Side Stories

I posted up a side story while waiting for the new book to be posted up in May. Do you do that on your web fiction and what do you think of posting up side stories?

I think I could get into posting a side story during breaks on my main one. Thing is for me, I have trouble writing just a short story. If I write a story, I tend to think about where the characters are going from there. So I have all these starts to something I want to finish down to road. It'd be kind of fun to post little vignettes, though.

Short answer: yes, they are a good idea.

(Coffee's totally not setting in yet. GOOD MORNING!)

The side story I've posted now features some minor characters from the main story and describes what happened to them after a certain position in the plot, after they departed from the main characters. This will give the minor characters some shine.

Murazrai: You know, that's kind of how Terry Pratchett's The Watch series within Discworld got started. He said he "wanted to give them their day in the sun," and instead "gave them a whole bloody beach holiday."

Which is a great thing.

side stories don't really appeal to me as a reader, unless the story is fantastically grabbing. in which case, i will eagerly look for more... then it gets a bit like christmas leftovers...

however, considering the brevity of web fiction and what i can gather fanfic and the like are, side stories make sense. i just don't generally read them.

would i write side stories? i don't think so because i feel i should be able to show what i need to show within the series without deviating... but i keep my mind and options open ;)

NiSp - a side-story about Rebecca's mum and aunt as kids would be interesting! :-)

I guess in one sense there's _always_ room for side-stories, because life's like that - there's always more affecting a particular story than can ever be told, you know?

Personally, though... umm, I think I specialise in side stories with no main storyline *lol*

I use side stories to ensure that there are updates between the gaps of main stories. Come to think about it, it can be used to explain some missed out places mentioned on the main stories, while previewing the new features in the upcoming stories. Perhaps I'm doing this as if I'm doing some independent RPG series.

nomesque: yes, you do rather ;) but that makes it fun...

i guess it also comes down to reader interest. we know our own characters well and could tell a story about almost anything in their lives. and was that a request? ;)

(omg how will i lay it out? change the sidebar? fiddle with the font? stick it in and hope no-one complains?)

i may just do it cos i can :D

murazrai: perhaps certain styles/genres are more conducive to having side stories - i should check your site out... although i still often cling to the 'traditional' fiction styles. everyone has their comfort zone, ya know ;) although, if it's RPG-esque i could probably enjoy :D

NiSp - consider it a request, but not one that should come before the main storyline! ;-)

nomesque - you are right on this. Side stories should come after the main storyline.

NiSp - it is indeed an RPG-esque as the skills of the characters are increasing along the progress of the fiction. In fact, I modeled the storyline so that it includes both Western and Eastern RPG elements.

I have outlines for dozens of side-stories. One of the great things about internet publishing is that you aren't just limited to telling the main story.

In traditional books, the only way you could get side-stories in would be to publish a separate tome of them. That means you'd have to wait until you collected enough to make a whole book, and then you'd have to convince your publishers it was a valid idea. More-than-likely you would only get them published after the main series.

But INTERNET means you can release them when you want. Got a side-story that informs current happenings, but doesn't fit into the main narrative flow? No problem!

The potential for non-linear narrative online is amazing (I did a whole module of my degree on it), though it's perfectly understandable if people prefer to write in the traditional, linear sense. It's less confusing that way XD

Good point, Dary, it could be confusing. Then again as you probably say in your thesis, readers are getting more adept at looking around a site, and using links and searches and such.

When writing was invented, people had to get used to reading alone without a storyteller's tone or pantomiming to help. Confusing at first, but now we like to control the pace.

Maybe writing will adapt, too. We might or might not keep a central story. Even now, we can help readers flip forward to find what happens in a thread or flip back to remember who a character is. We could set a book up for a quick or a deeper read.

Me, I'd like to see all long descriptions of rooms and people (which some readers love) on a linked page I can skip. It's exciting to think what people will come up with.

I have an idea to work a side story into Courier's Creed about the main character's brother. As it is, he's in the plot near the beginning and then again much later, but I'd like to tell the story of what happens to him in the meantime.