BSR Fic Release Date: As it comes or when it's done?

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 22:54
VIEWED: 8174
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Monday, May 26, 2008 3:15 PM


I've started outlining and writing the second story of my post BDM trilogy and I'm wondering if I should take a different approach this time. With Spinning Out I released each chapter as I completed them. Or better yet, when I was finished writing them. Even now when I go back and read them I find missing words and crappy punctuation.

Seeing as how I can only conclude a chapter around 3AM, I'm thinking it's better to compile the whole story and release them at even intervals (like every three days) after a rigorous editing process (which I may or may not be able to accomplish).

But another part of me wonders if I'll ever be able to complete a chapter without the perceived finality of posting it. On a couple chapters of Spinning Out, after posting, I immediately left a comment saying I'll edit it later because I wouldn't be able to rest until it was posted. During those nights I experienced a mood I can only describe as having a brain that was running the Indy 500 without any oil. It wanted to shutdown but the driver kept the accelorator pegged.

So fellow fanfic writers, what do you think?


Monday, May 26, 2008 5:47 PM


Hey there -

I know it is really hard to wait till the story is finished to post. But I’d encourage you to do so, for a number of reasons.

1. I find that when writing epics the characters occasionally make me take the story in a different direction than when I had originally intended, which often it requires details in previous chapters to be added or changed. For example, in my last fic, I first had imagined the murder for which Mal had been framed to be committed one way; but as they began investigating it, it had to happen quite another. I only realized upon rereading that I needed to fix a couple sentences in chapter 4 to make the plot work.

2. In addition, I find a lot of type o’s and plot holes when I read a story in hard copy, from start to finish. When I’m finished writing and fixing all the stuff my beta points out, I like to print the whole thing, read it through, read it out loud to my kids, and then have my husband read it. You would be shocked how many little things you can pick up that way; things that were missed even through multiple editing jobs by both myself and my beta. I feel like I owe it to my readers to turn out the best quality product I can, and that means delaying the posting a bit. But it’s worth it.

3. As a reader, it is really hard to remember one storyline from another when chapters are posted weeks apart. It causes the reader to have to go back and refresh their memory as to who’s doing what, and that’s just no fun. I find it reduces readership.

4. As a reader nothing is worse than getting all into a story and then having the author never finish. I have gotten to the point where I do not even start a story until the tag line says “conclusion.” I have been burned to many times.

So that’s my humble opinion. I know it’s hard to wait to post, getting those comments back are like getting candy on Christmas, but I’d urge you to try.

Good luck with the writing.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 4:02 AM


GoramMan - what I'm getting out of your post is that you're not only considering finishing the story before posting, but you're considering editing before posting, which you often don't do.

The first issue - the storyline - is debatable. Like DesertGirl, I find myself trapped in corners if I don't at least outline the full plot and how I'll present it before I post the early chapters, and I risk losing readers when I have long breaks. Still, sometimes I can't move on until I post and get that boost of feedback to push me forward. So, a combination works for me. I try to write it all before I post, but I always fail.

As far as editing before posting - Leaving a note saying you'll edit later is like Monet hanging a pencil sketch of a haystack and saying: I'll fill in the color later. How are we supposed to know how gorgeous it'll be if it's not done!? And who cares about a damned haystack? It's all the color and shading that makes it great!

I haven't read your fic, but I'll bet money that you've done youself a HUGE disservice by being so impatient. All those missing words and wrong punctuations likely harm your fic more than anything. Your readers don't know the lovely plots and scenes in your head, they have only your written words to go by. If those are muddled, your vision is too, and they won't be able to understand and enjoy the full depth of it.

Firefly is great not because of the overarcing plots (though those are quite good!) but because of the details, the little moments. For heaven's sake, don't let your impatience rob your creation of that!

(BTW, I do know EXACTLY what you mean about the Indy 500 brain. I've so been there LOL!)

hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 5:50 AM


I do a pretty good job of planning my chapters and linking them all together. The only thing that I've had to retcon was something in the prologue and that had nothing to do with my acutal plot. I accidently placed the Alliance/Reaver battle over Miranda rather than the unnamed communication hub Mr. U used as his base of operations. So that hasn't been a serious problem.

But I can definetly say that I lost some readers through the lulls in posting chapters. Many people left comments through the first half of the story but I haven't heard from them since.

So what I'll probably do is finish the story then release a chapter every three days. I'll place an index of the story at the top of each chapter. For the unposted chapters I'll do that thing where if you move the cursor over the text it will show you a little boxed message which will be the date I intend to post it.

It would be neat if the BSR had an option for readers to subscribe to authors and recieve email notification when they've posted something.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:52 AM


As someone who confidently posted the first chapter of their new fic some six months ago, and promptly fell off the planet (for various RL reasons) I'm not sure I get to venture a valid opinion, but here goes -

Definitely rough your plot out first. That's why some things never get finished. (When you have it roughed, then get struck by a really good idea that alters the whole thing, can also be a problem.)

But -

Don't swamp the BSR with the thing. The three day gap sounds good. I just seethe when I see the BSR fill with one name only - other folk don't get a shot. And because of the lack of notification, if you are waiting for an author's chapter, you could miss it in the rush.

And don't fret about the lack of comments. The site eats them occasionally. Also, if you don't do certain 'ships, you are writing for a discerning few...


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 8:22 AM


The whole 'shiping thing bothers me a little, I must say. There are some fics out there that are almost novel length but seem to deal exclusively with one or two couples. I try to spend a little time on all the relationships. Not just the intimate ones but also the friendly and not so friendly ones. Yeah there's Kaylee/Simon, Mal/Inara, Zoe/Wash (or the memory of Wash) and they are all lovey dovey... but isn't it more interesting to see on what terms Simon and Jayne could agree to be civil to each other, how Zoe and Kaylee can get in an argument, and how Inara could comfort Book? The 'shipping can be touching in a way but their comes a point where it's an all out grope fest. Literally.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 3:09 PM


Amen to all that.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 3:40 PM


There are two ways to go as you've mentioned. Write it all, edit it and then post a bit at a time. Or write a bit, post it, and then push forward.

I'm a fan of the second option because, as someone said earlier, I crave the feedback to push myself to keep writing. I can't write something that is 200 pages (as my fanfics usually are) and then wait to post anything. I lose the will to continue unless someone tells me it is great or even good or even offers some constructive criticism. It's like a drug sometimes.

But there are traps, like writing yourself into a corner you can't get out of and also finding your story going in a direction you didn't plan but can't change now. I tend to write at least one or two long chapters per week so fans don't have to wait too long for my stuff. But I also find that if i plot too much before hand it takes away from the spontanity of what you are doing. I have two simple rules: know the beginning and know the ending. The last is most important. Like a journey, you have to know where you are going or you will get lost for sure.

As for typos, grammar and spelling errors, no matter how many times you edit, something will come through. You just have to send it out there. I go over my stuff at least three times before I post and I always find errors after I post and then I edit them. I do so right away so very few readers notice them. I also might have to change a sentence or a line or two after I post, but again I try to do that immediately so very few readers notice.

Anyways, good luck with your writing and stay shiny!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 10:54 PM



Originally posted by GoramMan:

Seeing as how I can only conclude a chapter around 3AM, I'm thinking it's better to compile the whole story and release them at even intervals (like every three days) after a rigorous editing process (which I may or may not be able to accomplish).

like you, i always have everything written in advance ('pre-production' being what takes the longest time) - and drafted to completion. Being dyslexic, re-drafting does not mean proof perfect(!). I then post a fic at 2 to 3 day intervals so as not to gum up the BSR works.
However although 'finished' the fic can get a final final make-over during the posting process itself - and i go back (over time) and correct glaring errors.






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