Does my schedule make sense?

I am currently doing 250 word updates every weekday in my latest endeavor, called Schrodinger's Cat. I've only posted through episode 3, so, before I go any further, i just wanted to make sure they weren't too short (I don't think them being too long is an issue).

Link below.


250 words feels short to me, but I regularly exceed five or six thousand.


Whilst you're looking for feedback, the layout of the blog feels off to me. Incomplete. The table of contents is a big part of that (see the huge empty space beneath the text/to the right of the numbers on the main page). Further, with no sidebar, the text stretches quite a distance from right to left, which combines with the white text on dark background to tire the eyes very quickly, and couples with the very short paragraphs for a very sparse feel. For example, none of your paragraphs, on my 15" screen, have more than one line carry (or more than two lines on the screen).


In terms of the writing, it's a symptom of the short updates, but you don't have much room for description. I don't know who these characters are, what they look like, what the glass tube in chapter one really looks like, or who they are in terms of personality.


This is something you can solve, but it's also something very hard to do right in such brief fiction.


Yeah, I like it, though I have two small concerns. First of all, the home page doesn't really grab me. The line, "After escaping the Heisman Technological Initiative, Selena and Ethan have only until Heisman himself discovers them to take him down," left me scratching my head for a second, particularly with the phrase, "Selena and Ethan have only until Heisman himself discovers them to take him down." I think there are just too many pronouns. In reality, you're only referring to two parties, so something like, "Selena and Ethan have to take Heisman down. If only he doesn't find them first," might better illustrate what you're trying to convey. I think it's just a matter of trying not to say too many things in one sentence.


But yeah. That line, combined with the long column of unadorned numbers just didn't quite work for me. It might be nice if you linked people to the first chapter (which I thought was an appealing opening). Then they can discover the table of contents afterward.


As far as the text itself goes, I'm definitely liking it. *MILD SPOILER* It took me a bit to realize the first half of the episode was a dream, so maybe there's a better way to telegraph that? *END MILD SPOILER*


I'm biased towards short chapters (my own serial has updates of less than five hundred words) and I don't think I'm alone in that preference. So yeah, this serial has a lot of potential. It's focused on short scenes that really punch, you know? You say what you needed to say, and then you get out of there. I respect that.


EDIT: Wildbow beat me to it! (I take forever writing forum posts, a holdover from my PbP Roleplaying days.) In regard to site layout, I agree with him.


In regard to its content, I don't so much. I mean he is technically right: there hasn't been much description/characterization. But you've only got 750 words up thus far, 250 of which are not from the perspective of the main character. So I think you still have time to flesh that stuff out. If you keep the plot moving forward, people will stick with you. Though I would also say characterization is incredibly important, so you might want to give us more hints as to who these people are, preferably by the end of the first week.


Just tossing in my two cents, but after reading through what you have so far I got the impression that this is a really good format for an archive-binge, where I as a reader kick my feet up for the weekend and burn through ten updates at a time. It's like a web parallel for the giant font trick in thriller novels, where the text is made so big that readers flip a lot of pages and thus feel like they're progressing more than they actually are, and that's good for your story since suspense and tension feature prominently already. Following day-by-day seems like less of an option because the story and pacing would be chopped up so much.


What I'm not feeling is a lot of atmosphere. It's hard to set up a mood with so few words, so there's a microfiction-esque abstractness to the story, which, depending on how you use, could be good or bad. I'd argue that 250 word updates are actually harder than multiple thousands of words because you have to be sure every word counts, so kudos to you for trying it out.


And, yeah, as stated above, changing up the big list of numbers on the front page wouldn't hurt.


I'll follow this for a while, I'm interested in seeing how it works out. :D


Hmm. As a fellow poster of short updates, my opinion is that each post should NOT try to encapsulate an entire scene, as your first three posts are doing. I feel that scenes should generally span multiple posts. I know there's a concern that readers won't like it if a post doesn't present a "complete thought" or what have you, but that's precisely the point of updating more frequently--like, "I know this thought isn't completed yet, but don't worry, because it soon will be." That's the trade-off, in my opinion. Sure, working under restrictions can provoke creativity, but I'm worried that trying to complete scenes in 250-300 words will do more harm than good. Sometimes, the story needs room to flourish.


And perhaps that trade-off is not what some readers prefer, but a lot of my readers seem to like it, so I at least know that it isn't a wholly despised practice.


Also, I second Wildbow's opinion that the text should not span across the entire page. I much prefer the text to be uniformly compacted, at least a little bit.


My personal preference is for updates of larger than 1000 words. If it was 250 or so a day I'd wait and read them a week at a time, that makes finding where you left it a pain.


But that is just me, plenty of people seem to like it, as is evident in this thread!


A note: the flashback scenes aren't dreams/flashbacks, I'm experimenting with nonlinear storytelling. Basically, there are going to be 3 presents: the one when they are in the facility, the one that hasn't been revealed, and the main one after they've escaped the facility.


Wow. I like Memento as much as the next guy, but isn't that going to get confusing? Could there maybe be some way to distinguish the realities, maybe with something as simple as a little bit of bold text indicating which reality is which? It isn't the cleanest solution, but I don't really know how else you could smoothly communicate those transitions.


I think I worded it wrong. There are three stories: the main one, the one where they're in a facility, and the other one that hasn't started yet. They're supposed to be confusing, as it will play into the larger narrative. I'm not sure when yet, but the fact that it's disjointed will make sense once the third story begins.


Fixed the home page: Now, the numbers are grouped together by week, and spread around in a disjointed squiggly line (I was trying to represent the disjointed nature in which the story is being told; it comes off as a bit messy, but it's better than a long count up to 200).