So how big is your buffer?

So how are your buffer/s looking?

The sequel to From Winter's Ashes has a buffer of about 64k words, so about 12-18 chapters once I get rolling. A lot has to be done with it first though! Rewrites are sorely needed, etc. :)

I started with a buffer of around 12 chapters. That's decreased to around just four recently, mainly due to Patreon content and all the bonus chapters I've released to get readers to vote and stuff. I'm working on making it larger now. I want at least a six chapter buffer.

I have no buffer.

That was a bad, bad, bad idea, as I posted several episodes together at the very beginning, and now have gotten to the point where, due to school, I have missed one deadline already, and it has done horrible things to the general quality of the serial.

Thankfully, Warbler has been conceived since day one as a short-term project by Web Fiction standards, and will be done in the next two months or so. For my next project, should I decide to do a serial, I plan on having at least 20k words worth of buffer.

I covet the buffers of others, is that sinful? I doubt it, yet as a member of the 'has no buffer' school mentioned above, I must say: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

No buffer. Started with one, highly recommend doing so - twelve or whatever chapters helped ease the initial stumbles over the first six months. But then I found my stride and have written 99% of chapters within 24 hours of them going up.

I have a chapter ready for Monday and that's it. There was a time when I had a five week buffer with my other serials but that didn't last.

No buffer, BUT that was a deliberate choice on my part. One of my goals for trying a web serial was to break some bad habits having to do with over-planning and over-rewriting projects into oblivion, so one of my ground rules is no buffer, no detailed outline. I'm forcing myself to wing it.


Wildbow, I'm so jelly! I sometimes spend 3 hours brooding over 500 words. Words that suck. And have to be re-written the next day.

I used to have a buffer of 10 chapters. Now, one and a half years later, it's down to 3. I really wanted to keep it at 10, but... I now hold myself to higher standards, which means I write slower, and the ebook edits are a LOT of work. At present, I spend 3 hours a day on edits alone.

I remember having a buffer. It happened twice, once when I started, and once when I had a guest writer. It didn't last, and I've been writing everything the night before ever since. Fortunately, I've been extremely consistent about that.

My buffer varies a lot. I try to never let it dip below three weeks (meaning 6 chapters for SP and 3 for Corpies) though in time-strapped times I've seen it fall below that threshold. Generally I try to keep a six - nine week buffer, since that allows me the chance to walk away from my serial and work on other projects. I've learned over time I don't like switching back and forth so much, especially mid-novel, so in times when I'm just doing the serial work I really try to add as many chapters as I can. No matter how big it is, that buffer always seems to go faster than you'd expect.

My current buffer is 8 chapters and I'll have 9 by the end of the day. Buffers are really nice, but I also really need mine. I like to work on multiple projects to keep my mind from wondering too much. If I only work on one project at a time, I tend to lose interest in it and then lose the drive to write it completely. My mind is usually all over the place. It's a pain in the butt most of the time, but it's just how it works.

My buffers have varied a lot per project. Kinda Super Gay started with a little over 50% of a buffer, which was good, because I burned through that mofo so fast! Godpunk was similar, except it was more like 30% and the chapters were harder to write, so I really had to pace myself near the end.

For A Bad Idea, I started with about two weeks worth of buffer, and it's worked out pretty well. I post daily, which means that the writing is sometimes subject to the mercurial nature of day-to-day creativity. I always write the serial five days a week -- that's important -- but sometimes I wake up in the morning realizing I need to scrap the previous night's work. The chapters are short, so luckily it hasn't been too big a deal.

I'm really happy with A Bad Idea's two-week buffer tho, and I think the work would be much weaker without it. I go on tangents a lot, and sometimes it's fun. But sometimes I realize I need to cut some stuff.

For instance, I wrote a two-week tangent (that's ten posts, probably 2,000-2,500 words? Idk I don't feel like doing the math) about something I called "The Giant-Sized Swamp D***," which was a play off the Giant-Sized Man Thing joke that some comic book nerds might be familiar with. I ended up making him a detective too -- a dick in the sleuthing sense of the term -- and he was getting this like elaborate backstory. Since A Bad Idea is about a girl in college who like never goes to the swamp, it was a BIG digression.

Since I had the buffer, I was able to cut out most of the digression. There were still like 3 or 4 posts about it tho, and I got a couple comments that were like, "Yeah, I... don't like this." Which makes me thankful it didn't last even longer, lol.

I suspect that writers who are disciplined need less of a buffer. If you've got one character pursuing one goal and you're good at plotting, you can probably get away with writing a chapter right before it goes up.

But plotting is my weak point, I love being campy/ridiculous, and sometimes my ensembles get pretty big. In those situations, the buffer helps you realize when you're running down a dead-end. Or even just when you realize you need to foreshadow stuff.

No buffer here, due to the interactive nature of my serial. I consider myself lucky if I can start writing within 2 days of my deadline.

My buffer seems to rise and fall by about three to five chapters. Some days I'll sit down and the next four weeks will be taken care of. Similar to DrewHayes, I have that habit of working on other things while I take a break, so eventually I have to get back to work on the original project. Project bouncing back and forth forever.

Welp, I have two different buffers. The writing one, and the drawing one.

Theoretically, "Time & Tied" was written over ten years ago, so I have a written buffer through to episode 95ish. (Episode 46 runs this Friday.) Practically though, it needs a LOT of editing. I'm about nine weeks ahead on editing, which is more than usual. But to make updates pop out on social media (Twitter, etc) I draw an image with every update. (Used to be two images, but as was pointed out here, they're not really helping.) My drawing buffer will fluctuate between two and zero weeks, as I draw in bulk. I'm currently good through to the end of Episode 47, at which point I'll take a scheduled break.

Meanwhile, personified math generally has a written buffer of 3-4 weeks. But that's become a webcomic, and usually I'm drawing 48 hours before it has to publish. Even back when it was a serial with illustrated clips (from 2010 to 2014), the material would often go into the buffer less than a week before deadline, due to the art. Aaand, currently, I have next to nothing for Monday! Whoops! I haven't missed a weekly deadline in over 5 years though! (Okay, once I did stop for a couple months to re-evaluate my life.) So I guess I'm closest to Wildbow, Lori, and others like them above in my writing (drawing?) style.

Actually, I often find that when I've got things in the buffer, I'm not working at maintaining it. I'm dealing with my day job, or other things in my life. It's partly out of a hope that someone will say something interesting, which would make me alter things in the buffer, so why even have it there yet. Of course, that never happens. At any rate, congrats on the sizeable chunk of writing, Stormy! Even your 12 weeks for Tuesdays sounds pretty good.


At the moment no buffer (which sucks). Normally around 10K words or so (for a short while I had a 30K buffer). I've noticed that the smaller the buffer the more idiot mistakes make it into the initial posts. A buffer helps cleaning out not only line-editing style errors, but also short term continuity ones as well. I'm not that concerned about long-time issues, mostly because I have just about zero clue where the story is going to be a year from now anyway. I know the ending, but not when it occurs.

My main chapters are around 10K long, which makes those 10K words pretty perfect for me.

He's doing fine. I keep him in a nice cage in the basement until the boxers are ready to rumble.

Oh! You mean writing buffer. Nonexistent, most of the time. I've had some time to work on that lately, but I always catch up for some reason or another. It's not entirely a bad thing, though. I find that if I have had to use the buffer and take a couple days' break from writing, I feel disconnected from it somewhat, as if I need a good recap, too. At the same time, it's much easier to make a good transition between updates if you work on more than one at a time.

I didn't consider making one back when I could. I'd appreciate one, but I have no chance to build one up really. I just do stuff every month and post it and move along. My schedule's designed around what I know I can realistically write so getting things done on time is only sometimes a struggle.

I usually have a buffer when I start a new serial -- I'm ashamed to admit that I've abandoned a couple before I hit on Midnight Moonlight. That said, with Midnight Moonlight I think the largest buffer I've ever had has been 6 chapters (about 2 weeks of posts, or something like 12000-18000 words). I've never been able to maintain a buffer, though: invariably a family emergency hits, or a trip with the in laws, or something that lets me excuse myself from writing if I have a buffer present. If I don't have a buffer, though, I usually soomehow find the time to write after all. How strange, right?

In any event, most of the time these days my "buffer" is usually 1-2 chapters: the next one that is going up next and has already been loaded into the queue, and the one that I'm writing currently. I also have a GoogleKeep category in which I'll write any scene that catches my fancy -- snippets of conversation, funny descriptions, whatever -- and that I'll then raid when I'm writing. That doesn't quite constitute a buffer -- but it speeds up the writing process on some chapters by so much that it occasionally feels like I had the whole chapter ready. It just needed to be stitched together from the ideas snippets.

I'm at the stage of not having a buffer. I have trouble planning ahead.