Return Recap.

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

Postby Sunshine Temple » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:59 am

Perhaps the review in full would help

From: Nth ()
-------------------

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.

So when it finally does come out, I find I must go back and reread many of
the previous chapters to refresh what has come before. The problem, theres
alot of chapters, and this story is approaching the level of diminishing
returns for entertainment value.

If it were a book, I could just read all the chapters back to back as I
pleased or desired. It would continue to a logical conclussion then a year or
two later a new book would come out and resume the tale in a different
setting.

What you have here is something that is complex like a novel, but not
delivered on a timely enough basis to be considered individual chapters that
are easily followed or broken up.

I think I shall have to wait untill you actually finish this storyarc before
I start to reread it, as I simply dont have the desire or time to reread 20
chapters before this to follow the story.

My opinion, it needs to be broken up into smaller chapters that get released
quicker. Keep it fresher in the minds of the viewers.

But, that is of course my opinion.


++++

From this person their problem is many previous chapters and his recommendation is to make my chapters smaller and more frequent. Not create a honkin' summary file.

As for a more detailed memory jog.

I suppose I could do something in a "Nariko's Diary" format. At least as a retrospective on some of the key events.

That's my problem with pure summaries. They don't add anything, they're just an extra memory tool.
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Postby Dumbledork » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:31 am

I don't have any problems with the chapter length or lack of summaries. Sometimes I reread the previous chapter if I can't recall everything, but that doesn't happen too often.

And I love your new avatar. Where did you get it and what series is it from?
And that's the bottom line 'cause Dumbledork said so.

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Postby Spokavriel » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:12 am

There's nothing wrong with how long the chapters are. That guy was just saying what he thinks you need to hear so he can get monthly or more frequent updates.

To me this looks like 'I like your story' 'It's too long for me to read' 'I can't stand waiting gimme what you have whenever you have it.'

The person also seems to not have been in the loop about RL interference in updates.
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Postby Dumbledork » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:43 am

Heh! I wonder if he reads stories like 'Shadow Chronicles'. Now that's what I call slow updates :D
And that's the bottom line 'cause Dumbledork said so.

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Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:08 am

The problem here is not that the story is long and complicated. It's that it is presented as a serial, in chapters. And the serial is no longer a common artform. We don't have that many sources to draw from.

But I was there when the serial was still vigorous. The movie serials (oh, I enjoyed Captain Marvel battling the Scorpion!) usually had a montage of high spots leading up to the end of the previous episode, then continuing from there. This was a twofer - it filled up time (like a henshin sequence) without requiring more acting, and it filled in the audience.

The text serials often had no synopsis at all, or a paragraph or so. But they came once a week, or once a month; and there were few enough serials going that we didn't need to be reminded which one we were reading. A plethora (or plague) of serials is a problem unique to the internet age of fan-fiction. A long wait between chapters is a difficulty common to fan-writers. We have a life to deal with.

I recently moved, and left an eight-month gap between chapters in Different Colors. So I buried chunks of bringing-up-to-date throughout the chapter. Just a sentence here or there, but it did the job. The Return has a similar problem: big chapters, long waits. Sunshine's solution fits right into the classic age of serials.
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Postby lwf58 » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:16 am

I think the idea of retrofitting previous chapters with the memos would work. That way, to get a sense of what's happened before, a reader would just need to skim the tops of the chapters instead of reading the whole thing.

I said the summaries shouldn't be very long because a) they are just meant to jog the reader's memory, and b) we don't want the freakin' summary to dominate the beginning of the chapter. If a reader wants detail, they can reread the story.

Dumbledork wrote:And I love your new avatar. Where did you get it and what series is it from?


That's a piece of The Return fan art by a person who goes by the nickname "Solara". You can find the original image and more like it in Josh's fan art gallery in the Lost Library.
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Postby Sunshine Temple » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:10 am

Dumbledork
I don't have any problems with the chapter length or lack of summaries. Sometimes I reread the previous chapter if I can't recall everything, but that doesn't happen too often.

[That’s good.

And I love your new avatar. Where did you get it and what series is it from?

[Solara made it, dunno if it was drawn or a recolor of exiting. Ah, see Larry’s post.

Spokavriel
There's nothing wrong with how long the chapters are. That guy was just saying what he thinks you need to hear so he can get monthly or more frequent updates.

[That is true, shorter chapters would be posted quicker.

Ellen Kuhfeld

The problem here is not that the story is long and complicated. It's that it is presented as a serial, in chapters. And the serial is no longer a common artform. We don't have that many sources to draw from.

[Indeed.

But I was there when the serial was still vigorous. The movie serials (oh, I enjoyed Captain Marvel battling the Scorpion!) usually had a montage of high spots leading up to the end of the previous episode, then continuing from there. This was a twofer - it filled up time (like a henshin sequence) without requiring more acting, and it filled in the audience.
[Where what I like here is that this recaps the events of the previous two chapters and gives the “official” WIC perspective on it.

The text serials often had no synopsis at all, or a paragraph or so. But they came once a week, or once a month; and there were few enough serials going that we didn't need to be reminded which one we were reading. A plethora (or plague) of serials is a problem unique to the internet age of fan-fiction. A long wait between chapters is a difficulty common to fan-writers. We have a life to deal with.

[Indeed that brings delays in the posting.

I recently moved, and left an eight-month gap between chapters in Different Colors. So I buried chunks of bringing-up-to-date throughout the chapter. Just a sentence here or there, but it did the job. The Return has a similar problem: big chapters, long waits. Sunshine's solution fits right into the classic age of serials.

[Yes that’s what tickled me on Larry’s idea. That it was a serial-style solution, and then to have it fit within the context of the story.

lwf58
I think the idea of retrofitting previous chapters with the memos would work. That way, to get a sense of what's happened before, a reader would just need to skim the tops of the chapters instead of reading the whole thing.

[As a whole yes. Individually they could also conspire to allow a reader to jump in on say ch10 and start from there.
[Sorry for what I said earlier Spok. I can see a reader doing that, now.

[Also if they’re collected a series of memos could give another perspective.

[On the other hand, I could try a “Nariko’s Diary” on a form of perspective.

I said the summaries shouldn't be very long because a) they are just meant to jog the reader's memory, and b) we don't want the freakin' summary to dominate the beginning of the chapter. If a reader wants detail, they can reread the story.

[Indeed.
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Postby wildeman » Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:45 pm

Serials are still alive. Anyone hear of Analog: Science Fiction and Fact, Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, or Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, they keep that kind of art form alive.
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Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:25 pm

wildeman wrote:Serials are still alive. Anyone hear of Analog: Science Fiction and Fact, Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, or Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, they keep that kind of art form alive.

I haven't been following the SF magazines, but Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine does NOT do serials. Series, maybe; serials, not.
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Postby Raneko » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:37 pm

The memo idea is pretty good. Also you may want up the summaries as summary of reports. Intel and surveillance reports heck maybe inter-agency emails swapping gossip.
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Postby Sunshine Temple » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:59 pm

Yeah, I can use it as other artifacts too.

This opens up a new style of narrative, for the story, and way to get information across.
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Postby Shadow General » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:08 am

This is the type of summary that I like seeing. A few paragraphs that fold seamlessly into the storyline, and something that a reader WANTS to read. Especially if each chapter has a summary that is similar to the others, but different each time; such as a WIC memo in one chapter, a diary entry in another, and so on. Doing this makes each chapter more interesting as well as reminding the reader what has happened before, since reading nice long productions like this can take some time. As mentioned earlier in this thread, this allows the author to explore some unique perspectives that may otherwise not get told.

What I gathered from that review, however, was that the reviewer is expecting updates like some of the "chapters" (read: paragraphs) that get updated on ff.net weekly, or daily, if not sooner. I find that a lot of the "high production" stories on ff.net are of a very low quality, save for a select few authors.

Personally, I will gleefully wait a long time for a story to be well written, developed and proofed before it gets released to me. In the end, the reading experience of such a story is well worth the wait.


By the way Sunny, excellent job on the latest chapter. I spent some of my hard won time off re-reading the entire story including the newest chapters, and am truly impressed with the tapestry you can weave. Kudos!
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Postby Spokavriel » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:02 am

If you ever want to do a summery of even further back say for new converts through the D Program who might not have been fully briefed on their new family Or even to show some why they might not want to risk going evil you could do a clip show style chapter using photo albums and field reports. Just imagine what some company agents wrote down as part of their debriefings after the incident at the school or any of the scenes they got involved in during the story. While it wouldn't be a chapter by chapter summary it could illustrate what it's like as a human pro dealing with the whole thing.
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Postby Sunshine Temple » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:53 am

Shadow General wrote:This is the type of summary that I like seeing. A few paragraphs that fold seamlessly into the storyline, and something that a reader WANTS to read. Especially if each chapter has a summary that is similar to the others, but different each time; such as a WIC memo in one chapter, a diary entry in another, and so on. Doing this makes each chapter more interesting as well as reminding the reader what has happened before, since reading nice long productions like this can take some time. As mentioned earlier in this thread, this allows the author to explore some unique perspectives that may otherwise not get told.


Yup, that was my thinking on this. If a summary is required then I should have it blend into the story while also doing its job. Yeah, there are plenty of reports and diaries in this story to allow more use of this convention.

What I gathered from that review, however, was that the reviewer is expecting updates like some of the "chapters" (read: paragraphs) that get updated on ff.net weekly, or daily, if not sooner. I find that a lot of the "high production" stories on ff.net are of a very low quality, save for a select few authors.


Perhaps, faster release rates can lead to worse preformance.

Personally, I will gleefully wait a long time for a story to be well written, developed and proofed before it gets released to me. In the end, the reading experience of such a story is well worth the wait.


Indeed, that's what I look for the experience reading the chapter itself. Which is the whole reason behind this summary experiment.

By the way Sunny, excellent job on the latest chapter. I spent some of my hard won time off re-reading the entire story including the newest chapters, and am truly impressed with the tapestry you can weave. Kudos!


Thank you very much. I really apreciate that, and I'm still heartened that people would spend their leasure time reading and even rereading the story.

And I'm glad that the work and planning in the story pays off

Spokavriel wrote: If you ever want to do a summery of even further back say for new converts through the D Program who might not have been fully briefed on their new family Or even to show some why they might not want to risk going evil you could do a clip show style chapter using photo albums and field reports. Just imagine what some company agents wrote down as part of their debriefings after the incident at the school or any of the scenes they got involved in during the story. While it wouldn't be a chapter by chapter summary it could illustrate what it's like as a human pro dealing with the whole thing.


Acutally a "clip show" using photos and feild reports could be very novel. And it would require a lot of new material. Considerable illustrations of the events. Then there's the reports.

That would be neat to get a big file on some of what has happened, or at least notable sections of it, though the illustrations would be the harder part.
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Postby Spokavriel » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:05 am

It would be an interesting challenge especially if someone came in and started doing some of the forensic "photography" images like you would find with reports.
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