four of them aren't LitRPGs. LitRPG is an easy way to get a moderate amount of views, but the market for them is so saturated that it's extremely difficult to get past that.

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#9

Zurai Wrote: Second, you'll be fine. Of the five best-rated stories on the site, four of them aren't LitRPGs. LitRPG is an easy way to get a moderate amount of views, but the market for them is so saturated that it's extremely difficult to get past that.


Oh, ok. Yea that's cool I guess. I suppose that means there might be a place for my story here after all.

How does this forum compare to Wattpad? I briefly checked that place out but I don't really like the interface or the setup of the place. I like this forum's setup much more. Still I doubt there is any harm in posting the story on both places.

I think my plan will be to ask for feedback for individual chapters/acts, but not actually start releasing finished content until the entire story is done, but only one chapter at a time. That way I can get noticed more easily by posting more often but still have the time needed to actually work on the story. I should point out that I'm also a recreational CG artist and indie dev so I also have lots of other hobbies/stuff going on. I don't want to tie myself to specific deadlines so I think this would work best.

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#10

splattenburger Wrote: Oh, ok. Yea that's cool I guess. I suppose that means there might be a place for my story here after all.

How does this forum compare to Wattpad? I briefly checked that place out but I don't really like the interface or the setup of the place. I like this forum's setup much more. Still I doubt there is any harm in posting the story on both places.

I think my plan will be to ask for feedback for individual chapters/acts, but not actually start releasing finished content until the entire story is done, but only one chapter at a time. That way I can get noticed more easily by posting more often but still have the time needed to actually work on the story. I should point out that I'm also a recreational CG artist and indie dev so I also have lots of other hobbies/stuff going on. I don't want to tie myself to specific deadlines so I think this would work best.

Oh god. I'm not going to give hate to Wattpad, because that's uncool. But I can tell you the following. The website's content is much more general than this one, however, there's so much of everything and whatever piece of writing that you post, if it's not extremely eye catching and cliched, the chances are that it goes unnoticed. In addition, I'm fairly confident in saying that the age group of most users is lower, so you can expect very few mature readers. There's also the quality of the novels you'll find in such place, which is pretty rough to be honest. And, if the novels are of bad quality, you can expect comments and reviews to be of similar fashion. From my point of view, you go to wattpad when you want to consume cliched novels on a large scale or you have some sort of guilty pleasure by reading some really weird fan fictions, like a boys love story between Harry Potter and Harry Styles named "Oh my Harry".


About the specific deadlines thing and stuff. You could try chopping up your chapters into smaller ones, maybe it will buy you more time. Since your book doesn't seem to be the kind of book like it will have many chapters and it would fall within the "short" category in contrast with other novels, maybe you don't have to force yourself to post too many chapters every week. That would work for most webnovels and it could easily bring a great number of readers, but I really doubt that's something you can do, your novel just doesn't fit the bill so... don't do it. Post whenever you want or post once a week or every two weeks and that's it. If you have, indeed, finished your book, there are other ways in which you can make a name for it within the community.  

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#11
There's a place for every story, only some get lots of followers and others not so many. Sci-fi is good, I put my story, (publishing it now) on here, picked up a few readers (a handful or so) which is nice. Maybe I should have asked for comments, but I'm happy people are reading it. Putting chapters up in parts (because they are all in three parts). I like bite sized bits, quick and easy to read. Putting up the parts regularly, people don't want to wait forever to read the story.

Establishing the world, well it's not a game, it's a book, the world gets described as you read it. Fill in any blanks with your own imagination. For me that's what stories are. I don't think you need to imagine every detail of where the story takes place and every aspect of the world. It's about a good story with interesting characters and plot. It's about wanting to discover what happens next, why things happened, and what the f.ck is going on.

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#12

White Wrote:
splattenburger Wrote: Oh, ok. Yea that's cool I guess. I suppose that means there might be a place for my story here after all.

How does this forum compare to Wattpad? I briefly checked that place out but I don't really like the interface or the setup of the place. I like this forum's setup much more. Still I doubt there is any harm in posting the story on both places.

I think my plan will be to ask for feedback for individual chapters/acts, but not actually start releasing finished content until the entire story is done, but only one chapter at a time. That way I can get noticed more easily by posting more often but still have the time needed to actually work on the story. I should point out that I'm also a recreational CG artist and indie dev so I also have lots of other hobbies/stuff going on. I don't want to tie myself to specific deadlines so I think this would work best.

Since your book doesn't seem to be the kind of book like it will have many chapters and it would fall within the "short" category in contrast with other novels

Eh, I've been writing it for barely a week and I'm already at 4 chapters and 11k words. This despite having barely finished the first act. Tbh it's very possible it will actually exceed the typical 50k words that I believe is the average for novels. In fact I've got so many ideas for this universe I might even need to make a sequel or two to fit them all.

Re: I'm writing my first sci-fi novel, have some questions...

#13
The site focuses on Fantasy, Largely Web novels and LitRPG. These tend to attract the most interest followed by Science fiction, specifically Space opera. Work is generally posted over time.  Top  of the screen see "support" under that pull-down menu cllick on "FAQ" .  Most of your questions are answered there.  This is basically a display site, not a writers circle. Some posters will receive notations to their posted chap work Perhaps spelling, general appreciations, etc.

Wattpad. Well its also a display centered site,  However, it is very focused on romance., as you can clearly tell from the works on display. Fantasy and Sci Fi have to work very hard, about three to four times as hard, to gain any traction at all with the largely young female romance readers there. However they also have a healthy fan fic  community and quite a large LGBT community.  There rating system is a very complex, convoluted, and secretive weighting system  which they do not explain, and there statistics component is largely broken, and has been for several years. They have some sponsored writing contests, and do a few (no money involved) ones of their own, including an annual contest for works of the year.  They also suggest, as here, piecemeal and consistent posting of work. Preferably tiny 1 to 1.5 k Chapters., is wattpads suggestion.
They make, for the PC based site, no easy way to download your own work, which must be done  "part" by part. by cut and paste.

SF, F, do far better here. before a much more motivated and focused audience.

I was not sure what you meant in your request or statement about editing.  You can edit anything you post up at will on either site. Neither site has a means to privately "preview" for editing suggestions prior to posting as such. If you want to have your work critiqued privately prior to posting it, you will have to make some independent arrangement with someone, or use a critique site, like critters.com that is set up particularly to supply that service. It is usually recommended that part by part posters "write ahead" so they have materials prepared for later posts. 

The "average commercial Novel" runs from about 65 to 75K .  50 K is considered the minimum length for any work to be considered a novel. Write a book in a month sites usually specify a 50k minimum. About 35k to 50k is considered a novella, 18 to 30k a novelette, less, a short story. Below 1000 words, a flash fiction.