Wish Me Luck

So, in my web serial, I'm starting to develop a pattern of creating side stories that are radically different from the rest of the serial. For instance, the first side story was called Crash! and it switched perspectives from my main character to a character who won't be seen until the week after next. Instead of being set in a hellish basic training camp as told by a sheltered boy from New England, it was the life of a special needs girl who dreams of becoming a doctor and her life since she was five. Instead of being 2,000-5,000 words long, it was 15,000.

The second one, which I am currently writing, touches on such happy sunshine like rape on campus, group-think, harassment, becoming worse than what you fight against, just exactly how awful the people behind the titular school are, and what goes on in that redshirt's mind before s/he finally retreats (or is killed in a horrible way.) The previous few chapters were of the protagonist and his friends killing these people in an (almost) straightforward series of action scenes.

The readers are also going to find out some things about the protagonist's friends (none of them good) without the protagonist having to learn them. Part of the reason I want it this way is because I'm interested in the above topics and they tie into my serial's main themes, another reason is that the main character not knowing what the readers know allows me to troll them mercilessly.

On the other hand, I'm afraid that this will end up making my story go pitch black too early. At this point, nothing can stop me, but, as with my previous side story, I'm worried. Any ideas/suggestions/thoughts on how to make this work? Also, as I said in the title, wish me luck!

Huh, I've never thought about having my side-stories be set in the same world as my main story, but that troll does seem glorious.

It's something I should consider. I had always planned on the side story being something completely different so I could have a break from the main plot on my hiatus.

Thanks, Tim! At its best, the audience will be looking at these characters like I look at Yuno Gasai (see the anime Future Diary.) In other words, they're gonna be thinking constantly "When are they going to do something terrible again and how bad will it be?"

Hmm, you've got more backbone than I have. I'm placing that stuff in a short story anthology which I keep separate from the main story.

Wait, t4nky, back up for me for a sec: so I know they're separate stories and everything, but do they still count as NIU's chapters?

Careful with taking things too far off track, it can cost you readers. And you risk losing momentum with your main story, which is the meat and bone of your serial.

@t4nky: Are these stories not up on your site yet? Because I was intrigued by the descriptions and went to look, and couldn't find them. If you put them under a special tab called Side Stories or Bonus Stories or Interludes, they would be there for readers who want more, without distracting from the main storyline.

To answer a few questions, Side Stories (also known as Reports) are from different perspectives than the main character, but are completely cannon. They are supposed to enhance the main story, yet simultaneously take a break from it. The first one, Crash, is up but I just realized I placed it in a very weird place. You have to hover over Intelligence, then go to Reports to get to it or scroll back several posts on the home/archive page. The Other Side is currently in progress. As to those who are warning me about losing my momentum, Crash was one of those things that actually invigorated me a bit, and seemed to go over really well with the fan base. At least, it went well with the portion that comments on it.

Posting them in a separate section of your page is a good idea. Are you still doing regular updates for the main story?

Yep! The last update was yesterday. Every week on Wednesday, I've got something new around 7 or 8 in the morning US East Coast time.