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Reading - Complete matters!


Camy

Serials - Yea or Nay  

5 members have voted

  1. 1. I'll read a serial novel

    • Only if it's finished
      1
    • I know it will be finished
      1
    • Occasionally
      1
    • Never
      0
    • If it's posted regularly
      0
    • It depends on the author
      2
  2. 2. I don't read serials because

    • Often they never finish
      4
    • I prefer short stories
      0
    • I'm far too impatient
      1
    • They suck
      0


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This is my first poll, so I'm sure I've left some obvious choices off it.

I'm intrigued as to reading choices. Personally I like a good serial, provided I have a fair chance of living to see it finished.... Then there are those that never get finished :icon1: . It also annoys me if it's so long between posts I have to go back to the beginning every time a new chapter goes up.

How about you?

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This is my first poll, so I'm sure I've left some obvious choices off it.

I'm intrigued as to reading choices. Personally I like a good serial, provided I have a fair chance of living to see it finished.... Then there are those that never get finished :icon1: . It also annoys me if it's so long between posts I have to go back to the beginning every time a new chapter goes up.

How about you?

I read them based on who the author is.

And I can't vote because it insists I pick a "dont read" choice but I do read them :)

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I'll read a serial novel:

1) if the story clicks with an interest :w00t:

2) I know and/or respect the author :icon1:

3) if the story is reccomended :hiya:

4) if I've been asked to critique a story :icon1:

I don't read [or stop reading] serials:

1) if it stinks :icon1:

2) if it doesn't catch my interest :icon4:

3) if I loose the link :omg:

4) if it turns out to be textPorn* :ohmy:

*- I am not a prude but I want there to be more to a story than sex. I know how and I don't need any pointers. :icon1:

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1. I'll read them depending on who the author is.

2. I'll read a story from a new author if the theme intrigues me or if others recommend it. If I like it, I'll add the author's story site to Stories to Read in my Favorites.

Colin :icon1:

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Sorry, but the poll insists I pick a choice from the second list, and none of them are right for me. So I didn't vote.

I enjoy serial novels, but hate waiting for the next chapter. This is especially true if I love the story. Then the wait becomes intolerable.

I generally wait till the story is finished, then go read the entire thing.

If chapters are posted frequently, like twice or three times a week, I'll read it as it's posted. That doesn't seem to happen as a general rule, however.

I began Laika about four times before I stopped reading it. I can't remember the charaters and what happend well enough with a month between episodes, so had to go back and read it from the beginning each time, and after reading chapter 1 four times, chapter 2 three times. . . well, you get the idea. When it's done, I'll read it. I LOVE the story, but find I can't read it in this format. It's great writing, and that makes it frustrating for me. But then, I'm old with no memory. You young guys probably don't have these problems.

There are other problems we old guys have, but this is a PG forum, isnt it?

Cole

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Yes I find it difficult to vote because of the problem in being tied to the alternatives provided.

I will generally read anything except the inept or blatant porn, ho-hum.

I don't have a problem with porn in itself. I just got bored with it at an early age. :icon1:

On balance I suppose I would prefer a story that came in several chapters over a period of time.

Serials in themselves can get repetitive and then I lose interest. I did however follow the feel good nostalgic (for me anyway) "Billy and Danny" (over at Nifty) that went for a couple of years or more tracing their love story through the 1960s. It is quite the epic journey. Rarely stagnant, always progressive and inspiring.

Novels I guess are my favourite. A good dramatic story, well constructed, though not necessarily linear with interesting and well developed characters.

Short stories are good for a quick read that maybe just what one wants after a hard days work, rather than another challenging chapter of even a favourite novel.

Short stories can also be the testing ground for new ideas in story telling.

How about a story that is already completed in say 40 chapters. Well, it better be good or I will feel overwhelmed by the thought of having to read so much. I did just read the first 31 chapters of Dan Kirk's "Dreams Of Humanity" purely on entertainment value, and it was just what I needed.

I might however find the full posting of something called 'Gay With the Wind' (has anyone used this title?) that is 500,000 words a tad too daunting to contemplate reading on line.

This is the beauty and the curse of publishing and reading on the net. Too much too soon is as bad as too little irregularly or with long gaps.

I have offered some light research into length and frequency of article publishing in post 17 at:

http://www.awesomedude.com/adboard/index.php?showtopic=2124#

Although a bit rambling I think it offers some insight of what is popular in length of story postings/updates.

Please have a look and comment.

To summarise, circumstances and time dictate whether I want to read another chapter in a series or a novel or whether I want a quick read of a short story before doing the things I have to do.

Authors play a part too. I'd read anything by Ronyx or Cole Parker to name just two authors amongst many of my favourites.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed Codey's World's Christmas collection for instance.

So Camy I'm sorry I could not do the poll but these are my ideas on the subject.

:icon1:

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I'll read a serial novel:

1) if the story clicks with an interest

2) I know and/or respect the author

3) if the story is reccomended

4) if I've been asked to critique a story

I don't read [or stop reading] serials:

1) if it stinks

2) if it doesn't catch my interest

3) if I loose the link

4) if it turns out to be textPorn*

*- I am not a prude but I want there to be more to a story than sex. I know how and I don't need any pointers. :icon1:

This all pretty much goes for me, too, except that I will read 'text porn' (though not fanfic) under some circumstances. James and I might be defining 'text porn' differently, though. An additional reason to not read, for me, is dreadful use of English throughout the first chapter or so, unless I'm forced to continue reading as editor or teacher.

Losing the link, or forgetting, definitely cuts down on likelihood of my finishing the story. :icon4:

'It stinks' is unequivocally the main reason I stop reading anything, on or offline. Incidentally, quantifying 'it stinks' in a reply to an author is quite the task, especially when you are trying to be courteous. :icon1:

If the purpose of this poll was to determine how many wait until a story is complete to begin reading, count me out of that category. I do read stories that are incomplete, and usually start with the chapters up whenever I become aware of it--which might be the very first chapter. If I forget to keep up and a blizzard of chapters arrive in the meantime, I may stop (or defer) continued reading for that reason.

Too many chapters (over fifty, say, or if the chapter list looks like the complex outline of a freshman research paper) can stifle my interest, as can wordy or pretentious author notes, 'casts of characters' (unless it's a play), prefaces or anything else that distracts from the story in a way I consider unwarranted. :icon1:

That's all of my read/not reasons that occur to me.

Kisses...

TR :icon1:

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This is the beauty and the curse of publishing and reading on the net. Too much too soon is as bad as too little irregularly or with long gaps.

Definitely! I think that's not fully recognized, I hadn't really thought of that until I sat down to write my reply above but it's very true. An opposite approach to that is what Josiah is currently doing with the The Kept, he teased it for several weeks and now is posting one chapter a week. It's enjoyable and I always love his adventurous ideas and narrative style, so I suspected I'd like this story but it's even better than I'd anticipated. Time constraints make too many chapters at once undesirable, though I guess it's word count more than chapters as the size of chapters can vary considerably.

Authors play a part too. I'd read anything by Ronyx or Cole Parker to name just two authors amongst many of my favourites.

Ditto! I'm also a Cole Parker fan and even more so after reading Celebrations, and looking forward to Pecman's first new novel in four years, Pieces.

Other authors I'd read anything at all by: Josh!!, EleCivil, Java Biscuit, Savoir Faire, Graeme, Gabriel Duncan, James Saavik, David McMillan...

Some offline authors I'd do the same to include: Anne Tyler, Anne Rice, Alice McDermott, Alice Hoffman, Patricia Highsmith, Saul Bellow, Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury, Charlaine Harris, Steven Saylor, Harry Turtledove, Wm Faulkner, Robert Silverberg, Jared Diamond, Studs Terkel, Lewis Carroll, Joe Haldeman.

Kisses...

TR :icon1:

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Some offline authors I'd do the same to include: Anne Tyler, Anne Rice, Alice McDermott, Alice Hoffman, Patricia Highsmith, Saul Bellow, Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury, Charlaine Harris, Steven Saylor, Harry Turtledove, Wm Faulkner, Robert Silverberg, Jared Diamond, Studs Terkel, Lewis Carroll, Joe Haldeman.

Heh heh - what have we come to? Oh the stigma of being an offline author! You'd think they could afford to buy a computer and post some free stuff for their adoring fans or at least interact with them online! Wouldn't that be a great idea?

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first 31 chapters of Dan Kirk's "Dreams Of Humanity"

There are more now up.

I dislike reading unfinished (or unposted) serial stories. I can very quickly catch up, then I become frustrated with the delay in posting more. I forget specifics in previous chapters, and need to reread. I'm not sure it helps that I will read from 3 to 5 different stories depending on the room I'm in. When you add that chaos to forgetting stuff, it's pretty devastating.

I will often read short stories in between pages of serial stories. One thing not mentioned yet, at least that I could see, but I have to confess to scanning, and not properly reading most of the previous posts in this thread, is the serial story this is being slowly released, and yet one can find the whole story on a different website. In other words, there is no need to not read it, since the whole things is finished, but the way it is being released on whatever site you're at, makes it SEEM like it's not finished. VERY irritating.

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One thing not mentioned yet, at least that I could see, but I have to confess to scanning, and not properly reading most of the previous posts in this thread, is the serial story this is being slowly released, and yet one can find the whole story on a different website. In other words, there is no need to not read it, since the whole things is finished, but the way it is being released on whatever site you're at, makes it SEEM like it's not finished. VERY irritating.

I can't speak for other sites but at AwesomeDude, when we do that, it's almost always a revised version if not outright rewritten version, so going elsewhere to read a story isn't the nicest thing you can do to an author whose work you enjoy. If he's labored hard to revise or rewrite, one should be courteous enough to read that version, the most correct & recent version online. And, as an author, I know that I sometimes submit different VERSIONS of stories to different readers (often my Nifty version is very different for multiple reasons), so, again, I'd be annoyed to find my wishes thwarted: someone ignoring the local recent version being released for an older, perhaps different, version elsewhere. If the author himself has decided to rerelease it, one ought to respect that, IMO, and read the newest version. If you aren't sure how much difference there is, you can always ask the author but generally speaking, I don't think it's a good habit to get into, speaking as both author and site admin.

Kisses...

TR :icon1:

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TR, I can't help but feel that you are chewing me out, and I don't think that is justified. I have never noticed any of the stories anywhere actually stating release dates or version numbers, and your implication that I'm deliberately searching for other than the latest version of a story is ludicrous. I never even realized that there were different version of stories out there. Furthermore, why would I necessarily think that the version on AD would be the latest, and not one on GA, or CW, or wherever. Without anyone stating dates and version numbers, how would one know?

Maybe I'm being a 'drama queen' like you've accused me of being before, but I'm not happy with your post.

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I don't think TR was directing anything particularly at you, Trab.

-----

Unless some sort of note states it, there is little to no way to know what edition (to use the offline term) or revision of a story is the most current one, among various sites.

My preference, as a reader, editor, and site manager anywhere, is for the edition or revision number or date to be noted on the index or title page, at least. If there is none, then one can assume there's only one edition. -- Something as simple as, "2nd Edition" or "2007 Edition" or "Revised: 2007-01-10" is all that's really needed.

I prefer that an author update his story edition at all sites at which he or she is hosted. That means there would not be any variation among the texts that sites offer.

The reality of online stories/authors is that more than one site will host an author's works, unless the author wants an exclusive arrangement. Readers are going to read at more than one site.

In offline, printed media, the opposite is true: each work by an author is exclusive to one publisher; and, although an author may have things at several publishers, that is rare.

-----

Different versions of a story for different sites or audiences? Eegad! I dislike having various "extra vs. plain" or "clean vs. explicit" versions. Can't the author of the work be the one to decide the version he/she wants, and have that be the official version everywhere?

Alternately, if there are going to be different versions of something, then label them clearly. It simply isn't my preference.

-----

Regarding serial novels/stories, I prefer for the author and the site to have a few chapters ahead, so that the story can be released on a consistent schedule, whether that's weekly or bi-weekly (fortnightly) or monthly, doesn't matter.

Generally, that is why it's better to have a serial story completed and fully revised by the author and editor, before posting begins. -- But that doesn't happen, except in print media, and not always then, these days.

As a reader, I greatly prefer being able to read a complete story or to read on a frequent schedule, so I don't lose track of things.

However, online authors and editors are typically amateurs (in the best sense) and so they have work/school and other real-world concerns that interfere with a set story release schedule. Some are students, and we can't expect them to drop everything to write, much as we might love their stories.

One thing that helps is, if it's known that there will be a delay, then post when it's expected to resume. -- I will say, though, that I know of authors who couldn't know, due to their real-life situations, when they'd have a delay or when they could start back. Budget, work/school, health, creativity versus writer's block -- these all play into it from the author's side.

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I don't think TR was chewing you out, Trab. First, because he was only stating a long-standing policy at AwesomeDude. We have bent over backwards to bring our readers the latest versions of all our authors' stories. And second, because we have a Forums policy against that.

Josh is a good example of an author who took advantage of our willingness to cooperate and give feedback to completely rewrite his very popular novel, Sea Change. Everybody, including the author himself, his tireless editor Michael, not to mention Story Editor TR and myself are quite pleased with and proud of this effort. All during the time it was being serialized or 're-serialized' here at AwesomeDude... it remained posted in it's old form at Nifty - a period of several months. Only after it was completely rewritten, would Nifty consider replacing the old version (a proven seller) for the new version.

As for the other comments... which sound like personal attacks to me... I won't address them other than to say if there are more, we'll have to apply another standing policy.

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Well, after reading blue and dude's comments, I'll take it that I misread the intention of TR's post, and apologize for reacting as I did.

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