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Old August 18 2007, 06:40 PM   #1
wahwahkits
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Location: England, somewhere between Liverpool and Chester
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How do you do it?

Hey guys I'm really enjoying the fanfic on these pages, it takes courage to put out your work for others to judge. Anyway what i'm wondering is how long does it take you to complete a typical chapter or episode? How many drafts do you do? Do you know many people read your stories? Sorry about all the questions but i'd be interested to know as I'd like to do my own.
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Old August 18 2007, 06:57 PM   #2
DavidFalkayn
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Re: How do you do it?

For me, it takes as much time as it takes. I'm not meaning to sound snippy or snide when I say that, but it's the truth. Sometimes I can get a chapter done in a few days--sometimes it takes weeks. It all depends on what I'm trying to do and where the characters take me--and believe me, sometimes they'll take me into some pretty strange places.

For instance, in my latest Sutherland story, "Messages from Earth", T'Pren was supposed to be nothing more than a minor character to be brought in for a scene or two to play off of Varok and Atris wasn't supposed to be anything more than a footnote. But, T'Pren took on a life of her own and Atris was just too much fun to let go of. I try to maintain flexibility while keeping to a broad outline as to where the story is supposed to go.

As to how many people read my stories? That's a hard one to answer--I've gotten a fair number of views for "Messages" and my "Lexington" story, but I don't worry too much about it. Some readers are turned off by my portrayal of Shelby, for instance, while others love her--but I don't worry about that. My work stands on its own. Naturally, I want people to read and enjoy my stories--I put a lot of time and effort into them--but the primary reason for my doing it is for my pleasure--I write these stories because I enjoy writing them and that's what's most important about this. If you want to write, then write because you enjoy it. Like I said on another posting, write the stories you want to write. If you do that, then your love for the characters and setting will come through to the readers, making them enjoy the story that much more. Have fun--that's the best advice I can give you.
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Old August 18 2007, 07:11 PM   #3
wahwahkits
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Re: How do you do it?

Thanks for the advice David. I'm going to start my story very soon, I've got a very good story (I hope!!!) going round in my head. I only hope I enjoy getting it onto paper!!
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Old August 18 2007, 07:49 PM   #4
captcalhoun
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Location: everywhere
Re: How do you do it?

my stories are done when they're done. real life has a habit of getting in the way. anything from a couple days to a month.

i only do 2 versions, first draft and a grammar corrected version my sister does by parsing my over use of commas and so on.

my readship is unknown. my site's had over 3000 hits, but from what the hit-coounter stats tell me, a lot of those are first-time visitors.
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Old August 18 2007, 08:12 PM   #5
ghiaman74
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Re: How do you do it?

I like to outline stories before I write them. If its a series of stories, I like to plan out several episodes in advance to help continuity. I like to complete the the Episode entirely before posting it to a forum.

I still try to stay flexible while writing, and will depart from my outline if a better idea presents itself. But this usually makes me want to alter the beginning of the story as well to better suit the new ending.

Each story takes a different length of time to complete. If its a complicated plot, or if I'm just not satisfied with how the tale turned out, there could be several drafts before the story is what I want it to be. Other times the story comes out easily and only require one draft.
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Old August 18 2007, 09:52 PM   #6
Whoa Nellie
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Re: How do you do it?

wahwahkits said:
Hey guys I'm really enjoying the fanfic on these pages, it takes courage to put out your work for others to judge. Anyway what i'm wondering is how long does it take you to complete a typical chapter or episode? How many drafts do you do? Do you know many people read your stories? Sorry about all the questions but i'd be interested to know as I'd like to do my own.
I write with a co-author. She and I have spent the last 12 years writing Star Trek romance stories, guilty little pleasures affectionately nicknamed Star Trek bodice-rippers. A brain drizzle turns into plotbunny that is outlined only to have said outline bite the dust pretty early on. One of us will write a scene then the other one will sit down edit/rewrite the scene. The initial author of the scene will do a third edit/rewrite pass of the scene. This process continues until both are completely happy with an individual scene. Once a story is completed both my co-author and I do a final edit/read through of the story from first to last word. This process is where the penname Whoa Nellie came from when one goes too far off the reservation the other one calls out "Whoa Nellie!" while hitting the delete key. My co-author is like my own personal BASF company, she takes my ideas and makes them better! I can't tell you how many times I've reread a scene she has edited and crowed - "That's it! That's what I meant!"

Depending on real-life obligations, along with willingness of muse, the length and complexity of the story, it can take anywhere from as little as a week to six months for a story to be completed. With more than 80 stories in the entire Whoa Nellie collection, the focus switches back and forth between plot intensive and fluff, along with combining the two in quite a few cases.

Because the stories are posted so many places such as; the two Whoa Nellie websites, alt.startrek.creative (ASC), fanfiction.net, Openscrolls, several yahoo groups along with TrekBBS, I have no way of knowing how many people read them other than posted replies and e-mails. My co-author and I do run across occasional references to the stories and I must admit to being surprised at times by the notoriety.

DavidFalkayn said:
--I write these stories because I enjoy writing them and that's what's most important about this. If you want to write, then write because you enjoy it. Like I said on another posting, write the stories you want to write. If you do that, then your love for the characters and setting will come through to the readers, making them enjoy the story that much more. Have fun--that's the best advice I can give you.
:thumbsup: Fantastic advice! I agree whole-heartedly.

Warmest Wishes,
Whoa Nellie

Whoa Nellie's Picard/Vash Romance Fan Fiction Website is at:
http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Galaxy/7926/

Whoa Nellie's Sci-Fi Romance Fan Fiction Website is at:
http://www.geocities.com/whoa_nellies2000
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Old August 18 2007, 10:05 PM   #7
Goliath
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Location: The Fifth Dimension
Re: How do you do it?

Like DavidFalkayn, my stories take as long as they take. Sometimes that's a long time, and sometimes it's not. I completed more than 50 per cent of my August Challenge entry (not yet posted) in a single day--but the preceding fifty per cent took about two weeks to write, and I'd been turning the idea over for about a month before that.

I don't usually write 'drafts'. I find that, with modern word-processing technology, the concept of a 'draft' is artificial and arbitrary. I just keep working on the same draft until it's done.

As for how many people read my stories--maybe half a dozen? I have no idea. Like others here, I write mostly because writing is fun: but also because my RL job involves a lot of writing, and every bity of practice helps.

And, as long as we're advertising ourselves and our works:

Star Trek: Supermax

Trek meets Oz in the Federation's toughest prison. The username has changed, but the author is the same.

As you will see, the series has been on hiatus for the summer, but should return in the Fall, beginning with this month's Challenge.
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Old August 18 2007, 10:06 PM   #8
hellsgate
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Location: Surrey (Vancouver) B.C. Canada
Re: How do you do it?

I just fly at it & to hell with the critics. I'm not a pro-fic writer so I couldn't care less. It's all about having a gas doing it simply for the sake of killing a dead friday night.
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Old August 19 2007, 01:27 AM   #9
DarKush
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Re: How do you do it?

My vignettes I can write pretty quickly. The last ones I posted I did in several hours.

However, the longer stories vary, for a variety of reasons, many already posted here. Typically, it might take me anywhere from one month to three to complete a novel-length work. The more you write the faster I've been able to put out work. It's like the ideas just spawn other ideas/storylines, giving me a lot of material to delve into.

I usually don't outline my stories before hand. But I do jot down ideas, and sort of roll with it. However, I do some outlining as I proceed. But I'm extremely flexible with my outline.

I have no idea how many people read my work. But I am thankful for everyone who does, and I especially am appreciative to the readers who take time out to comment.
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Old August 19 2007, 05:08 AM   #10
Dnoth
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Location: In the illusion, but not of it.
Re: How do you do it?

I will say this, it took several months for me to want to post my scripts/stories. It was just an outlet for me. It is scary to put your work out there.

But if it makes you feel any better, the people here at this forum (at least from my experience) won't just trash your work. If it needs improvement (god knows I did...and still do) they'll point it out but not in a degrading or insulting manner. Most authors want to encourage new writers; not scare them away.
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Old August 19 2007, 05:50 AM   #11
Gibraltar
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Location: US Pacific Northwest
Re: How do you do it?

I started posting my stories here on the BBS fanfic board after having completed my first story. I soon discovered that by posting my tales chapter-by-chapter here, I was able to get immediate feedback from readers as well as other fanfic writers. I owe a great deal to the other authors who offered critical feedback that has helped me to improve my writing and increase the depth of my storylines and characters.

As for how long it takes me to write a story, itís tough to say. Sometimes the words come quickly, and other times they wonít come at all. You have to be in the right frame of mind to move the story forward.

My advice is to be true to your characters and vision. Be open to the input of others, but remember, this is your story to tell and your characters. Take them where you will. Most of all, have fun. If you donít enjoy the writing or it becomes an arduous task, take a break for awhile.

Iím looking forward to reading your story, and welcome to the board.
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Old August 19 2007, 10:18 AM   #12
wahwahkits
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Location: England, somewhere between Liverpool and Chester
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Re: How do you do it?

Wow!! Thanks for the great responses. My eyes have really been opened to how you put your stories together. What has struck me is how dedicated you all are to your stories and also how friendly you all are-- it's like a mini community within the Star Trek community, and one that i'm very much looking forward to being part of.
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Old August 21 2007, 08:29 PM   #13
hellsgate
Commodore
 
Location: Surrey (Vancouver) B.C. Canada
Re: How do you do it?

I'd love to host your fanfics on my new "Anthology" site I'm building in the next week or so, at Geocities. It's specifically for beginners, to give "noobs" the courage to submit their work elsewhere in-future. Everyone loves seeing their name & work in-print.

Here's an example of my Work In Progress (Currently Incomplete) fics that I intend to feature on it.

"Star Trek: Tales Of The Dominion War"
"Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Us"
http://www.geocities.com/trekwriter3...lesOfTheDW.doc

"Star Trek: Mandela"
http://www.geocities.com/trekwriter3...ek_Mandela.doc

"Star Trek: Avalon"
http://www.geocities.com/trekwriter31/STAvalon.doc

"Star Trek: Vonnegut"
http://www.geocities.com/trekwriter3...ut_Pandora.doc

"Star Trek: Exeter"
"The Children Of Heaven"
http://www.geocities.com/trekwriter3...rek_Exeter.doc
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Old August 22 2007, 10:09 AM   #14
The Haunting
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Location: Starkers
Re: How do you do it?

Currently Vesta episodes run to about 35,000/ 40,000 words. The timescale to write each episode varies, but usually a month and a half to two months.

My target is to write 1000 words a day, but this has goten incresingly hard of late due to RL. Right now I'm happy if I write 500/700 words a day.

I proof as I go along, rereading and checking yesterday's work before moving on to write new stuff. This not only enables me to proof as I go, but it also serves to get me back into the story. Like warming up before taking a run.

Once finished I proof read one more time- should do it more but I'm too eager to get it uploaded! I need more patience.

I never post a story until its complete. I realise the chapter option works for some people, but I've seen too many stories begin then dissapear (written too many first chapters myself).
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