Go Back   Literotica Discussion Board > Main Literotica Forums > Authors' Hangout

Reply
 
Thread Tools

Old 01-12-2018, 04:17 PM   #1
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Long Narrative/ Vignette Stories

I'd appreciate some thoughts on this from other authors.

I've begun what I intend to be a long narrative, Mary and Alvin, which if it goes as planned, will chronicle the lifespan of a relationship from the time the couple meets until well into old age. Most chapters will be episodic, but will carry the overall narrative forward.

I also have ideas for what I think of as "vignettes", which would be shorter and deal with particular incidents or experiences featuring the same characters, but which do not propel the narrative.There may be a Christmas story for example, or a story that describes one particular romantic encounter.

Would you include these as chapters within the larger work, or perhaps publish them as side stories, using the characters names in the titles to indicate to the reader that they were related to the main story?
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 04:52 PM   #2
NoJo
Fan of Arts & Farces
 
NoJo's Avatar
 
NoJo is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Lying in the gutter, looking up skirts
Posts: 14,970
I'd find such "interludes" intrusive, unless they provide character development or plot advancement, but that's more of an indication of my taste, than a piece of advice.
__________________
Latest romance: Animal Behavior
Mindfuck: The Hive
Some of My Stories: Humour: 1 2 3 4 Humourless: 1 2 Non-Erotic: 1
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 04:52 PM   #3
NotWise
Snipe hunter
 
NotWise's Avatar
 
NotWise is online now
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: On the high desert
Posts: 3,943
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelissaBaby View Post
I'd appreciate some thoughts on this from other authors.
I would probably publish the vignettes as part of the main story. Lot's of novels have such asides.

On the other hand, if you can post your vignettes in other categories you might be able to use them to increase readership for the main story. Your mileage may vary on that one.
__________________
My stories

My personal favorites are The Third Ring and Oscar's Place.
My Valentines Day contest entry was Her Bodyguard (and his Dirty Valentine). It's a little brother/sister love story.
My most recent story is The Third Ring -- Tamsin of Sky Village, a story inspired by the legendary character of Yellow Woman.
I was seduced by a ghost story, so the working title for my next story is "Two Whores and a Playwright." The name might stick. I don't know.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 05:10 PM   #4
SimonDoom
Literotica Guru
 
SimonDoom is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 1,429
Do you intend to publish the main work as a single work, or as a series of chapters?

I don't think it is possible to answer your question until the story is written. When the story is done you will be able to determine the answer. Given what you have said about the story, I would recommend writing it first and then deciding, instead of writing and publishing a chapter and then figuring out what to do as you go along.
__________________
My stories are at https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 05:13 PM   #5
RubenR
Literotica Guru
 
RubenR's Avatar
 
RubenR is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Hidden
Posts: 1,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelissaBaby View Post
I also have ideas for what I think of as "vignettes", which would be shorter and deal with particular incidents or experiences featuring the same characters, but which do not propel the narrative. There may be a Christmas story for example, or a story that describes one particular romantic encounter.
I could imagine that you do want to publish such special stories as contributions for contests, to attract extra attention to your work. If those really are stand-alone parts, I would go for it.
__________________
My Stories and a Poem
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 05:21 PM   #6
Weird Harold
Opinionated Old Fart
 
Weird Harold's Avatar
 
Weird Harold is online now
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: "Lost Wages", NV USA
Posts: 23,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelissaBaby View Post
Would you include these as chapters within the larger work, or perhaps publish them as side stories, using the characters names in the titles to indicate to the reader that they were related to the main story?
How a vignette fits into the timeline of the story should determine whether to include or publish separately. If your main storyline is running around summertime activities, a Christmas vignette isn't going to fit very well. (unless, you're Australian or South American, or such)
__________________
Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just figure out which questions they go to. )
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 05:30 PM   #7
LoquiSordidaAdMe
Really Really Experienced
 
LoquiSordidaAdMe's Avatar
 
LoquiSordidaAdMe is online now
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
I would probably publish the vignettes as part of the main story. Lot's of novels have such asides.

On the other hand, if you can post your vignettes in other categories you might be able to use them to increase readership for the main story. Your mileage may vary on that one.
I think NotWise is onto something here. Not only could you publish in other categories, but stand alone vignettes might attract readers who don't want to commit to a longer work. Once you get up to around Mary & Alvin Ch 05, it might be hard to draw in new readers who don't want start at Ch 01 to get caught up. But a stand-alone story might hook new readers and get them to start on the main narrative.

It's weird to think about writing strategically like that. On the one hand, we all want readers. Most of us don't get paid here, but we do want the page views - we want as many readers as we can get. On the other hand, we want to be true to our art, write what we want, and not sell out for money or eyeballs.

It's a tough choice.
__________________
My latest story:
Warm Friends on Cold Nights (Group Sex; 3 pages)
The only thing between Hannah & her crush is her best friend.

The rest of my prosaic little stroke stories

Last edited by LoquiSordidaAdMe : 01-12-2018 at 06:04 PM.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 06:04 PM   #8
jomar
chillin
 
jomar's Avatar
 
jomar is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 18,436
I tend to align with NoJo, though if the vignettes are smoothly inserted and don’t yank the reader from the main narrative for too long they might be fine.

Are they just asides, things you think of the characters doing as you’re writing? vignettes could easily be used as backflashes to show a glimpse of how things things were and such.
__________________
"No one writes trash like you, Jo." - bluebell

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 06:22 PM   #9
RejectReality
Literotica Guru
 
RejectReality's Avatar
 
RejectReality is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Alternate Reality
Posts: 2,124
I honestly think you've answered this for yourself. It seems to me that you already believe these extra stories don't quite fit within the main narrative, even though they're stories you want to tell. Whether it's incidents in the past that don't inform things important to the main plot, or simply fun scenes that would feel like a drag on the main narrative, they don't feel as if they fit to you.

I say follow your instincts and write those stories outside the main narrative. You can always mention them as a closing note in the next chapter of the main narrative you post, to direct your core readers to them. A quick note at the beginning of the stories defining where they would fit in the main narrative should make them accessible, and not confuse the core readers.

If the side stories have interesting, mini arcs of their own, you could even encourage people who hesitate to read long stories to check out the main narrative.
__________________




Alt for Darkniciad ^--Website

Quite Neighborly

09/14/17
*
Overdue

09/28/17
*
Hot Shorts

11/22/17
*
Holly Jolley Christmas

12/05/17
*
Unleashed

01/17/18

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 06:34 PM   #10
oggbashan
Ancient writer
 
oggbashan's Avatar
 
oggbashan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Facing the sea.
Posts: 38,988
You can write it however you like.

My recommendation would be to post it as Parts, not Chapters, and the vignettes can be within a part.

You could break each part into several chapters of varying length. The vignette could have a separate chapter number within a part e.g.

Part 01 of five chapters:
Chap 1 - 6,000 words
Chap 2 - 750 words 'vignette'
Chap 3 - 2.500 words
Chap 4 - 500 words 'vignette'
Chap 5 - 4,500 words

Part 02...
__________________


Oggbashan's long list of stories
Jeanne D'Artois' few


electricblue66:
It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 06:42 PM   #11
electricblue66
Literotica Guru
 
electricblue66 is online now
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Oz
Posts: 2,293
I'd be inclined to run the vignettes as side stories, mainly because that would give you more story content in your file, which can also be scattered around different categories, picking up wider readership. Especially if your main story arc is a whole-of-life story, as you indicate. That's just one story - and may be too long, too daunting, for many readers. Giving readers smaller pieces is like trailers at the movies - oh, maybe I'd like that one, but maybe not that one over there.

That's how my interconnected story worlds are running. If you look at my story file, you'll see a range of multi-part stories; if (when ) you go read them all, you'll find the main character in one series will be a side character in another, and vice versa. Overall there's a whole bunch of interconnectedness - it's a lot of fun to write, and also (and I think this is important), it doesn't lock me relentlessly into "one big thing". If I need to mix up my moods, or need a break, I've got a whole little family of stories to choose from. In my case, each episode is stand alone, but I give myself a lot of freedom. So I've got several 'worlds', all progressing in parallel.

For example, I've just joined the penguins and published a story in I & T. On face value, it's just another of my Floating World stories, with Adam and a mystery woman; with the reveal in the second last sentence. So now I've given myself the option of one and possibly two back stories, as well as a "what happens next" episode. So that's a pretty wide range of possibilities, with a bunch of new followers as well, from just one sentence.

I've also got a slow series of ongoing collaborations, which gives both me and my fellow writer a whole 'nother set of joined up-edness (that's not a word...) - those are good, because they are completely unpredictable. But all story threads, to weave together.
__________________
electricblue

My stories: https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 06:50 PM   #12
PuckIt
Literotica Guru
 
PuckIt's Avatar
 
PuckIt is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelissaBaby View Post
I'd appreciate some thoughts on this from other authors.

I've begun what I intend to be a long narrative, Mary and Alvin, which if it goes as planned, will chronicle the lifespan of a relationship from the time the couple meets until well into old age. Most chapters will be episodic, but will carry the overall narrative forward.

I also have ideas for what I think of as "vignettes", which would be shorter and deal with particular incidents or experiences featuring the same characters, but which do not propel the narrative.There may be a Christmas story for example, or a story that describes one particular romantic encounter.

Would you include these as chapters within the larger work, or perhaps publish them as side stories, using the characters names in the titles to indicate to the reader that they were related to the main story?
I don't know if it's because I'm not quite awake yet (although a certain entitled bitch got me out of bed to let her out to pee), but I'm struggling a bit with just what the issue might be.

In my experiences following mainstream authors over the years, it's not at all unusual for them to utilize the same characters to write a series of novels and then several non-incorporated short stories that are later incorporated as a "memoir" sort of piece as well. Lois McMaster Bujold's "Miles Vorkosigian" series comes to mind. As does Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files." If I had a little more caffeine, I could probably come up with several more.

Anyway, my point is that while "Mary and Alvin" is a titular piece of chaptered work, I just don't see the issue with having an aside stand alone vignette "M&A's Valentine Dance" or whatever with a title that separates it from, but recognizes it as from within the same "world" as "Mary and Alvin."
__________________
I'm not clumsy. It's just the floor hates me, the table and chairs are bullies, and the walls get in my way!

For the literarily masochistically inclined.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 07:08 PM   #13
jomar
chillin
 
jomar's Avatar
 
jomar is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 18,436
Now that I think about it I added a “deleted scene” at the end of one of my story chapters, kind of like the features at the end of a dvd...did ok
__________________
"No one writes trash like you, Jo." - bluebell

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 07:42 PM   #14
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoJo View Post
I'd find such "interludes" intrusive, unless they provide character development or plot advancement, but that's more of an indication of my taste, than a piece of advice.
Thanks, I appreciate the input.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 07:45 PM   #15
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
I would probably publish the vignettes as part of the main story. Lot's of novels have such asides.

On the other hand, if you can post your vignettes in other categories you might be able to use them to increase readership for the main story. Your mileage may vary on that one.
When possible, I will integrate the vignettes into the plot, using them whenever for character development. Of course, there is the option of just using the ideas for stand alone stories that have nothing to do with this narrative. My interest lies in larger works, though.

Your point about categories is well taken, thanks.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 07:46 PM   #16
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
Do you intend to publish the main work as a single work, or as a series of chapters?

I don't think it is possible to answer your question until the story is written. When the story is done you will be able to determine the answer. Given what you have said about the story, I would recommend writing it first and then deciding, instead of writing and publishing a chapter and then figuring out what to do as you go along.
I am publishing chapter by chapter. Otherwise, I'd be disappearing for a year or more. Besides, I appreciate getting feedback as i go.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 07:59 PM   #17
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubenR View Post
I could imagine that you do want to publish such special stories as contributions for contests, to attract extra attention to your work. If those really are stand-alone parts, I would go for it.
Some might be appropriate for contests, thanks for the idea.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 08:20 PM   #18
SimonDoom
Literotica Guru
 
SimonDoom is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 1,429
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelissaBaby View Post
I am publishing chapter by chapter. Otherwise, I'd be disappearing for a year or more. Besides, I appreciate getting feedback as i go.
O.K. I'm the last person to lecture anyone about finishing the story first, because I haven't done that! It seems like a good idea to me, but it doesn't work for everyone, and I haven't been able to do it, and I've seen the negative consequences of NOT doing it.

From what you have said, I'm inclined to agree with Electricblue, above, that you should write your story but possibly publish side stories separately. But a consideration for that is what category you will publish your stories in. If the side stories are in different categories, I can see it making sense to publish them separately.
__________________
My stories are at https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 08:22 PM   #19
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold View Post
How a vignette fits into the timeline of the story should determine whether to include or publish separately. If your main storyline is running around summertime activities, a Christmas vignette isn't going to fit very well. (unless, you're Australian or South American, or such)
A good point, but with the narrative covering decades, it would be likely I could find place for any vignette. The issue, as I see it is more one of pacing than timing.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 08:26 PM   #20
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoquiSordidaAdMe View Post
I think NotWise is onto something here. Not only could you publish in other categories, but stand alone vignettes might attract readers who don't want to commit to a longer work. Once you get up to around Mary & Alvin Ch 05, it might be hard to draw in new readers who don't want start at Ch 01 to get caught up. But a stand-alone story might hook new readers and get them to start on the main narrative.

It's weird to think about writing strategically like that. On the one hand, we all want readers. Most of us don't get paid here, but we do want the page views - we want as many readers as we can get. On the other hand, we want to be true to our art, write what we want, and not sell out for money or eyeballs.

It's a tough choice.
Having just written a 13 chapter series that had very narrow appeal, I get what you are saying. If the conflict is unavoidable, I'll take the integrity of my story over a bid for readership.But I think there's plenty of middle ground here.

As always, your advice is much appreciated.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 08:40 PM   #21
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by jomar View Post
I tend to align with NoJo, though if the vignettes are smoothly inserted and don’t yank the reader from the main narrative for too long they might be fine.

Are they just asides, things you think of the characters doing as you’re writing? vignettes could easily be used as backflashes to show a glimpse of how things things were and such.
As I write, I suspect I will find a way to fit most into the narrative. But some seem like detours. Of course, detours sometimes lead to more interesting destinations.

I am using a fair number of flashbacks.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 08:44 PM   #22
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by RejectReality View Post
I honestly think you've answered this for yourself. It seems to me that you already believe these extra stories don't quite fit within the main narrative, even though they're stories you want to tell. Whether it's incidents in the past that don't inform things important to the main plot, or simply fun scenes that would feel like a drag on the main narrative, they don't feel as if they fit to you.

I say follow your instincts and write those stories outside the main narrative. You can always mention them as a closing note in the next chapter of the main narrative you post, to direct your core readers to them. A quick note at the beginning of the stories defining where they would fit in the main narrative should make them accessible, and not confuse the core readers.

If the side stories have interesting, mini arcs of their own, you could even encourage people who hesitate to read long stories to check out the main narrative.
Thank you, I think you've articulated the track I'm leaning towards following.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 08:52 PM   #23
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
You can write it however you like.

My recommendation would be to post it as Parts, not Chapters, and the vignettes can be within a part.

You could break each part into several chapters of varying length. The vignette could have a separate chapter number within a part e.g.

Part 01 of five chapters:
Chap 1 - 6,000 words
Chap 2 - 750 words 'vignette'
Chap 3 - 2.500 words
Chap 4 - 500 words 'vignette'
Chap 5 - 4,500 words

Part 02...
I'm not sure I am following you on that, Ogg. Or perhaps I have not articulated my question well enough.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 08:56 PM   #24
yukonnights
Literotica Guru
 
yukonnights's Avatar
 
yukonnights is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: alaska
Posts: 1,767
I hesitate to say anything here; But I'm picturing a story that is in essence a looking back over a shared lifetime. The use of a vignette seems a useful device to me to both breakup the long narrative in places and provide a more detailed recollection of certain special moments. Such a break could be easily identified with formatting style.

I've seen this done in movies in a positive way. Perhaps an object or event within the narrative prompts a "daydream" of the day that such and such happened. I would assume these would be reflections on the major highs and lows of the lives being told, etc.

Also, it seems the use of any "flashbacks/vignettes" would be really very much dependent on who is doing the narration.

I think I would enjoy such a side trips myself.
__________________
My LGBT Stories:
https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions

BDSM TEST RESULTS:
== Results from bdsmtest.org == 99% Switch / 91% Voyeur / 87% Degradee / 85% Experimentalist / 77% Non-monogamist 77% Submissive / 76% Rope bunny / 74% Degrader / 66% Dominant / 25% Vanilla / 23% Masochist / 13% Sadist
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-12-2018, 08:58 PM   #25
MelissaBaby
Literotica Guru
 
MelissaBaby's Avatar
 
MelissaBaby is offline
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 2,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
I'd be inclined to run the vignettes as side stories, mainly because that would give you more story content in your file, which can also be scattered around different categories, picking up wider readership. Especially if your main story arc is a whole-of-life story, as you indicate. That's just one story - and may be too long, too daunting, for many readers. Giving readers smaller pieces is like trailers at the movies - oh, maybe I'd like that one, but maybe not that one over there.

That's how my interconnected story worlds are running. If you look at my story file, you'll see a range of multi-part stories; if (when ) you go read them all, you'll find the main character in one series will be a side character in another, and vice versa. Overall there's a whole bunch of interconnectedness - it's a lot of fun to write, and also (and I think this is important), it doesn't lock me relentlessly into "one big thing". If I need to mix up my moods, or need a break, I've got a whole little family of stories to choose from. In my case, each episode is stand alone, but I give myself a lot of freedom. So I've got several 'worlds', all progressing in parallel.

For example, I've just joined the penguins and published a story in I & T. On face value, it's just another of my Floating World stories, with Adam and a mystery woman; with the reveal in the second last sentence. So now I've given myself the option of one and possibly two back stories, as well as a "what happens next" episode. So that's a pretty wide range of possibilities, with a bunch of new followers as well, from just one sentence.

I've also got a slow series of ongoing collaborations, which gives both me and my fellow writer a whole 'nother set of joined up-edness (that's not a word...) - those are good, because they are completely unpredictable. But all story threads, to weave together.

I like the idea of a "universe" of interconnected narratives.

I did actually tease a connection between the narratives of Mary and Alvin and My Fall and Rise, but so far, no one has indicated that they noticed it.
__________________
https://imgur.com/iKnOpOM

Chapter Seven online now!
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:12 PM.

Copyright 1998-2013 Literotica Online. Literotica is a registered trademark.