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  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 3,912 Member
    I have a question for everyone.

    We talked about scheduling posts - so those that do - how do you discipline yourself to do it? I want to post a chapter as soon as it's ready. But then my posts are very irregular which readers may not like. So, how far ahead do you write? How often do you feel updates should happen?

    I love it when Amanda posts daily chapters but I now know that is a lot to ask. Of course when RL comes calling - well not much you can do about that either.
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    Other Complete Stories: Starting Over | Everything Is Not As It Seems | Pen Pal Stories: Kaitlin and Newt
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 10,556 Member
    AudreyFld wrote: »
    I have a question for everyone.

    We talked about scheduling posts - so those that do - how do you discipline yourself to do it? I want to post a chapter as soon as it's ready. But then my posts are very irregular which readers may not like. So, how far ahead do you write? How often do you feel updates should happen?

    I love it when Amanda posts daily chapters but I now know that is a lot to ask. Of course when RL comes calling - well not much you can do about that either.

    @AudreyFld Hahahaha the daily posts were always a result of lack of discipline :joy: It can be very hard to be far ahead. The most I was ever ahead was about fifteen chapters, and it was TORTURE. A LOT can happen in fifteen chapters. I think the biggest challenge with being ahead is it can be difficult to reply to comments with enthusiasm and sincerity because, in your mind, the stuff the readers are commenting on is "old news" and your mind is already ahead, y'know? I've had that happen a lot with A2A, unfortunately. So I'd decide "what the heck" and do daily updates because I was impatient :joy:

    Right now, I had to cut back because I am actually not very far ahead, and I've been extremely busy and stressed and need to cut back. I am currently only five chapters ahead, and that feels pretty comfortable :)

    I think daily updates can be overwhelming for readers anyway... I think 2-4 a week is a sweet spot. But even one a week is nice! For me, consistency is always appreciated as a reader, so I try very hard to do that for my readers :)
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  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 3,912 Member
    @CitizenErased14 - 15 Chapters! That is crazy. Your chapters aren't usually super long so I can sort of see getting ahead, but not 15 chapters ahead. I am sure it was torture. Even though they aren't long, as a rule something impactful happens which leaves us all wanting more.
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    Other Complete Stories: Starting Over | Everything Is Not As It Seems | Pen Pal Stories: Kaitlin and Newt
  • SourochaSourocha Posts: 1,325 Member
    edited March 2017
    @AudreyFld I feel like I don't need that much discipline to post the chapter, as I post once a week, because of life stuff...I try to post as many chapters I made that week, if I was able to make one chapter wich is what things have been lately than one chapter it is!Because I have to study, so don't have that much time! I'm not that much ahead on my story in chapter way...But for the story itself, a little ahead. And! my chapters are a little long recently ( the one I made most recent had like 3449 words)

    *edit

  • ArrowleafArrowleaf Posts: 3,871 Member
    edited March 2017
    I do my outlines in a notebook (I sometimes need to write things down on paper, this is something I do when I get writers block as well), but I typically don't outline very detailed. So, all my outlines look like @CitizenErased14 skeleton outlines.

    But, I basically just jot down a bunch of events that I want to happen, they don't even have to be in order, and then later go back and organize them in a way that makes sense. I find it very hard to do detailed outlines because I usually end up just wanting to write the actual chapter.

    Edit: Actually, I went back and looked at my outlines, and once I have gone back and re-organized the events, they look identical to @AudreyFld examples. My notebook has
    Prologue: Willow moves back to Willow Creek. Deals with the deaths of her parents.
    Chapter one: Reconciles with her best friend, figures out how to cope with her dying farm
    Chapter two: Funeral and Introduce Jay
    Chapter Three: Start work on the farm, formally introduce Christopher

    I do not write ahead. I have never been ahead ever in my life with a story. xD I am very much a 'write and post instantly' type of person, which usually let's me update once a week.

    As for what I think is an ideal update schedule, I think once or twice a week is ideal. It depends on chapter length, but I often get overwhelmed when I see someone say they update daily. It discourages me from reading some of the longer stories, even if I want to, because I feel like I will never catch up.
    Post edited by Arrowleaf on
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  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 3,912 Member
    @arrowleaf - I am using Google Docs to capture everything before I post it to the blog. Because I work from home, sometimes I have downtime at work where I can work on my story. So I can use my ipad then when I can get to my computer its there for me. I do that when I travel too. Makes it so much easier. I write on the plane, sitting in a hotel room or at the airport. I couldn't do it by hand. I change it so much!
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    Other Complete Stories: Starting Over | Everything Is Not As It Seems | Pen Pal Stories: Kaitlin and Newt
  • CementCement Posts: 2,906 Member
    I could've sworn I posted something about me still being on jury duty, but now that I look back on my posts I didn't? Just saying I'm still stuck in a box walking in and out of the courtroom still. :pensive:
    please end me already

    My outlines span from really vague to in-depth kind of stuff and whatever's in between. I usually don't stick to it exactly since I get weird epiphanies on how to go about a certain "major" scene, and I end up rewriting several times. I also have a habit of taking notes of appearances that have to be written in, and most of my brainstorming is done on a notebook, namely because I'm like a chronic doodler and I doodle in thought. (I usually doodle Joseph because I like drawing grumpy faces :joy: )
    My outlines look like this.
    My "very vague":
    5ea00c3c6d5c7954d3e8041657646a82.png
    To my "somewhat descriptive":
    1cdf363eaff9cdb82e5908b2ce6ecdcf.png
    I also keep a sort of "timeline" of how things occurred on OneNote. (OneNote is such a good program, I wish I used it a lot earlier.)

    Honestly, I haven't looked at my outlines so they're kind of old and all over the place. I only kinda go to them if I forget where I'm supposed to be going within the "timeline" :joy:

    I also keep notes on things that happened around the "community" so I could incorporate what happened around there. Sometimes I just write a random scene that should occur, and I'll build around it, making chapters that kind of lead up to whatever scene it is. Or just random dialogue of a conversation I thought would be nice.

    Scheduling is... Kind of impossible for me. I'd love to update on weekends, but I always end up changing things. As an example, out of one week... The first 3 days are writing parts of the chapter, usually in irregular scenes and nothing connecting them yet. On the second or third day, I try writing alternate ways of how to get from point A to point B. Then for the next three days I kind of pick the "winning sections" and compile them into something coherent. The last day of the week I read over it, take a nap or do something else, read over it again and revise, then if I like it, I'll let it sit for like a day or two. Then I'd go back to it and read it over, adding and subtracting parts I like or don't like after that resting period.
    Sometimes I scrap it all and do it all over again. I'm kind of picky when it comes to it, even though I only write like a few hours a day. :/

    People who post daily or stick to a schedule are amazing, 'cause I seriously can't do it.

    I also write ahead. Er... Random scenes that occur like... A ton of chapters later. Does that count? I have a lot of "Chapter ??: some title here" of Frankenstein-like chapters :joy:
  • cecerose0208cecerose0208 Posts: 1,465 Member
    I'm loving reading about everyone's process. I do outlines sometimes. I don't have a specific outline for each character's life story. But I do have an outline for their character, and planned character drama, and non-aspirational life dream. This loosely determines how that character will respond to life events.

    My story is mostly game driven, so I'll use events that happen pretty much in chronological order, and intertwine them in with the expected life events. For instance, as I was planning-- don't read this next part if you aren't caught up on my story--
    Quincy's and Daniella's wedding, his mom got bit by a vampire. So we took the garlic wreath detour. Then I realized Luca shouldn't be alone after Daniella leaves, and decided to marry him off​ first, which adds a whole other but of drama.

    Once an event happens, I will outline the path through it and back to the unexpected event, usually with bullet points written as a draft in the same post that ends up as the final chapter.

    I just changed my posting schedule to be every Monday at 9am EST. I'm thinking for longer chapters, I just decided I'll split them in multiple parts to post throughout the week. If I'm gonna split the chapters, I'd like to keep the chapters around 750-1100 words. That will make it easier to digest, and keep the main story portion of the week the same so it will feel like one story and won't feel so overwhelming to read. At least that'll be the goal.
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    In comments, you may see me as Chicago-Style Girl, CeCe McBride, or cecerose0208. That's my fault for not using the same username on the forums, wordpress, and blogger!
  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 3,912 Member
    I never really thought about word count though I have seen it mentioned. I am not sure blogger provides that. Perhaps and I just don't know where to find it. Although, I know some of my chapters should have been split into to two - I think Chapter 25 is a good example. Putting it in a spoiler just in case everyone isn't caught up.
    For example - Chapter 25 - When Kaitlin has her baby - the hospital part could have been it's own chapter. As I read it later, it seemed like it got buried in the first part of the chapter. But I was sticking to a chapter per sim day which is the equivalent of one to three sim weeks.

    So in this instance, I feel it was more thematically appropriate to have multiple chapters. Maybe I could have done part one and part two. I don't know. :/
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    Other Complete Stories: Starting Over | Everything Is Not As It Seems | Pen Pal Stories: Kaitlin and Newt
  • SourochaSourocha Posts: 1,325 Member
    Oooookay! It's official! I'm caught up in alll stories! so alleatory,yep. :D

  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 3,912 Member
    @Sourocha - I think you win the prize for the first one to catch up with everyone's stories! I am almost finished with yours and the only one left is @cecerose0208 - no reason you were my last...I actually started it before this. But I should be caught up this weekend.
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    Other Complete Stories: Starting Over | Everything Is Not As It Seems | Pen Pal Stories: Kaitlin and Newt
  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 3,912 Member
    @Cement - that's a ton of rewrites! :p I have a few but not to the extent you have. But maybe that is because my story is a challenge driven story and not one completely left to my own imagination. I am not confident enough to just start writing a story without any preconceived direction provided by someone else! Or a random event directing what I must do.

    What I found interesting is going back a month or so after I have posted a chapter and rereading it, I find I am reading it as if it is the first time I have read it and I find things that I totally messed up. One of my big issues is switching POV midway through a scene. I didn't realize I was doing it and the effect it had on readers until it was pointed out. I only found out through contructive critism solicited from people with way more writing experience than I will ever have. (@cathytea for one) I want to rewrite or edit those chapters so they flow better. (Could be most of them). :blush: Then there is one where I totally contradicted a plot line which made it seem out of character and I want to fix that too. I think one of you guys called me on that one! Sorry. Maybe oversharing a bit!

    I will stop rambling...
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    Other Complete Stories: Starting Over | Everything Is Not As It Seems | Pen Pal Stories: Kaitlin and Newt
  • AkramAAkramA Posts: 2,563 Member
    RE Outlines:

    Firstly, if you've already caught up with my story you probably notice that I'm one of those people who don't really like the concept of game driven and story driven because it's so arbitrary and it's oversimplifying the writing process as I'm sure everyone has one.


    Okay continue to the outlining topic.

    I have a grand story planning for one generation so I would stick to one specific theme so the story didn't go too far but I usually plan a story chapter by chapter.

    For the chapter writing, I pre-write a general story for a chapter and then from that story I made a screenshot list. I play the game as how I usually played it so it's still a documented legacy so all the challenge and rule could still apply. Because this is the sims 4 and you know sims 4 is the weirdest one yet. So I change the story back when something weird happen.

    Once, I just abandoned my screenshot list and just go with the game and took as many screenshot as I can.
    This is movie magic for those who don't want to know behind the scene stuff, stop now hehe
    It's in the "Slap" episode which ended up being the weirdest since I couldn't possibly control which NPC would be just walking on the street. How Antwan has apparently had a husband and probably broke up with her mohawk girlfriend that I set him up with. Also how the mentor just come in the street making my creative juice flowing. It's also timed with Antwan just going home at the exact an perfect time.

    This had some problem (but a blessing in a way), because I couldn't control the NPC and it's always a challenge to just fit them to the story. That's why NPC is rarely in the story.
    This is movie magic for those who don't want to know behind the scene stuff, stop now hehe
    This also went into the romance partner as it will always end up as random as possible. if in my story outline my sims are going to the gym and looking for a partner, I HAVE TO fulfill that and this ended up with the random townies that will become my sims partner. Good thin is I will end up not being picky with who my sims will be with.

    RE Schedule:
    I'm a schedule freak and I'm only being one for a month so i might not be later.
    I have not only a schedule for my writing but also for my reading (but it's usually just a list of reading and how much chapter I could read this time). I have a schedule on when I will play and when I will write. The writing usually took 1-3 hours per chapters and so did the playing. I don't write super ahead though because I'm an absent-minded person and i need a continuous stream of story so I don't get a writer's block.


    BTW, could we do a spoiler policy, I've been lurking in a reading circle before and I've seen so much spoiler there. I know you probably assume that everyone in this circle had already read the story but maybe some hadn't and the lurkers probably hadn't either.

  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 3,912 Member
    By spoiler policy - you want us to put any story comments in spoilers? In case there are lurkers or everyone here may not have read them? I am good with that. :)
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    Other Complete Stories: Starting Over | Everything Is Not As It Seems | Pen Pal Stories: Kaitlin and Newt
  • AkramAAkramA Posts: 2,563 Member
    Sorry if that wasn't very clear. Yes that's what I meant.
  • CementCement Posts: 2,906 Member
    I gotta go read fast! :joy: I think I'm going from bottom to top since I started with Ocha's story first, so I'll do CeCe's next since I'm already caught up with Amanda's :)

    @AudreyFld I blame the weird epiphanies at 3AM when I want to sleep that make me wanna write something else :joy: And yeah, that's true. I don't really have a focus like you have for your story :joy:
    My story's a little erratic since I was playing for fun in the beginning, then my brother started sneakily adding guys in my town or sabotaging whatever I did whenever I'd leave my computer unattended LOL. From then on it kinda evolved into this weird plot of what happened to all of them thanks to my brother's influence, and my whole story is just me making a reason for why these outcomes are so weird. (Some behind the scenes stuff right here)
    I also have a handful of oddly named townies because of him and they all bred like rabbits in my game smh how am I going to explain these names
    Then again, in his defense, we liked "Hurd" because it rhymed with "plum" and we're both immature overgrown kids that still giggle about poop

    And ooh, word count.
    I originally limited myself to 3k, but then it kinda diluted itself into like a minimum of 3k words per chapter, and ended up having an average of like 5-6k. Ish.
    My longest being Chapter 2 with like almost 10k words and it makes me feel embarrassed every time I think about the size because it just seems so obnoxiously massive
    I guess it'll end up like a little novel at this point, since I hope I get to my presumed "ending" at chapter 26 or 30 at most. :pensive: Then I'll write a new story off the next couple generations and so forth into little sections of <30 chapters. :/
    They'll all be related to each other even though the families may be different since all my townies right now are from older generations of townies, plus I began rotating a lot more often around generation 2 and 3. :)

    Spoiler policy sounds good :smiley:
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 10,556 Member
    I am a little on the fence about a spoiler policy, just because it'll make discussion a little cumbersome to have to click the spoiler every single time we talk about a story (plus having to remember to use one every time we talk about a story too)... what if we have one to start with and then as we all are caught up, we ease off on it?
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    Ashes to Ashes: A Legacy - Updated 5/23 | (Para)Normal Neighborhood - Updated 8/29 | Dust to Dust - COMPLETE 11/24/15
  • cecerose0208cecerose0208 Posts: 1,465 Member
    I am a little on the fence about a spoiler policy, just because it'll make discussion a little cumbersome to have to click the spoiler every single time we talk about a story (plus having to remember to use one every time we talk about a story too)... what if we have one to start with and then as we all are caught up, we ease off on it?

    I was thinking something along these lines as well. I put a reference to a later chapter of mine behind a spoiler because I know you all aren't all caught up, but I wouldn't want to necessarily be worried about having to do that for lurkers once you are all caught up.
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  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 10,556 Member
    My shift that I thought was gonna be covered today now isn't anymore :'( No day off for me!

    Still gonna work on my reading this weekend though! I'm sorry that I'm slow. I'll get there eventually, I promise! :smiley:
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  • SourochaSourocha Posts: 1,325 Member
    edited March 2017
    About spoilers...I think both ideas are nice! Don't have preference!

    Weird, exotic, or even disgusting foods you had! !even thought this things are concepts, so, what's weird for me, could not be weird for you! :smile:

    Recently, I had a sausage that was made of blood from cow, pig and other animal's...Weird enought it wasn't only liquid and had some...solid parts inside it! It wasn't good at all...I rememberd when I first had vegan meatballs yep that exist the taste was..unusual! Or when I had a cheese-banana sandwich! It had some weird flavors, but it was almost good! I think it would be better if the banana was more caramelized! Or the guava butter and cheese sandwich! It may sound weird, but is very nice! I think I had scargó once, but, I'm not sure...

  • AkramAAkramA Posts: 2,563 Member
    RE: Spoiler Policy
    I'm just going with whatever the group feel better, I'm still thinking that it was needed as I'm still fighting for lurker's right but if it seems too inconvenient I'm okay that we do it until we all caught up.

    RE: Reading
    I'm also a slow reader too so I'm hoping it wouldn't take too long but I already started on everyone's story. Even though I have no reason to be because i have all the time in the world this weekend.

    RE: The important food topic
    I love vegan meat, it's texture are great and it didn't taste like meat at all, I love it.

    Most of the food that I ate are usually be called exotic because I'm from a very distant country than most of you, except if you're australian. hehe. I'm a picky eater so I don't really eat weird food, but probably most food I ate you would think is either weird or disgusting. I'm actually wondering if dodol or brem is weird or not because at first when I was a kid, it's kind of weird but I grew up liking it.
  • ArrowleafArrowleaf Posts: 3,871 Member
    edited March 2017
    Ah, I was not even thinking about spoilers as I posted. I have no problem putting my future updates under spoiler tags - it's two extra clicks to tag something as a spoiler and only 1 to open them. Doesn't seem like it should be too much of an issue, but I can see how when we are having an active discussion about a particular story it could be come tiresome. Then again, if we are having a discussion about a particular story and someone is not caught up, it should be fairly simple to skip over those particular messages (same for lurkers) but this is my first time participating in a reading circle so what do I know? :p

    @AkramA Dodol looks like caramel/butterscotch type candies to me, which I love! I don't know if I would like brem. I want to say no, but I have tried lots of foreign food that I thought I would hate but then loved. 0_0

    @CitizenErased14 Oh no. :[ I'm sorry to hear that! Just think of the $$$
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  • SourochaSourocha Posts: 1,325 Member
    @AkramA Dodol looks very good! I would like to give it a try in all that kinds! And brem the cake looks diferent, while brem the bevarage looks fun! Rice wine? Sounds very insteresting! I wonder what it tastes like...

  • AkramAAkramA Posts: 2,563 Member
    I can only eat the solid brem because I can't drink alcoholic beverage for religious reason so I had no idea what it taste but If it taste like the solid one, it's sweet and sour and melt in your mouth from the alcohol evaporation. I google butterscotch and I don't think I have it here but I think I could say that it definitely taste different than brown sugar and butter. Caramel is kind of close just add a coconut milk flavor into it, but the gooey and slimy texture from jaggery and rice is the most likely different thing.
  • SourochaSourocha Posts: 1,325 Member
    @AkramA Now I really would like to try Dodol! I didnt know what jaggery was too, and after researching, I want to try that too! :D

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