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The Art of Sims Storytelling

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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    edited April 22
    I spent too much time with the dictionary...when I was younger. :/ Didn't even have to look up the meaning of internecine.

    Excerpt from River's Journal

    With Parker only a week away from young adulthood, it was hard for him to not be included in the round-table discussion as to what he wanted, but he knew that as a teen, he wasn’t going to be allowed at the table to discuss weighty matters that for most of us were a topic that we wanted to avoid as well. However, we were the ones that had to make the decisions for the rest of the group. We wanted him to still have hope, to be able to think that there was a future. We were the adults in the room, the ones who had to look at the future with a weighted unbiased outlook even though our ages were separated by mere years rather than decades. The frankly bleak future was not something that we wanted to impart to the youngsters and the teens. We needed them still imbued with hope of tomorrow’s promise that there would be a future, not one that the previous generation had ground under the feet of their biases and internecine hatreds that had finally culminated in a war that brought humanity to its knees.

    It takes a bit of trying to figure out how to put something from the viewpoint of a gender that is opposite of your own. :/

    Evidently we're no longer allowed to put images in our posts any more. I hope this thread is migrating to the new EA Forum.
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    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    MadameLeeMadameLee Posts: 32,776 Member
    I'm trying to decide which ending of Chapter 7.23 I should do. Jane and Selene having a chat about Jane's wishes. (That she knows that Selene would like Jane, after her wedding and honeymoon to become Empress Regent aka the ruling monarch, but Jane wants to be able to spend time with her children in their infant and toddler years before becoming the ruling monarch) or should I have the ending being of Crown Princess Jane giving a speech?
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    GreatlyBlessedGreatlyBlessed Posts: 18 Member
    I saw on another thread you'd posted your next chapter @MadameLee! I'll have to check yours out, it looks interesting.

    Also hi! I'm new to the forums, and while with the move coming up I am aware it's not a great time to start posting SimLit (never mind the fact I don't have permission to make a new thread yet either lol) I figured I'd poke around and come learn from the people who do it regularly.

    I do like to write novels (and have even managed to finish a couple drafts) so I'm not completely new to writing. But SimLit is different so, was hoping for some guidance for a newbie to it.
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    edited April 27
    Hi @GreatlyBlessed Welcome to the Forum and the wonderful world of Simlit :)
    All beginnings require courage, so it's good that you speak up.
    You should consider creating a free website for your simlit story. I think almost everyone in this thread has their own website. Many of us use Wordpress, (It's the one I know the most myself), but there are several other free offers such as Tumblr, Weebly etc.
    This will give you better control over your own content in the future. It will also be possible for you to share links to your stories on multiple independent platforms if you wish.
    You can still find guidance here: A Quick Guide to Simlit - Sims Story FAQ. I found it very helpful myself.
    I know the thread has been nominated to be transferred to our new Forum, but there are no guarantees that it will happen without several of the links in the thread becoming dead ends.

    @SnowBnuuy from this Forum has shared her own Simlit Writing Guide which you might also want to check out.

    Good luck with your Simlit writing :smiley:
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    GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 2,388 Member
    edited April 27
    Hi @GreatlyBlessed ! Welcome to the forum and to the Art of Simlit thread. What kinds of stories do you enjoy writing?

    I also second what @MonaSolstraale said about creating your own website to house your stories. I use Weebly for mine, and I really like it. It's very easy to learn how to use (I had never done anything like a website or a blog before). I like having an external site for my story because I like having control over how it looks, and what I can put there, and I also like having pages for behind the scenes stuff and other things. And with this forum shutting down, I'm particularly glad I made that choice, since I don't have to worry about something getting messed up in the move. I do have a thread here to announce new chapters, but I'll just start a new one on the new forum.

    It sounds like you already have experience writing. That will definitely serve you well. Novels take a lot of work and time, so you're probably no stranger to that aspect of it. I think, the biggest differences between writing a novel and writing simlit are the use of pictures in the storytelling, and the serial nature of how it's typically shared, one chapter or episode at a time. In this manner, it kind of falls between novels and things like TV shows or comic books. So, in addition to drawing on my own experience in (attempts at) writing novels, I also take some inspiration from those media as well.
    Forum-Banner-01.jpg
    Seventeen & Maldusk Forum thread link
    My name on AHQ (and the upcoming sims forum) is "GlacierSnowGhost".
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    GreatlyBlessedGreatlyBlessed Posts: 18 Member
    Thanks @GlacierSnow and @MonaSolstraale! I've poked around and think I'm getting a pretty good grasp of how to do this. Gonna try not to jump the gun too much. We'll see how that goes.

    I'm poking around with Weebly and trying to decide how I want to set this up. The big problem right now is I don't know what I want it to look like. I'll get there! Aesthetic is not my strong suit.

    Thanks for all the advice! I'll poke around and check stuff out, start making some notes for my future self. Excited to get to a spot where I can start sharing!
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    SnowBnuuySnowBnuuy Posts: 1,775 Member
    I also recommend Blogger as a second option, since it's pretty darn generous with storage space and you can have more or less as many pics as you want under a certain image size (I can't remember the dimensions but they're pretty big), but it's not as customisable as Wordpress is. Also Wordpress is probably best for the 'social' side of things since most people follow each other on Wordpress so more exposure for your story.
    I would say don't sweat about aesthetic, so long as the blog is readable and easily browsable that should be fine < 3
    they/them or she/her
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    GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 2,388 Member
    I'm not sure what the storage capacity is for Weebly. It might be kind of low, especially for the free version. I use Postimage.org for all the sims screenshots I share online, including the images in my story on Weebly. That's worked well for me. I mostly chose Weebly because the free version doesn't include intrusive adds, just that little scroll-over box over in the lower corner. I can't afford a paid platform right now. I don't remember if I checked out Blogger or not when I was researching. I know I looked at Wordpress, but it seemed a bit more advanced on the UI end, and the free version sticks adds right in the middle of the story text which was a deal breaker for me.

    I went for a pretty plain aesthetic for the site because I didn't see anything in their free templates that felt right for my story's vibe. Once you start getting your content on there, a plain theme for the site looks just fine, I think. I've definitely encountered a few simlit sites where the borders and backgrounds were so busy, I had a hard time reading the story.
    Forum-Banner-01.jpg
    Seventeen & Maldusk Forum thread link
    My name on AHQ (and the upcoming sims forum) is "GlacierSnowGhost".
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    GreatlyBlessedGreatlyBlessed Posts: 18 Member
    I'm spending way too much time on this blog thing. I like the customization part but it's just overwhelming me and I don't think I need that much, really.

    Wordpress looks simple I'm gonna try that!
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    @GreatlyBlessed I only have good experiences with WordPress. There are a number of free themes you can use or you can set it up as you wish. It can all be set up and edited in Pending review until you are completely ready to publish. It can take months or years before you hit on a layout you're completely happy with, so don't worry. Everything can be rebuilt even after release.

    I don't know the content limit in WordPress, but if you use a lot of images in PNG file format, you can link them from an external server. I use a free version of Imgur.com. I store several thousand photos there and have had few problems. However, I've recently heard criticism of images being removed, so perhaps Postimage.org as recommended by @GlacierSnow is a better suggestion.
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    lizzielilyylizzielilyy Posts: 4,906 Member
    @GreatlyBlessed hi and welcome! I second all that everyone has already contributed and am so glad to have another SimLit writer in our wonderful community! I am a wordpress user and can definitely relate to getting swept up in the blog side of it (it often becomes a welcome procrastination technique if I'm getting writer's block :joy: ) can't wait to see what you come up with <3
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    MadameLeeMadameLee Posts: 32,776 Member
    I saw on another thread you'd posted your next chapter @MadameLee! I'll have to check yours out, it looks interesting.

    Also hi! I'm new to the forums, and while with the move coming up I am aware it's not a great time to start posting SimLit (never mind the fact I don't have permission to make a new thread yet either lol) I figured I'd poke around and come learn from the people who do it regularly.

    I do like to write novels (and have even managed to finish a couple drafts) so I'm not completely new to writing. But SimLit is different so, was hoping for some guidance for a newbie to it.


    @GreatlyBlessed just a warning, there's racism, and sexism including "bad words" in the story - a long with other problematics things. And its a very long story 7 generations.

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    GreatlyBlessedGreatlyBlessed Posts: 18 Member
    @MadameLee I'm not bothered by a lot in stories, don't worry about it. It's pretty much only when it gets explicit I tap out. That said I have read some of Swanson Legacy so far! It's very dramatic. Everyone is running on 110% at all times, it's great.

    Wordpress is proving to be easier! Except for the part where I accidentally deleted my header and I can't figure out how to get it back. Technology!!
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    edited April 29
    Hi @GreatlyBlessed
    I hope you have solved your Header problem, otherwise see this guide.
    You can always go back to a previous version of your website. When you work with Post and Pages there is an undo arrow. When you work with costumizing your header in appearance, it depends on whether you use an imported theme. In that case, your theme will have a menu of items you can adjust. You can search for many helpful guides either in wordpress.com support or on YouTube.

    NB: Incidentally, I came to think of this thread in the Forum: Wordpress, How to start for very beginners. Maybe you can find some answers there.
    Post edited by MonaSolstraale on
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    GreatlyBlessedGreatlyBlessed Posts: 18 Member
    @MonaSolstraale
    I did find some! Thanks! I've got things (mostly) how I want them. Except for the Header still. I'd like to make it a nice, white option but everything I try ends up telling me I have to pay for it and I ain't doing that.
    Wordpress and I are going to have a chat at some point. I'm going to bring a baseball bat to that chat.
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    @GreatlyBlessed One of the most enjoyable things about having your own website is that it encourages you to use your creativity to find solutions.
    Without this developing into a technical thread, I don't know if I understand you completely correctly when you write about your Header.
    In my theme the Header is an image. If this is the case with you, you could take a screenshot of a blank word document and insert it as your header image. It won't cost you anything.
    If that doesn't work then you have to reach for the baseball bat :joy:
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    GreatlyBlessedGreatlyBlessed Posts: 18 Member
    @MonaSolstraale
    (it keeps getting rid of the mention and I don't know why).

    I was trying to avoid stating details so it didn't turn into a technical thread lol, but I think I've finally managed to work it out! Unless I break my chapter list page when I go to upload "chapters". That's also a possibility.
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    lizzielilyylizzielilyy Posts: 4,906 Member
    A question for those of us who write or read longer stories with distinct “sections” like generations of a legacy etc.

    Is it beneficial (for the writer and/or reader) to have summaries of each section to go back to to refresh? I’m wondering whether it would be helpful to write a synopsis of each generation so people don’t need to re-read previous bits or get put off by returning to read after a break because there would be a lot to comb through to remember where they left off or what happened. Thoughts? 🩷
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    SnowBnuuySnowBnuuy Posts: 1,775 Member
    @lizzielilyy Yes! Definitely, I am currently writing a recap myself (blagh!) . I do recaps every two sections (mine is split into acts). Yimi helped me by suggesting I split the sections of the recap into characters and what happens to them, so that’s what I’m doing since my story has a lot of POVs. But I think if you have a complex plot summarising chapters might be easier.
    they/them or she/her
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    MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,394 Member
    @lizzielilyy I think a summary is a really good idea. Especially if you have taken a long break in reading. Then it can be quite difficult to remember all the characters, their relationship and progress.
    I have often found myself having to re-read previous episodes to keep up. I don't know if I'm particularly forgetful, but I think a summary will be helpful for the reader.

    @GreatlyBlessed You can share all technical details and questions in the WordPress thread I referred to before. I would like to help if I can and there may be others there too.
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    HermioneSimsHermioneSims Posts: 815 Member
    @lizzielilyy

    Is it beneficial (for the writer and/or reader) to have summaries of each section to go back to to refresh?

    I'm another person who writes summaries, in my case it is at the end of every generation of my legacy. I decided to do so because in here I'm reposting and translating a story I originally posted somewhere else, and even I could tell that such a long story (200+ chapters) was hard to navigate without clear delimitations among the generations and periodic summaries.

    I'm writing them with three main goals in mind:
    - give my readers a chance to skip a whole generation or more and focus on the generation they think they may like the most (by reading the previous summary, I hope they may have enough information to enjoy the rest of the story without being too lost)
    - write down clearly which are the main take-home messages of that generation, as well as the points that will be important for the following
    - help the people who are (possibly) returning back to the story after a long time, who in this way can read a summary instead of re-read several chapters.

    In particular with the last few generations, which are becoming quite long, I'm sort of struggling to keep these summaries short and clear though. For me going in strict chronological order or by character would result in very intricated summaries, so I'm trying to focus on a plotline at a time and make them as linear as I can. Also, I immediately resigned to the fact that it's impossible to cover all the events that appeared in the chapters, so I'm trying to make the summaries at least self-standing, enjoyable to read, and informative enough to be able to follow what comes after in the story.

    In any case, against any odds, writing the summaries may be one of the most time-consuming parts for me, it can be tough sometimes!
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    You can follow the Legacy Miller from my blog and the forum thread, *Chapter 8.25 posted on the 24th of May 2024*
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    GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 2,388 Member
    I also agree. Summaries can be really helpful. Especially if the writer takes a break for a while, I appreciate having a summary before resuming.

    For serial stories like Simlit, important details may have happened in a chapter that was posted two years ago. That's a long time to remember stuff. As a reader, I really appreciate the occasional re-cap.

    As a writer... it can be hard to decide which details to go into the summary, so it doesn't end up almost as long as the story. It's a good self-challenge exercise to really decide what's important.
    Forum-Banner-01.jpg
    Seventeen & Maldusk Forum thread link
    My name on AHQ (and the upcoming sims forum) is "GlacierSnowGhost".
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    SnowBnuuySnowBnuuy Posts: 1,775 Member
    @GlacierSnow Struggling with this right now. The recap is pretty long and I’ve only recapped what’s happened to 3 characters…but a lot of the details seem important to me, so I never know what to cut out ;-; Especially now a lot of characters’ stories are intertwining with others’.
    they/them or she/her
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    lizzielilyylizzielilyy Posts: 4,906 Member
    Thank you all so much for your input! I'm going to try to pull together summaries of Evergreen by generation and hope that I can make them just the right length and focus on the main story points. I think now Evergreen is 14 months old, even though it is updated twice a week, it's hard to retain everything from the first few generations!
    Gen-6-982x250-1.jpg
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    MadameLeeMadameLee Posts: 32,776 Member
    i wouldn't have a clue how to summarize any of my generations!
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