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Posting as you go, or all at once?

Posted by tera_gram on December 23, 2010 at 12:41
Current Location: Chinatown/Kensington Market, Toronto, Canada
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Hello fellow fanfiction writers.

I notice that this community isn't active right now, but I'd like that to change because I need you.  I really do. 

I've been writing fanfiction for 13 months now--specifically, Shawn/Lassiter slash (Psych on the USA Network).  And I feel good about the work I'm producing.  Feedback has been addictive.  I started off crafting the whole story and then posting it in its entirety to LJ, fanfiction.net, adultfanfiction.net, AO3, etc.  The comments poured in and they were like heroin (or what I imagine it to be like, having watched Trainspotting).  Then I posted a short story that was meant to be a one-off ending on a cliffhanger.  Due to the response I later added additional chapters.  And like the Sandpeople of Tatooine, the feedback returned in greater numbers.  Now my desire to produce a thoroughly edited and coherent piece of work is at war with my desire to receive comment love. 

My question is, do you prefer to post chapter by chapter or all at once?  If you post chapter by chapter, how do you maintain continuity?  Do you outline ahead of time?  Do you go back and edited already posted chapters if you need to make a change? 

It's possible that I either need to just suck it up and get better at juggling the storyline, or I need to get the comment monkey off my back and do it for the love of the genre, not the sweet sweet praise.


Mistress Marilyn
mistressmarilyn at 2010-12-24 23:20 (UTC) (Link)
You're extremely lucky to be getting excellent feedback. There have been many times when I've written what I consider 'epic' stories that got little or no comment. There's no reason to apologize for enjoying it, as long as you don't ever expect it. Fandom is random (which would make for a good poem, hehe).

For me, if I'm writing a multi-chapter story, it often starts out with no plan, but as the story takes on life, I'll do an outline. And the outline will shift, depending on how much I can get done, chapter by chapter. I try to make the chapters somewhat equal, around the same amount of words and with like elements. (I'm not a fan of very short chapters where nothing really happens, which usually is the case in some of these 40-chapter fics.)

Feedback usually has little or no effect on a story in progress. I post chapter by chapter, and I'm often inspired by the feedback a chapter gets. But it rarely changes the course of the story . . . just inspires good discussion.

I have gone back and edited chapters if I found errors. In fact, I wrote a multi-part Dark Knight story years ago that still needs a chapter fixed. It's just hard to get myself to do it.

Writing fanfic is a wonderful, lifelong hobby. Hopefully you'll find yourself drawn again and again to writing, even as your tastes and your lifestyle change. The internet has made the gratification instant and international, and it's brought me wonderful friendships from around the world.

Keep it up!
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