Return Recap.

Talk about Return, Makeover, GunMoon, Gen Lost, and Windborne.

Return Recap.

Postby Sunshine Temple » Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:05 pm

I recently got this comment.

Ya know, I used to be happy when you updated this story. Now I just kind of
get annoyed.

Its beautifully written, well plotted, and has an intricate storyline that is
both deep and complex.

Therein lies the problem. You update this story so slowly and its so complex,
that when you do update it I'm completely lost because I've forgotten many of
the details. I dont live this story. I dont spend hours and hours on it
polishing it and working out every detail, unlike you and yours.


I talked to Larry and he came up with a good solution. To have a recap summary on the start. And we came up with a method that works in the context of the story.


To: General Anderson Operations Centre 01
From: Colonel Jacob Edwards WIC Toronto

On this date, elements for the Assembly of Man ambushed a WIC convoy enroute to a Pattern V nest. There were 7 agents KIA and over 26 AOM. Given our contractors, exact count of enemy casualties will take some time. Speaking of them, Miss Saotome was the intended target. Attached information indicates the advancement of her regeneration. The weapons created by Master Nishina and Major Saotome preformed well and proved pivotal in the combat.

The D program saved the lives of two agents and they will be put under Captain Jarvis' direct command. She had fought well and did not falter. I believe that she will be a good core for any new unit being formed from this program. Miss Mizuno also assisted and helped with the capture of Assemblyman that gave us the location of their base. She is currently under surveillance and her risk is being evaluated.

With your approval, long-range assets have been released and will be used in the counter attack. That operation is currently commencing. Miss Saotome has agreed to spearhead this mission while our forces maintain the quarantine.

This seems to be the culmination of the recent AOM surveillance. Once they learned enough about our moments, they would strike, and attempt to eliminate our "demonic advantage". Flowing that, they would attack in force. Our operation will counter this.

As mentioned before, Miss Mizuno is quite busy. Her recent abduction and transformation of Miss Aino into a "golden Senshi" has prompted Miss Tsukino to hire Miss Saotome and by extension WIC. The schism in the Pattern Silvers has given us a favorable position.
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Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:29 pm

I like that kind of summary! It doesn't break the fourth wall.
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Postby Spokavriel » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:30 pm

It's ok but it kinda only summs up one chapter. I got the feeling they were asking for more of a Cliffs notes summery of the key plot points in the story so far.

If someone gets busy and can't keep track of which fic they are reading is which. Maybe something that covers main events and character changes. Just forgetting say what happened to Kuno or what age Nabiki now appears to be can leave some scenes feeling off.
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Postby Sunshine Temple » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:40 pm

Ellen Kuhfeld wrote:I like that kind of summary! It doesn't break the fourth wall.


Thanks, that was what I liked about that idea. I'm normally wary of summaries because they break the forth wall. So you start reading knowing it's a story.

This way it's an artifact from within the story.

Spokavriel wrote:It's ok but it kinda only summs up one chapter. I got the feeling they were asking for more of a Cliffs notes summery of the key plot points in the story so far.


Actually it sums up two.
I dunno, from the full text of it I thought they knew the main events.

I mean if you forgot that Ranma is a demon mommy...

If someone gets busy and can't keep track of which fic they are reading is which. Maybe something that covers main events and character changes. Just forgetting say what happened to Kuno or what age Nabiki now appears to be can leave some scenes feeling off.


Here's the problem. Having a recap that does everything would be gigantic and not make sense in the memo style. Jacob wouldn't shoot off a memo rehashing information every chapter to his general.



Larry F says:
Don't try to go very far back. You just want brief summaries of the previous two chapters at most.
Larry F says:
The summaries should cover major plot points, not details.
Larry F says:
If you write them properly, you should end up with no more than 3 or 4 paragraphs.
Larry F says:
At most.
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Postby Spokavriel » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:57 pm

And saying who was originaly who in a memo doesn't make sense anyway.

I agree with how long it would be. Really the shorter it is without leaving out info the better it is as a summery.

Maybe an appendix chapter that has character profiles that doesn't give away too much in addition to the summaries but could be updated as needed so someone could look at that and get who's who strait again would help.
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Postby Sunshine Temple » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:23 pm

Spokavriel wrote:And saying who was originaly who in a memo doesn't make sense anyway.


Oh nuts. Where does it say that?

I agree with how long it would be. Really the shorter it is without leaving out info the better it is as a summery.


What info though? I mean it's 20 chapters. I could go from a One sentance to a 12 page summary. And either way, or in between, people would complain

Maybe an appendix chapter that has character profiles that doesn't give away too much in addition to the summaries but could be updated as needed so someone could look at that and get who's who strait again would help.


Doesn't give away too much?

That's... that's impossible.

Misako, Nariko, Janet, even Nodoka. Information on them can be a major spoiler at some point or another.

Now I'll concede that character profiles would be very neat and be helpful.

But you'd have to make a different set of profiles for every few chapters to avoid giving stuff away.
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Postby Heaven's Deamon » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:29 pm

The best thing I can think of for this would be a "retrofitting" of earlier chapters with similar Memo summaries, and mentioning them in the next update so that people who feel they need it can go back and look at them, or a "chapter" that is simply a group of memo's that summerize events.
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Postby Spokavriel » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:32 pm

It doesn't say that but it is what I was suggesting. Sorry about making a muddle of things.

If any summery were made seperate from the chapter adding that it has spoilers in it's description would help cut down on some of the problems.

Even if it were done one summery and involved character rundown for each chapter it would be allot but still a shorter read for someone trying to get back up to speed.
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Postby Sunshine Temple » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:41 pm

Spokavriel wrote: If any summery were made seperate from the chapter adding that it has spoilers in it's description would help cut down on some of the problems.


That's a bit much.

Personally, if I have a hard enough time reading a story that I need a chapter by chapter rundown. I'd reread the whole thing.


Personally, I feel giving the major events of the two chapters before is enough. I mean stuff before that will be fuzzy anyway.


Even if it were done one summery and involved character rundown for each chapter it would be allot but still a shorter read for someone trying to get back up to speed.[/color]


A chapter by chapter rundown of how each character changes. Yeah... that seems to disect the story and wreck the character growth. It kinda deadens things to simply read this

Chapter 7

Ranma: Encouraged by her mother's advice she finally accepts what Nariko was to her. She starts being Nariko's mother and trying to love her.
Nariko: Lifted by her mother giving her affection, she starts to heal.




The only reason I like the current summary idea is that it's within the story canon.


Heaven's Deamon wrote:The best thing I can think of for this would be a "retrofitting" of earlier chapters with similar Memo summaries, and mentioning them in the next update so that people who feel they need it can go back and look at them, or a "chapter" that is simply a group of memo's that summerize events.


I was giving that an idea.

It would be neat. But... it's only really applicable to new chapters when they get posted.

If you find yourself reading chapter 12. Chances are very high you just finished ch11.
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Postby Sky » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:50 pm

I know you're aiming for short summaries, but to provide a data point or a counter example:

The Ranma/SM cross "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" makes use of longer summaries that are several paragraphs long, especially on the later chapters and seem to work fairly well. That story has a fairly complex plot, so its possible that he needs it to mention everything, and even when I'm reading it end to end, I find that reviewing the major parts of the entire story helps with understanding where it's going.

Ultimately, it's your story. At this point, mentioning old enemies is kind of pointless, but hinting at some of the characters that have reappeared wouldn't hurt.
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Postby Sunshine Temple » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:59 pm

Sky wrote:The Ranma/SM cross "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" makes use of longer summaries that are several paragraphs long, especially on the later chapters and seem to work fairly well. That story has a fairly complex plot, so its possible that he needs it to mention everything, and even when I'm reading it end to end, I find that reviewing the major parts of the entire story helps with understanding where it's going.


What I don't like about long summaries is that it's a blatant exclamation that the story is so huge and unwieldy that it needs a multi page dossier just to make it coherent.

I also feel it ruins the flow. The reader is forced to digest this big list of past events before the story even starts. And such a summary can never tell events as well as the actual story.

It is a problem with no easy solution.

But I feel erring on the side of minimalism is better. This has the summary be something that gets enough of the facts across to refresh the reader's mind. And then they can get along to the task of reading new stuff.

Going with my theory this is why I like the memo style. Because the summary does give new information, and the perspective of a character. Yes, it's a gimmick, but at least it's part of the story.

Ultimately, it's your story. At this point, mentioning old enemies is kind of pointless, but hinting at some of the characters that have reappeared wouldn't hurt.


Old enemies? No. That's not at all. A major battle against the Assembly is going to start immediately after this memo. And Mercury doesn't count either.
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Postby Sky » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:14 pm

Sunshine wrote:Old enemies? No. That's not at all. A major battle against the Assembly is going to start immediately after this memo. And Mercury doesn't count either.


Sorry, I wasn't clear.

Mentioning Alexia is pointless.

Mentioning who BlackSky is, considering that she's been inactive for a while, is somewhat useful.
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Postby Sunshine Temple » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:16 pm

Sky wrote:Sorry, I wasn't clear.

Mentioning Alexia is pointless.

Mentioning who BlackSky is, considering that she's been inactive for a while, is somewhat useful.


Quite right. However. I can have it mentioned that BlackSky is Ranma's grandmother within the text of the chapter. Eliminating the need for it to be in a summary.

The summary should be stuff that cannot be cleanly be reminded within the text.

It's like the author's notes. Sure I could have them drag on for paragraph and paragraph. Or I could try to find a way to put the footnotes within the text itself.
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Postby yasuhei » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:40 pm

Personally I don;t have this problem. The details seem to more or less come back to me as I read. I can, however, see it being a fairly major problem for some.

I don't particularly have a problem with your summary of the last chapter, but it doesn't actually address the concerns voiced in the email. You said that you think they should reread, well maybe they should, but that's not what they are asking for. They want something more detailed to jog their memories. Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with the request.

I'd suggest the following:

Have a seperate file for 'what happened before'. I'd suggest detailing the events of early chapters all together, then for later chapters, perhaps 12 onwards, having a brief summary for each chapter. This file won;t have to match the feel of your fic, because it isn't actually part of the fic. It's a seperate reference file for those who need their memories jogging.

ITs quite a bit of work doing it this way, so I can imagine you not wanting to. I do however think its the best solution if you wish to address the complaint.

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Postby Heaven's Deamon » Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:01 am

Judging from what has been said elsewhere in the topic, that is exactly what Sunny DOES NOT want to do since it would break the "feeling" of the fic, and snap the reader back into reality. I know that I, personally, last read the fic some time before the Mercury split happened, and don't plan to read it again for awhile yet, the reason being that when I do read it again I'll do so from the start so by the time I reach the new material, I'll have been fully refreshed on the old, but that's just me, and only something I'm doing for this fic in particular.
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