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The Write Stuff: Writing a Wrong

Thande

Jabs First Brexit
Published by SLP
A very important question. LTTW is my main experience with this because it goes on so long and people will spot issues with early parts later on. I tend towards trying to do in-universe justifications for dodgy things rather than changing them because the latter feels cheap, though sometimes I have to put my hands up and change something, as in the case of California's capital (and the names of its cities).
 

Kato

Plain with Left Beef
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Birmingham
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An excellent selection of supporting pictures.

The bedtime story analogy is very apt. I also think there's a study to be made into the extent by which online communities such as AH have contributed to the revival of the "serial" format. I know there's a continuity of sorts from Dickens serials, to genre magazine serials, to today; but in a weird reversal of Netflix TV trends, it feels as if readers are now more comfortable with waiting for episodic updates than might have been the case a few decades ago.

Some writers, myself included, are in the habit of building up a buffer ahead of their posted updates. This has the benefit of (hopefully) allowing us to keep a regular schedule from irregular writing time, with the trade off that our feedback lags behind the creation of new material. I suspect this makes the "fold or double down" decision more complex. On the one hand its materially easier to fold and amend "future" updates. On the other, there's a very human instinct to double down and avoid having to heavily rewrite content already written (and thereby lose a buffer). Also this bit:

Sometimes it is because the author has lost interest in the project, having finished it in their own mind, and is mentally working on their next project.
tends to arrive sooner than it otherwise might.

Good feedback is, as always, invaluable.
 

David Flin

A house of larks and owls
The bedtime story analogy is very apt. I also think there's a study to be made into the extent by which online communities such as AH have contributed to the revival of the "serial" format. I know there's a continuity of sorts from Dickens serials, to genre magazine serials, to today; but in a weird reversal of Netflix TV trends, it feels as if readers are now more comfortable with waiting for episodic updates than might have been the case a few decades ago.
I wonder how much of that has been the advent of blogs?

To an extent, the serial format has always been around. That is, after all, what most soap operas and many comedy series are.

Then, of course, there is the issue of attention spans. That said, the view that attention spans are declining is a view that has been around for some time. To quote from the Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel:

In one anonymous 1849 article, the author complains that "the headlong bustle and the toil of life leave men small leisure save to skim the surface of books." The pandering of writers to this limited attention span has, according to the author, led to "a quantity of literature, if literature it can be called, fit for little else, save to be read in a railway carriage or steamboat."

Plus ca change.
 

Kato

Plain with Left Beef
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Published by SLP
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Birmingham
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To an extent, the serial format has always been around. That is, after all, what most soap operas and many comedy series are.
Oh definitely - its more in my mind that the format has gone from predominantly in the literary arts (19th century), to the visual arts (with television series in the 20th century). Now streaming (and DVD box sets before that) has partly changing habits in the latter (in terms of the gap between serial installments), while blogs and writing forums are normalising that gap for people who might otherwise read a novel or novella from cover to cover in a few sittings.
 
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