Re: Saving chapters and publishing later, yes or no?

#1
Hello and Merry Christmas everybody!

With my exams behind me and Christmas holidays ahead, I've noticed that I suddenly have a lot of free time on my hands. This of course means I want to pick up writing again and start a new story. I already have a rough idea in my head already, but I feel it's going to be a lot of work perfecting the whole concept and writing it will be very time consuming. That's why I feel like having an upload schedule might not be the best idea, but uploading chapters irregulary isn't really an option either. So I'm thinking about writing a ton of chapters beforehand, and releasing them once a week when I'm satisfied with the result. This does however mean that I won't be able to get feedback from readers, so I'm still a bit in doubt about it all. So my question is, does anyone have experience in storing chapters and publishing them later? What are the pros and cons, and do you have any tips? I would greatly appreciate hearing your opinions and/or any feedback on the matter.

Yours truly,
DexyBentai

Re: Saving chapters and publishing later, yes or no?

#3
And getting a proof reader, could that be a good enough replacement for the feedback of an audience? I can't really imagine myself changing a huge part of the story because my readers told me to do so, unless they bring up a really good alternative. Spelling checks could just be done by a proofreader or even just Grammarly, so I don't really see a downside yet. Or am I overlooking something?

Re: Saving chapters and publishing later, yes or no?

#4

DexyBentai Wrote: And getting a proof reader, could that be a good enough replacement for the feedback of an audience?

It's less about feedback and more about a different perspective. I get so caught up in my novels that I become blind to the little details. And this is where changing things becomes difficult.

For example, my story was about a caterpillar. But I became blind to the point that they are so small that when they fall, they don't get any damage. In my story, the caterpillar was hurt by the fall. It annoyed a few people, not most, but removing it would make the rest of the story spin out of control. 
In the end, it was my experience. Of course, it may not be the same for you.

Re: Saving chapters and publishing later, yes or no?

#5
I write as I go because I’ve realized that what I want now is (usually) never what I want later, and that what I want later (usually) is more concise than what I want now. If I stockpile chapters versus writing as I go, I tend to regret it because now it takes considerable editing to change things.

Weirdly enough, though, is when I write as I go, my ideas tend to flow better and evolve of what I’ve most recently written. It’s a weird complex of thinking for me tbh.

I have a secondary story in the works that I have stockpiled chapters for, but that’s only because I’m still waiting on my cover art to get finished before I submit it.

Re: Saving chapters and publishing later, yes or no?

#6
I'd say that depends on what kind of story you write and your writing process. 
If you are a 'hard outliner', then I'm not sure how much feedback while writing your story will actually help or just throw you off completely. 
I would never change my story just because my readers want me too, but it can be very helpful to be made aware of some mistakes you may have made before they become impossible to fix because you already build the rest of your story upon them.
So I agree with Ankur. It's more about a different perspective. 

At the moment I try to get a bit ahead of my uploading schedule. But I wouldn't really call that 'saving chapters' exactly. That one of my readers started to write and upload a story himself and we proofread each other's stuff, though, is very, very helpful.


I'm not a 'hard outliner' though. I don't have ironed out how exactly everything is supposed to happen down the line. I know what has to happen for plot reasons, but I mainly let my characters be themselves and see where it gets them if I have the luxury to do that while keeping to my outline. (Which I have to adjust constantly as a result. ^^)
I think George Martin called it the Architect vs. Gardener approach? Don't quote me on that though. :D

What the schedule mainly does for me, though, is keeping me motivated and writing.

I'd still like to be at least a couple of chapters ahead sometime soon. It simply gives a bit of breathing room and it's good for editing purposes when you can take a look at a chapter with a fresh look a few days or a week later. 

But there simply are stories that are structured very rigidly by their very nature. If you aim for a specific chapter number for example or a very specific number of characters. Stories which aren't set up to be written chapter by chapter but more as a whole. In those, it is probable to revise and rewrite multiple earlier parts throughout the writing process, simply to make it work 'just right'.

With those kinds of stories, I'm not sure if it is advisable to start uploading before you have finished at least one draft for the whole thing from start to finish. 

If you write more 'freeform' though, mainly relying on laying out hooks for subplots and grabbing a few of them down the line whenever needed, then feedback during the writing process seems very valuable to me. 
Doesn't mean you should let someone 'watch over your shoulder' while you type, of course. ^^ 
I tried that... it's very irritating. :D

Merry Christmas!

Re: Saving chapters and publishing later, yes or no?

#8

carebear90 Wrote: I'd say that depends on what kind of story you write and your writing process. 
If you are a 'hard outliner', then I'm not sure how much feedback while writing your story will actually help or just throw you off completely. 
I would never change my story just because my readers want me too, but it can be very helpful to be made aware of some mistakes you may have made before they become impossible to fix because you already build the rest of your story upon them.
So I agree with Ankur. It's more about a different perspective. 


This is me.  My story is already written before I start writing.  I do several stages of pre-writing that plan everything down to the beat.  Then my rough drafts are just elaborating my beat sheet, and adding in snippets of dialogue that I want to happen in a certain way.  Usually no tags and very little narration.  Just “Character does a thing.  This happens.  Other character is emotion.  Big sad” for a few thousand words.

Anything the internet sees is several edits later.  Even if I don’t post the beta draft, the reader is still getting something that’s had three or four passes.  Any major changes at that point would basically require the entire thing to be taken down, because I’d have to change what was already written to accommodate it.

Re: Saving chapters and publishing later, yes or no?

#9
OK, take this advice with a pinch of salt because although I've published three books, none of them is a novel and I'm yet to finish a novel to my satisfaction, but... I've learned a lot through my recent work and think I've hit upon an approach that works for me.  I don't know if it will work for you.

I've written my whole plot out, chapter by chapter, scene by scene, exactly as it comes to me, in outline form.  This gave me a whole novel in about 8000 words.  I've got the plot beats, the narrative arcs, the key characters, the important events and the resolution all covered.

Now I'm going back and turning that detailed outline into a novel, chapter by chapter.  As I complete a chapter, it goes up on RR on a weekly publishing schedule.  So once a chapter is published, it's "final" (I can fix typos and amend continuity errors, but otherwise it's fine) but while it's in my drafts, I can change stuff.  But the schedule is fixed.

So I've got a buffer, I've got deadlines and I've got pressure to keep ahead of both.  But I've also got all the notes, guidance and structure I need so I can just concentrate on, as it were, colouring in the story.

I work best with deadlines.  I work well under a little bit of pressure.  And I think the story I've written is interesting enough and well structured enough that I might, actually, finish it for once.

Three chapters are published.  Four more are scheduled and I've finished two more over Christmas that I'll be scheduling through to the end of January, getting me about one third on the way through a novel in under two months with no sense of losing momentum or enthusiasm.

Re: Saving chapters and publishing later, yes or no?

#10
If I want to change something, I'll change it. As I always say, the edit chapter feature is <3! Why would I do that? Literally every single one of my fictions right now is still an extremely rough draft, despite being up on the site. Hence why I have around 15 fictions up rn(12 on this account, 2 on an alt.). Even if someone else were to consider my works fleshed out and finished, I'm nowhere near done with even the first chapter. It isn't enough. I'm not sure I'll ever get to a point where I'm just...satisfied. So that also means I don't have to worry about a schedule, and I get feedback occasionally. Well, kinda. Okay, not really. Still. I always think that if you want to go and change something, you have every right to. Now, I get it. If you have tons of people following you or something, some of them might be upset. In the end it depends on whether you control yourself and your story, or you let others take the wheel. Sometimes you do need to do the second part, and there's literally no shame in it. You're in it to make others happy by listening to what they want to a certain extent. But if you're in it to please yourself, take control however you want. Anything you make is a rough draft if you say it is. If I make 300+ chapters of like 1m words each(ikik, exaggeration) and I don't like something from the start, I tend to split it. Originally most of my fictions took place in the same one, but I realized it wouldn't work. The way it's written, the presentation, everything. It changes. I mean, I think I'd be fine with writing the same story as a parallel to the branch at the beginning as a separate fiction. In the end, it's always up to you. I'll never stop fixing my stuff. Speaking of, I keep meaning to go back to chapter 1 of my first fiction and work on paragraph breaks, but I keep getting distracted.
Oh, and people tend to like trying to find and fix plot holes in stories, so sometimes it is a tad bit fun to throw tiny ones in, even if I feel it makes me seem stupid. Makes readers feel smart. And if they find it, they definitely are. So I don't mind that much. Of course, really really stupid plot holes just make people angry. But, say, you have a ton of science in your story. You purposely change something to be wrong on a more technical level. The people who actually care might have fun going through that. I mean, people break down movies literally frame by frame and rip them to shreds nowadays, so obviously some people enjoy it. The casual reader will miss it, the somewhat interested might read or watch something discussing the discrepancy, and the ones who really love being thorough will post said video or even an entire books worth of information on it. I mean, describing what should of happened, etc. Sometimes a well placed miswording can be seen as foreshadowing, but the opposite is also true. Uhh, it's hard to think of one off of the top of my head, but something like using a certain tense instead of the one people usually put. Yeah, sometimes that makes it blatently obvious what the hell is going on. But I have to say, while a lot are more of a pleasant feeling in my memories, when the part of the story that wraps everything together reveals they didn't phrase it wrong, sometimes you just want to go back and see just exactly what you were missing during your first read. Rereadability.
This got off track. Sorry. I'll attribute that to it being 11:58pm and having not slept much at all the past while.
Anyway, Have a good one.
:D