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Revelations by Alan Dwight

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I am usually upset when a novel is posted all in one go but this time I am glad it was. Started reading it and just kept on and on, just could not put it down. Well worth reading but a word of warning, allow yourself time to read it in one go, for once you start you will not want to stop.

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Thank you all for your kind comments. I did ask Mike to post it as one complete story. I suppose that's because I don't personally like stories that come in installments. That's partly because, on some other sites, authors get a good story going with no real idea of how it will end so it simply goes on and on. There is also a discussion about this question on Mihangel's "Not Understand" forum. Anyway, thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment. You were very encouraging.

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I suppose that's because I don't personally like stories that come in installments. That's partly because, on some other sites, authors get a good story going with no real idea of how it will end so it simply goes on and on.

I can definitely get where you're coming from. That happened to me while I was writing my first novel, "Rumors of War". I've since committed myself to having a story finished before I start posting, though I have nothing against putting out a completed work in installments.

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I can definitely get where you're coming from. That happened to me while I was writing my first novel, "Rumors of War". I've since committed myself to having a story finished before I start posting, though I have nothing against putting out a completed work in installments.

I wish others here could figure this out...

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I can definitely get where you're coming from. That happened to me while I was writing my first novel, "Rumors of War". I've since committed myself to having a story finished before I start posting, though I have nothing against putting out a completed work in installments.

Hey, serialized stories worked for Dickens. I've always maintained, if you're reading a story for free, then the author is under no pressure to rush or satisfy his or her readers. It's a totally different deal if you write professionally and are being paid for it, and you have to operate under a deadline. When it's free, you get what you get.

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I suppose that's true, Pecman, but I at least prefer to know that the author has an ending in mind. I doubt very much that Dickens wrote without having an end in mind. He may have added and changed things from the original plan, but He knew where he was going. He wouldn't have been published for very long if he just kept going and going with no point the way some stories do. I do read serialized stories, but usually only after they are completed. Anyway, thanks for joining the discussion. I do believe it's worth having even if none of us changes his mind.

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For his serial publications Dicken's generally had the whole novel completed in draft form before the first chapter was published. He would though change elements within the plot on the basis of feedback he got from his readers. Most of his serial novels were published on a weekly basis, though a few were published on a monthly basis with a number of chapters being published in one go.

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I can see the merits of both cases. One thing I'm very conscious of, though, is that even if a story is posted serially, once it's completed it will be read sequentially. It has be able to be read both ways.

My current preference is to read completed stories, mainly because if I had to wait too long between chapters of a serialised story, I can lose track of what's going on. On the other hand, having a break allows for more thought by the reader on what happened, possibly gaining more insight into the story than if the reader simply moved onto the next chapter.

As an author, I made the decision awhile ago not to start posting a story unless I was sure I was going to finish it. That usually meant having several chapters written as well as a good understanding of where the story will end. I won't even start writing unless I've got that ending in mind. I don't think I could write something that was open-ended.

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Both postings have merit. May depend on the story too. If you're for the most part done, post weekly. Don't post a chapter then let it rot waiting for inspiration to continue it. That gets old. Starting stories that end up going nowhere.

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I find that if I open up a story index and it has 30 or more chapters, and the story hasn't been completed, I'm less likely to start reading it. The reason is that my experience is that such a situation usually indicates writing that is less than I like.

It's not always the case, and where such a story is recommended by someone, then I will make the time and effort to read it.

I don't think I would submit a story that I hadn't already finished writing; I'm not that kind of writer. I'm not against the practice of writing and publishing as the author writes. In fact, I'm in awe of the ability to do so; it's just that I'm not comfortable doing it myself.

I quite enjoy the suspense of waiting for the next chapter to be published provided that I don't have to wait too long for the next chapter, No pressure PECMAN. :hehe:

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I quite enjoy the suspense of waiting for the next chapter to be published provided that I don't have to wait too long for the next chapter, No pressure PECMAN. :hehe:

Don't push him., It's only been 5 months since he graced us with the premier chapter of his new story.

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Pecman is immune to pressure. He'll post when he's damn well ready.

I've always finished stories before beginning posting. And I've always been glad I did because in almost every case I've made changes as I've gone along. For me, a plot and characters are always somewhat different by the end from what I imagined at the beginning. Tweaking is necessary.

I have a story that will appear here shortly, maybe even tomorrow, that I intended to be a short story. You probably all realize that by 'short story' I mean something on the order of 15,000 to 20,000 words. I was talked into serializing this one instead. Mike prefers that, and I like trying to make him happy. What convinced me, however, was the job Colin did with it; he managed to separate it into six segments. The best I could do was three. He made it six, and did an excellent, extraordinary in fact, job of it.

I went back in this one, as usual, and made changes at the beginning that would fit with the end. I can't imagine writing a story and not being able to do that.

I hope you guys enjoy this one.

C

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I've always finished stories before beginning posting. And I've always been glad I did because in almost every case I've made changes as I've gone along. For me, a plot and characters are always somewhat different by the end from what I imagined at the beginning. Tweaking is necessary.

I wish I could have that luxury. Unfortunately, when you're standing on the edge of a cliff, you're not that close to a keyboard. And that's where we've been for the last few months.

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If a story is presented complete, I can control the pace of my reading; there's no obligation to read it through all in one go. I can appreciate the frisson of aniticipation that serial posting can elicit, but for me that's more than countered by frustration and, all too often, fear that the thing won't be completed. Losing track of what's going on is, as Graeme mentioned, another downside, as well as keeping in mind who's who. Hell, that happens when I'm reading completed books as well, but that's memory and the aging process for you. Thank god for e-readers and their search function.

But I'm not totally adamant; there are cases when the writing is so good I'm just glad to get what I get when I can get it. That's the case with EleCivil's latest, for example.

But none of this prevents me from reading serialized works, mind you. For me, it's just not a plus.

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As an author, I made the decision awhile ago not to start posting a story unless I was sure I was going to finish it. That usually meant having several chapters written as well as a good understanding of where the story will end. I won't even start writing unless I've got that ending in mind. I don't think I could write something that was open-ended.

I agree that you need to have an ending in mind. I also think that you need some form of structure drafted out as well. Many years ago I was in a relationship for a short time with a well known and quite successful author. When I met him he had just started on a novel and had written a fantastic end chapter. For most of the time I was with him he was writing at a good pace, then suddenly he stopped. When I asked him what was wrong he answered that the story had got him to a certain position and there was no way he could get from there to the end he had written, he then spent the next few months in a rather depressed state as he could not sort things out. Either he had to abandon the terrific ending he had planned or abandon most of what he had written.

The book was never published, though I have seen bits of it in other works he has written since. I think the thing is that even the most experienced and successful authors cannot always get a novel to work. It is, therefore, important to have a good idea of how things are going to go before you start to publish. My own opinion is that it is probably best to have the complete work in a near finished state, though even a good draft outline might be acceptable. To start posting something when you do not know how it is going to finish is, in my opinion irresponsible. It can also result in very bad writing. I have seen to many stories on the internet that have started very well but then faded into second rate writing just because the author was trying to finish them.

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My own opinion is that it is probably best to have the complete work in a near finished state, though even a good draft outline might be acceptable. To start posting something when you do not know how it is going to finish is, in my opinion irresponsible. It can also result in very bad writing. I have seen to many stories on the internet that have started very well but then faded into second rate writing just because the author was trying to finish them.

That's my experience as well. But famously, there are authors out there who sit down in front of a blank page and have no idea how a novel is going to end, and somehow they manage to get them done without a plan or an outline. Stephen King is one of them, and I believe he has more than 50 best-sellers out there, some of which are extremely good (and some of which... not so much).

I like to draw up a short outline of bullet points that I have to hit in each chapter, just so I know how to get from A to Z. There are some famous authors who make extremely elaborate notes, hundreds of pages (thousands, in the case of Tolkien and J.K. Rowling) with biographical information, maps, drawings, historical timelines, etc. Me personally, I think a little goes a long way, but there's certainly an element of discovery in the writing process where you don't necessarily know all the subtle details of where the story or the characters are headed. You might understand the destination, but all the minutia is the hard part (to me).

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I wonder if some of the unfinished serialised stories are in fact like situational comedies or even TV serialised dramas.

The characters are all formed and known stereotypes, and then each week, or so, the writers put them in a different situation with outcomes that are commensurate with the objectives of the series.

Certainly, I think that it might explain many of the stories being so repetitive if not why the author becomes a little bored and stops writing, or actually asks readers to email them with ideas about where they would like the story to go.

On the other hand, such outlines do enable an author to proceed with writing various scenarios that can either be resolved or continue on, and on. and on.

I am also well aware of those writers who can actually write an original episodic story with innovative characters that find themselves in fascinating and illuminating situations that amuse us and make us think.

There are many examples of the bad, the good and ugly writing available, so no one method is the answer, but research and knowing about the subject is very much a good starting place.

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