Re: Some Schedule Questions

#1
Heya everyone!

I've been writing on here for about a year now and I've got to 40-ish chapters totaling somewhere around 200k words that I am pretty proud of.

My usual schedule is to write 1k-2k words a day (I'm a university students so this is variable based on my schedule) and I try to release a chapter of 4-8k words a week. A lot of it gets lost in the editing process because, well, it can't all be good, right?

Anyway, here's my question for you lovely people: Is this a reasonable schedule? I'm not getting a huge amount of attention, and I know that is partially because my genre isn't the most popular, but am I just not producing enough content? Is my content just shit? I don't know, but I'm getting a little disheartened after a year.

Any advice would be most welcome!

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#2
That's really hard to say. I honestly steer clear of most novels that release only once a week. It has nothing to do with quality. I'm just impatient. I'm reading a dozen or so novels on here at any 1 time. If I have to wait a week before the next chapter comes out I've already forgotten what was going on in the previous chapter, and I think a lot of readers are like me. I did a word count on some of your earliest chapters and they were around 2000. I did another word count on your later chapters and a couple were almost 9000. If you were able to split that chapter into 3 separate ones or even if you weren't able to make them separate chapters just a chapter 1A and 1B, but still split so you have a release every 2 or 3 days as opposed to 1 release a week I think that would help some. It doesn't matter whether you're writing is the best or the worst if people don't want to take the chance on it.

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#3
4-8k a week seems reasonable. The system tends towards giving an advantage to more frequent, but smaller updates, but we've seen recent cases like Truthseeker, Peculiar Soul, and 12 Miles Deep bucking that trend and going for longer chapters, longer update times with good results.

I'd day the primary thing holding you back is your first chapter not being engaging. I opened it to have a look and saw a wall of text immediately which made me leave pretty fast. 

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#5


HaltWrite Wrote: I'd day the primary thing holding you back is your first chapter not being engaging. I opened it to have a look and saw a wall of text immediately which made me leave pretty fast.



Okay, that is helpful. So, to fix that, what do you recommend? Is it just a matter of splitting things into smaller paragraphs or more about my writing style needing to change?

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#6

Ralen Wrote: If you were able to split that chapter into 3 separate ones or even if you weren't able to make them separate chapters just a chapter 1A and 1B, but still split so you have a release every 2 or 3 days as opposed to 1 release a week I think that would help some. It doesn't matter whether you're writing is the best or the worst if people don't want to take the chance on it.

This is helpful to know, thank you! I started writing longer chapters because one of my followers preferred them, but I maybe should not have assumed that they were the norm for this site. Do you think cutting chapters into smaller chunks messes with the overall flow? That is something I worry about, but if it isn't an issue, maybe I should just ignore that instinct.

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#7

Dysfunctional_Lunchbox Wrote:
HaltWrite Wrote: I'd day the primary thing holding you back is your first chapter not being engaging. I opened it to have a look and saw a wall of text immediately which made me leave pretty fast.



Okay, that is helpful. So, to fix that, what do you recommend? Is it just a matter of splitting things into smaller paragraphs or more about my writing style needing to change?

More spaces is a must, I think chapter 1 ( not prologue) is a good example of needing more spacing out. In general I'd say the opening doesnt hook very well (which is key, because you will lose most of your audience in the first one or two chapters so you really have to nail these things).


I can't pin down why it didn't hook me though. I think it's just too many characters getting a view point makes it hard to build buy in to any one characters stakes. 

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#8

HaltWrite Wrote: More spaces is a must, I think chapter 1 ( not prologue) is a good example of needing more spacing out. In general I'd say the opening doesnt hook very well (which is key, because you will lose most of your audience in the first one or two chapters so you really have to nail these things).


I can't pin down why it didn't hook me though. I think it's just too many characters getting a view point makes it hard to build buy in to any one characters stakes.

Okay, that is interesting. I have a few questions, by spacing do you just mean breaking up the paragraphs? Physical spacing like extra spaces between paragraphs? Sorry to harp on that, but its something I haven't thought of before so I want to get it right.


I'm not sure what to do about the characters thing. I want a story with a large cast, but maybe there is a way that I can introduce them better so that you would feel more attached?

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#9
It sounds like your writing rate is pretty quick, assuming you aren't trying too hard.
At my best times, I can write 8k words in a day, and I try to get a chapter's worth (2k) done a day. I'm also a college student, though, so my schedule's also fairly inconsistent, hence the 2k a day(I also have work atop that, and I need to rewrite my stories all the time, so I couldn't possibly keep up 8k a day on a consistent basis)
Still, if you pump one out a week, and haven't gone on hiatus recently, people should probably be interested.
However, from the sound of it your chapters are long, which might explain your low rates, since most of your viewers come from latest updates.
Also, your story's view count isn't bad, for the number of chapters. You can look at my stories for reference, as their view counts are similar to yours.

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#10
I scrolled through a few of your chapters just to get an idea of the style, and I can tell on first glance that even your later chapters have the same...issue?
You have a lot of long paragraphs, is the issue. That isn't a sign of bad writing or anything, of course, but it isn't favorable on a web novel site. Readers just find it a little intimidating and unengaging, so that could be a reason. Though, from my experience, it probably doesn't affect the viewcount too much.

Someone else noted this, so I'll elaborate on how to learn to fix it up. You basically want a paragraph break whenever switching focus between things. There are exceptions, of course, but generally, it helps readers follow the story more and stay engaged.
If you want a good example of how to make the paragraphs so absurdly large you start wondering if you're looking at an essay, look no further than a scroll through my first story- Commonplace Exceptions.

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#11

Dysfunctional_Lunchbox Wrote: Do you think cutting chapters into smaller chunks messes with the overall flow? That is something I worry about, but if it isn't an issue, maybe I should just ignore that instinct.

There is a fine balance when doing it. I've seen some authors successfully do it and others not so much. Even if it's not a natural conclusion to the entire chapter it still needs to be a "soft" conclusion if you're splitting the chapter. I can't really explain that it very well, but you mainly don't want it to be that jarring whenever you put a chapter on hold to release the next half in a couple of days.

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#12

Sleepingdragoon Wrote: Someone else noted this, so I'll elaborate on how to learn to fix it up. You basically want a paragraph break whenever switching focus between things. There are exceptions, of course, but generally, it helps readers follow the story more and stay engaged.
If you want a good example of how to make the paragraphs so absurdly large you start wondering if you're looking at an essay, look no further than a scroll through my first story- Commonplace Exceptions.

Thank you, this is really helpful. To be honest, all my writing experience is with essays, so that's an unfortunate connection... I guess I just don't think of it while writing or it feels weird to space things out like that, but I can and will work on it. Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it.

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#14
Your writing is at a pretty good level, here's some feedback on your Prologue and Chapters 1 and 2. I wasn't really hooked, and I had more fun reading the Prologue than Chapter 1. (Which is really rare! Oftentimes Prologues are boring and skippable, but Chapter 1 really polished and fun.) Chapter 2 was a bit better, but not by much, it was 90% a man walking around a sea town, describing what he's seeing and feeling. It's... okay, I guess, but underwhelming. 

Also your cover is really awesome, and the quality of writing, of the prose, is good! 

Prologue: "He still took blood though, gratefully, hungrily." not sure what "taking blood" means, but I'm imagining him being a vampire, drinking someone's blood, at this moment. Clashes strongly with the next sentence. 

Then we get 7 full paragraph of "he walked to the wharf". For every sentence of an action, of something happening, there are 3 sentences of his habits, what had happened before, the perils of being a beggar, the rumors, etc. I didn't find much of it interesting, until we reached the crowd. Especially not the part about different Squares or streets or whatnot. 

And then... there's 4 paragraphs of not a single thing happening. Just descriptions?

Also these "meetings" sound really weird if nobody ever speaks. They just stand around for hours, staring at her, and then she leaves? I get that she's mesmerizing, godly, but it's still odd. 

The part where she invites him up, then kills him, or turns him into a ghoul or whatever is good. But a bit too abstract/inconclusive to be satisfying. "He let out a breath." doesn't mean anything. Is his soul leaving him?

So, it's a cliffhanger, and since this is the Prologue, we know it will likely never get answered. We will never revisit this POV. So, it's a 4/5 ending. Pretty cool but also slightly annoying because of being too vague. It cuts off exactly at the highest point of the chapter, and poof, that's all folks. 

 Chapter 1: Yes, I agree paragraphs 1 or 2 need some line-breaks in them, at first glance they're off-putting to even start reading. Walls of text.

"He squinted into the gloom with eyes only kept somewhat dry by the broad brimmed hat hardly keeping on his head, muttering a soft curse as he made out the indistinct shapes that seemed to be flowing towards him in the dim light provided by a sickle of a moon." Sentences like this, with so many compound clausesare taxing to read, I think you're overusing them. Is there a single sentence in the first paragraph that is under 50 words long?? Sure doesn't feel like there is. Usually fantasy has an average sentence length of around (or even well below!) 15, and there's a good reason for that. 

You even have monsters like this lying around: "Fumbling with the remaining buttons did little to help but he clawed at them anyway in a feeble attempt to tear off the garment before it pulled him to the silt covered canal bed, he had heard tell of the creatures that lived there, lizards with jaws big enough to take a man’s leg and fish without scales that would just as soon eat a wayward child as the other fish, though he did not believe half the stories he had heard, half was still enough to send chills to his very bones." This is so tough to read, the sentence just never ends. Also it's a bit too much information to be sharing, from a POV that's currently panicking and struggling to stay afloat. 

The first paragraph of Galier Caerest's POV has too many adverbs in a row, I feel, it's a bit immersion-breaking, and hard not to notice.

"precariously" -> too weird of a word to repeat so close together. 

“Oh not quite a boat no" -> missing a comma or two. This is common in other dialog later on, too. Or, sometimes we get commas when a period would be expected. 

A lot of the spoken lines sound quite clunky, and "lower quality" than the rest of the prose so far (which was great).

And to be frank, I was rolling my eyes by the time he was walking towards the two women ("is the first chapter really going to be about flirting and sex? There's no way, right?"), but that's exactly how that ended. It was a pretty disappointing POV. "Sitting at a tavern, drinking, then going upstairs with a woman." I didn't find it that interesting. The description of the sailor-themed tavern was likely the most memorable part.

Chapter 2: The interaction with the old man is good. But the next 10 paragraphs of walking towards the inn isn't that great. The warship description is a bit overdone too, wasn't super fun to read. Then, 4 paragraphs of standing up, lying down, sleeping, standing up again, ???. Really feels like filler/procrastination. The soulgem part was interesting, we found out what happened to the beggar! A part of it, at least. Highlight of the chapter, maybe. 

 And than even when we do FINALLY get to the tavern, after a 20 paragraph journey from the start of the chapter, what happens? A soft argument, couple of jabs traded, they make peace, and agree to go to a party together. Idk, it just feels lackluster. 

If I had to rate it at this point, it would likely be 4.0, maybe 4.5. But it's hard to say since I haven't read much. Though I'm pretty sure my final rating after reading everything wouldn't rise above 4.5, even if the story got more fun. It just flows oddly, strange pacing, idk. This is just my opinion, but I like more things happening, at some points I felt like skimming over paragraphs to see what happens next. Solid story, but not amazing.

Re: Some Schedule Questions

#15
On the spacing thing, a lot of readers of RR are reading on phones too. 

This is soomething you have to take into consideration when laying your sentences. Whenever i have a 5lines block i consider it to be a good point to leave some space. Not because the flow requires it, sometimes it breaks it a bit, but because it akes it easier to read on small screens, giving room to screen down without getting lost in sentences. 

It looks dumb but i think it matters.