Web Novel Noob

2 months ago | rachel.ly.ashton (Member)

Hey all! I'mma be a bit noobish here... if the question is redundant, please throw me in the right direction ~

I'm totally new to the web novel community to be honest, but I have been writing for a long time. A friend of mine recommended that I start a web novel, and after doing some research, it seems like a pretty fun idea.

I have a story that I have been working on for a year; it's a good 100K words and growing whenever I have the time, but I'm kinda sitting on it because its... I have re-writing problems (in that I constantly feel things need to be rewritten). For now I think that it's fine, since I wanted to finish the first 'book' in some shape or form before really starting to post it (real life dictates that I need to be well ahead on my deadlines), but I am wondering at what point is a good point to but a chapter up? I realize it's subjective, but are there any recommendations that you should be on a second or third draft before one posts their work? (Or, what is really expected of a web novel in its infancy and beyond?) ...Might be a silly question as I'm sure its different for everyone, but my brain wants to ask it so there it is.

I have been doing some research, but I feel like 3/4ths of it is more... getting ahead of where I currently am. Currently, this project of mine is for my own personal development and something to fill the time while desk warming. Deadlines/serialization are one thing, but I don't have any particular desire to make it something that I need to manage and be on top of all the time - at least not for now. Heck I'm still learning how to use FaceBook. Still, I love talking about writing and stories and I would love to have the community and feedback it seems web novel writers have. Any recommendations on building that community would also be greatly appreciated.

I'm kind of a lurker by nature, so I'm not very good at the whole posting thing, but gotta start somewhere I guess ^^"". For now, I shall go back to lurking. Thank you for taking the time to read my nonsense ~ ^^ ~ *bows*

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Responses

  1. Archive (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Read this excellent post by wildbow: https://wildbow.wordpress.com/.

    Personally, I think having 100k plus a year's worth of editing and rewriting and vision clarification puts you well ahead of most people. I started posting my serial at around 20k words with minimal editing. Wildbow's post goes more in depth, but don't bite off more than you can chew when it comes to post frequency. Also, if you do start posting, try to avoid getting stuck in "revision hell" where you're constantly going back and changing stuff.

  2. rachel.ly.ashton (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Thank's so much!
    That post is really helpful! I wish it had come up in my earlier research, haha.

    It's nice to have reassurance that it doesn't need to be 'perfect'. I have a few alpha readers to try and help my major issues but they are pretty hands off when it comes to editing. I do get pretty paranoid about my errors though.

    Revision hell is already my life, but I guess the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one? :)

  3. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    On "revision hell", I'd say once it's posted, then leave it (barring feedback that makes you think something needs tweaking)... speaking as someone with a similar issue. I'm rubbish at NaNoWriMo because I'm compelled to look back over what I wrote, tweaking words here and there. Despite the fact that, once I hit the end, I'll still need to edit and possibly change things again. But once I hit publish? It's out there. I'm not changing it. I've trained myself to look forwards. But the decision of when to start that might actually depend on the story ITSELF, as much as it does the author.

    My time travel story? I pretty much need to have that completely done up front. Early parts can be impacted by later parts, not only in terms of temporal continuity but foreshadowing and character issues that may not have been obvious when I started. So I'm not posting that, I might want to change early pieces.

    My "Epsilon" story? Is voted on by readers and as such is completely post-as-I-go. The characters are based on old role-play games, so I have them pretty much figured out, it's simply picking plot elements for votes and working to bind everything together coherently before I reach 20 parts. It's totally on the fly, any "mistake" I'll think of a plausible reason for it's existence.

    My personified math? Is somewhere in the middle. There's times I barely have a buffer, and other times (like now) when I have about 4 weeks worth banked. I have more invested in it than "Epsilon", but at the same time, I feel less a need to foreshadow or keep a single narrative running for long stretches (it's a large cast). Basically, I'm still not changing anything that's out there, but I've given myself leeway to still change stuff that's set to publish next week.

    Granted, author personality may be a factor in that more than the story? Hmm, not entirely sure what I'm trying to say any more. Glad you came out of lurking though. As to building a community, I feel like that's just an ongoing process even for the best of us. It helps to know your audience, I've never figured mine out.

    Writing a Time Travel serial: http://mathtans.wordpress.com
    Writer of the personification of math serial: http://www.mathtans.ca
  4. rachel.ly.ashton (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I had some idea that that's what was going to happen - and frankly, I feel like it's something that I need. I'm the same with NaNoWriMo, and really anything that I try to write. If I just add this here, take this away... It never ends!

    Interesting to think of it as being more dependent on the story, but it does makes sense, especially with more complicated stories. I will say that I generally write with a mindset that applies more along the lines of your time travel story, but this time around I am really trying to break that mindset for one akin to your personified math mindset. Breaking habitsis hard, but I guess you kinda just have to dive into it, huh? I suppose that that is also where the author's personality would play into it though ~~

    Haha, yeah. I am pro lurker! But it makes sense that all things come with time if you put the effort into it (wishful thinking?).
    Thanks for the great tips!

  5. Dary (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Do what's best for you/your story. I haven't posted any new chapters since March, because trying to maintain a weekly schedule negatively impacted my work. Instead, I do as many rewrites and revisions are required and release groups of chapters in bulk as and when they're ready. But that's not for everyone: a lot of people like to develop the story as they go and only do a single draft/revision.

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