Episodic Style Content

#1
Hi all. I'm new here and burgeoning with ideas (aren't we all). I have a couple pieces I've been kicking around that I think would make for a good long format web novel like the ones I see on here. However, I've got a couple others I'd like to either flesh out more or start fresh with. These newer ideas are come from a background of being a (in my opinion) sword and sorcery buff. I love older fiction that was featured in old fanzines. I was wondering if anyone thought that a more episodic style work could do well here? I envision short adventure stories that last from 4 to 10 chapters long (assuming a roughly 2000 word chapter). It would all be under a single piece. Think of it like, if you had 100 chapters, it wound up being 8 to 12 short, complete adventures between all those chapters. Does this make any sense? Do you think it could work well? Or is the general consensus a writer on this website should have a long format story? I haven't really seen anything that is similar to the sword and sorcery, monster of the week style short adventures here, but I also haven't delved too deep. Thanks for any replies.

Re: Episodic Style Content

#3

PuffBunny Wrote: Think of it like, if you had 100 chapters, it wound up being 8 to 12 short, complete adventures between all those chapters. Does this make any sense? Do you think it could work well?


If you're talking multiple story arcs featuring the same characters, it works fine. Other web novels already use the arc/episode format to organize their series. It gives you distinct spots to start and end a storyline, and allows you to have a graceful exit if you decide you don't want to continue. You mention you haven't seen this format, so as an example, I'd suggest taking a look at Jim Zoeteway's Legion of Nothing.

However, if you're talking about completely distinct stories with separate characters, you'll have less luck with that. Some people will read collections of short stories, but ... you draw new readers in with the first story, and then if they don't like the characters in the second story, you'll lose them. It doesn't hurt to try, but it'll be harder to build a reader base.

Re: Episodic Style Content

#5
Yeah, if it's a collection of short stories, that usually doesn't do well in the webnovel world. But you already said you're not going to do that. I suppose it's like a per mission thing with 4-10 chapters per mission or quest? That's already how the popular webnovels are set up so you're good to go. Like for litrpg, let's say 4-10 chapters to defeat this boss or get a new class, etc. Cultivation can be 10 chapters to break through next level or something. I have to emphasize though that episodic does very well in webnovels so long as it's the same MC and it's linear.    

Re: Episodic Style Content

#6
The webnovel format definitely favors long form story telling. I wrote an episode story where each chapter is its own standalone tale, but it's part of a larger series that I'm working on. And the old school superhero setting sort of fits with the episodic content.

I think, ultimately, the longer serialized content works best because if keeps readers from having a "jumping off point".

Re: Episodic Style Content

#7
I think longer form web novels gain a bit more traction here for the "just-one-more-chapter" factor.

If its the same protagonist(s), you can write a longer form web novel with indistinct story arcs that mirror your episodic formats. You can even work this to your advantage by teasing the next arc/episode at the conclusion of another.

Of course, you don't have to use a longer web novel format. I'm writing a web novella to get my feet wet with writing. If that's your only goal, write however feels natural.