aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
[personal profile] aldersprig
I am in the process of starting two new webserials - Angry Aetherist (Edally Academy) and Jumping Rings (Inner Circle) - and thought the steps I go through might be useful for someone else.

This is by no means comprehensive, but it's a base list to start from.
  1. Have a serial idea, title, and a buffer. At least a month's worth of material to post is a good rule of thumb.
    1. No, really, have a buffer.
    2. Know when and how often you'll post and stick to it. Once a week regularly is better than "three times a week" that turns into "when I can make it."
    3. It helps to google the title - something I wish I'd done with Inner Circle - to see if it's already in use.

  2. If you can, have a dedicated site with an easy-to-remember/type URl.
      Things that help to have on the site:
    1. Links to your other fiction
    2. A table of contents or
    3. Readily visible link to your starting page & easy navigation buttons

  3. You have a site up? Good! Start posting your story. Make sure your posting schedule is visible on the site and stick to it.
  4. Once you have 3-4 installments up, start promoting yourself:
    1. http://webfictionguide.com/
    2. http://muses-success.info/
    3. http://www.epiguide.com/forums/local_links.php
    4. [community profile] crowdfunding and [livejournal.com profile] crowdfunding
    5. http://www.projectwonderful.com/ (although ads are a subject all in themself)
    6. Twitter - esp. the #weblit hashtag. Promote each installment, but be careful not to overspam people.
    7. Link to your serial from other sites - your writing blog, if you have one, other serials you've written... you get the idea.

  5. Continue to post on your posting schedule.
  6. If you've linked to your serial at sites like Web Fiction Guide, it doesn't hurt to ask your readers for a review; the reviews put your story on the front page, which drives traffic.
  7. Speaking of readers: Engage, but don't fight. Chat in the comments but don't yell at people.

I know I'm missing steps, but this is a beginning, at least.

Can you think of anything obvious I've missed?

Date: 2014-09-19 04:35 pm (UTC)
rootsofthestories: (Words)
From: [personal profile] rootsofthestories
<33333 Thank you for this. I've got serials in the works and I desperately needed the reminder to work on them and a better guide as to what the hell I was doing in the first place. Much love for yu and this.

Date: 2014-09-19 04:52 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
Helped me too! ^_^ Thank you for this!

Date: 2014-09-19 05:50 pm (UTC)
anke: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anke
Got any advice on... getting over fear of writing yourself into a corner?

Date: 2014-09-28 02:35 pm (UTC)
anke: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anke
Thank you.

Date: 2014-09-19 06:49 pm (UTC)
inventrix: (scribbling)
From: [personal profile] inventrix
My far less qualified advice, as a chronic into-corner writer, is:

1) Be writing buffer far enough ahead of your most recent post that you can backtrack, throw out the dead end, and continue in a different direction.

2) Practice writing yourself out of corners. Do it enough and the corners get a lot less intimidating.

Date: 2014-09-28 02:35 pm (UTC)
anke: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anke
"practise more" is the default fix for everything, isn't it. Thank you! XD

Okay...

Date: 2014-09-19 07:14 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
All of the advice already given is good and works.

Other options include ...

* Write something that doesn't matter if you get into a corner. Frex, fanfic isn't for pay, just for fun or practice; no real literary harm done if you have to tear it apart and start over or even start something else. Or you could do a round-robin where you're supposed to write things into a corner at the end of your installment.

* Write the whole thing in advance, then post it in sections. This is a great way to handle works that are too long to post whole, but are not indeterminate in length.

Re: Okay...

Date: 2014-09-20 12:44 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The way I've seen them done in the past was like the old weekly cliffhanger movies, where you'd get an episode of something that left the hero in a tight spot. Then the next episode would resolve that, add a new twist, and end with his fanny in a new bear trap. It works well with certain types of scenario -- hidden identity, macguffin quest, outlaw hero, shaggy dog story, etc. -- where there is some kind of plot engine always putting out trouble.

Re: Okay...

Date: 2014-09-20 02:12 am (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Fringe: Walternate: evil)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Oh my gosh, that round robin does sound like a blast. Let's do one!

Re: Okay...

Date: 2014-09-20 02:16 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Well, first we would need to collect a list of interested people.

Next, we'd need to create a scenario. My suggestion is that each participant contribute one major component. These might include genre, setting, plot, character, theme, equipment, etc.

Re: Okay...

Date: 2014-09-21 08:56 am (UTC)
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lilfluff
The round robin idea does sound like a fun one. Almost like a written improv performance.

Re: Okay...

Date: 2014-09-28 02:44 pm (UTC)
anke: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anke
I've got a dayjob so all my writing is for fun, but I still worry about letting people down. That includes that the round robin sounds anxiety-inducing to me.

Thank you.

Re: Okay...

Date: 2014-09-28 05:21 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I don't like letting people down either. I've learned to finish pieces before posting any part of them.

Re: Okay...

Date: 2014-12-21 03:15 pm (UTC)
anke: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anke
I still had the notification for this in my inbox, and seeing it I think I had an idea that works for me better than fanfic for "doesn't matter": Unreliable narrator.

Say, Nico telling stories, about herself or others. And if stuff doesn't line up in the long run, it's because she got confused, or left out things for Reasons, or exaggerated things for effect.

Re: Okay...

Date: 2014-12-21 07:40 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good for you! Try the unreliable narrator and see how that works.

Date: 2014-09-20 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-lee.livejournal.com
Honestly, I have gotten to the point that I go back and edit stories, especially when stories become serials due to audience throwing money at it. Sometimes, you just can't plan for everything, and so far, my audience has been really nice about it. (It probably helps that I rarely have to change EVENTS, just details.)

When you're writing on the fly and according to audience prompts, people tend to be fairly forgiving that sometimes you can't predict things. At least, I would hope so!

--Rogan

Date: 2014-09-28 02:44 pm (UTC)
anke: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anke
Thanks, that's reassuring :)

Hmm...

Date: 2014-09-19 07:11 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Usually I don't know that I'm making a serial when I make a serial, because it tends to happen based on audience interest. Therefore some things that would be beneficial at the beginning don't happen until later. When I'm doing it on purpose, though, I find it useful to frontload some worldbuilding material such as ...

* character thumbnails or sheets

* description of major locations in the setting

* some backstory about the setting as a whole to give people an idea what it's like

* a list of any prevailing themes that are already planned.

Thanks for writing this. It's very useful! I'll be linking to it.

Date: 2014-09-19 07:19 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Ooh, thing for me to bookmark.

Date: 2014-09-23 06:54 pm (UTC)
natf: (Default)
From: [personal profile] natf
Using ixquick to search for "Inner Circle webserial" leads to your serial or posts about it, first and second and…

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