Re: Things you wished you knew before posting your first chapter?

#1
As a noob and pre-postee of fiction, I am curious if there is anything that you wish you had known *before* you posted your first chapter. Did importing from a particular piece of software throw your formatting out? Are tables more effort than they are worth? Did the wait between submission and posting take longer than you had imagined? Any issues with the colours or fonts you used?

This is an intentionally loose question. As someone with zero experience and the intention to begin posting soon, it would be useful to know. I'm also super curious to just hear about your experiences of posting your fiction for the first time!

Re: Things you wished you knew before posting your first chapter?

#2
I wish I knew what a massive time commitment it was just posting the chapters, not even the writing and editing parts. Just the whole general feel around promoting your work and trying to get eyeballs on your stories is an exhausting endeavor and becomes increasingly difficult the less appealing your work is to the specific popular niches. If I knew how long I'd have to go just to get a few readers, I think I would have done a whole lot more prep on the marketing side of things.

Re: Things you wished you knew before posting your first chapter?

#3
That is really interesting to hear, particularly as marketing has been almost the last thing on my mind right now. Mostly I've been focused on getting the story down with a sufficient backlog of chapters, and some editing. I should probably start thinking about this as some reads would be nice!

Also, thank you for posting. I was hoping you might respond as you have offered insightful and constructive comments on many of the posts I have read. Also, the bits of your work that I have read are pretty damn cool!

Re: Things you wished you knew before posting your first chapter?

#5
The first novel (White Hawk) was mostly already written before I discovered the site, so I loaded a huge chunk of it in the first few weeks that I started posting the chapters.
I had not done my homework and did not know - 1) serials spread over several months, if not years, get a better fraction of the attention, 2) web novel formatted paragraphs are a different kind of animal than print formatted, think James Patterson, 3) fantasy is defined a bit differently than in literary tradition due to the heavy influence of RPGs and Asian culture.

Re: Things you wished you knew before posting your first chapter?

#7
Since you mentioned software and formatting, copying from Scrivener really threw my formatting out. So now I have to use the 'export' function and copy from that document. I wish I'd known that.
Also, the wait before my first chapter was accepted was a bit longer than I'd thought, but within the 48 hours limit they gave.
Aside from that, you should probably try to make sure your first few chapters have a good length, not too long or short (mine probably were too short), and post them relatively quickly so you get enough views.

Re: Things you wished you knew before posting your first chapter?

#9
It was hard for me to start posting the chapters, so at some point I just threw myself in, practically unprepared. I need to work very hard now to create a buffer of at least three chapters - Since my schedule is every three days that's a week and a half prepared. I didn't have a cover ready and if I'd known how much trouble that can be, I would have done something about it sooner.

My biggest underestimation was how much pressure I'd feel when people told me they enjoyed what I wrote. It's a constant struggle with myself, 'is this good enough, is this the best I can do'. I thought it'd just give me extra energy, and it does, but I do feel the pressure, even if I put it there myself. My first six chapters are both some of my best writing and some of the worst and I constantly want to go back and correct the flaws - but first I need to get the next chapters ready...

Re: Things you wished you knew before posting your first chapter?

#10

Cobblehoof Wrote: Thank you all for your input. This is all really useful stuff. 

Tejoka - as a Scrivener user that is REALLY worth knowing! Thank you!



Scrivener, at least Scrivener 3, has a weird copypaste error where it doesn't format correctly on the web. What I do is I copy the chapter, ctrl+shift+v pate it into Open Office (and choose Formatted Text [RTF]). Then I can paste it directly into RR with no issues. However, because I write my stuff in Courier New and I feel like few readers will appreciate that, I also have to Clear Formatting on RR to reset the font. That also gets rid of italics and bolds, though, so I usually forget to fix the book/movie titles :( The font issue doesn't carry over into other sites I have tried, such as Wordpress, though.

Re: Things you wished you knew before posting your first chapter?

#11
Two big things;

1.) As soon as you hit that submit button on the first submission or when releasing a chapter, there's no turning back. That means that if you glanced over some mistakes or you completely messed up your formatting and you don't notice it right away, a whole lot of people are gonna see those mistakes without you even realizing it. This was especially fun when I realized a week in that I made the same mistake Olviddha did in regards to the formatting. Fairly certain that cost me a few readers early on...

2.) Just how different the whole writing process feels. Before I put my work out here I had plenty of time to fix things up in the story or even not work on it for a while if I wasn't in the mood for writing. Now that I'm releasing three chapters a week that's just simply not possible, and it certainly makes release days a bit more stressful when I need to fix plotholes that I end up finding at the last minute.

So yeah, my advice to you is to prepare yourself for the submission just as much as you prepare your fiction. It's going to be a big commitment, but if you can handle it then it's definitely worth it!