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Question re: WIPs - Light One Candle

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July 14th, 2006


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02:00 pm - Question re: WIPs
All right. I have only finished a few long fics in my life, and none of them have been posted as WIPs. Mostly, this is because I would be quite embarrassed for the fandom at large to know that I had started a story and then been unable to finish it, for whatever reason. Also, until very recently, I had not even tried to read WIPs (with the exception of fernwithy's HP fics Shifts and Shades), because I am not really that patient. :-)

Lately, however, I've picked up a few Numb3rs WIPs. Two of them have been finished while I was reading, and it was fun to wait for new chapters and post encouraging reviews at various points in the story. The downside would be that the story I love most has been put on hold about 2/3 through because of an RL emergency. *sigh*

I am currently writing a Sentinel/Numb3rs crossover fic, which promises to be long and plotty, and it writing itself in a way my fics usually don't: chronologically, scene by scene.

So I was curious as to what you all think about WIPs, and whether I should consider posting this in parts, and continue writing, and just hope it's one I actually have the momentum to finish...or try to finish it and THEN post, which is what I would normally do.

Comments? Thoughts?
Current Mood: okayokay

(16 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


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From:whitemartyr
Date:July 14th, 2006 09:21 pm (UTC)
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I think it would be fun if you posted in parts. Then it'd be semi-episodic, which is fun. Plus, then you'd HAVE to finish it because there would be people waiting for it! :)
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 14th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
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Heh, good points, except that my Muse doesn't like to bow to pressure. Can't guarantee a finish just because people poke me! Though it might help.

(icon luv!)
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From:jd3000
Date:July 14th, 2006 09:21 pm (UTC)
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My entire oeuvre is basically a huge mass of WIPs, but I've found posting or sending bits for friends to read can be a great source of motivation if the friend is enthusiastic.

-JD
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 15th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
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That, I am already doing. *grins cheekily at V.*
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From:amberdulen
Date:July 14th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I would never, ever post a WIP, because I don't have all that much faith in myself that I'd finish--plus, I usually don't write chronologically, and go fill in blank spaces much later. I have no problem reading WIPs, and they are a lot of fun to follow.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:July 15th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC)
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I would never, ever post a WIP, because I don't have all that much faith in myself that I'd finish--plus, I usually don't write chronologically, and go fill in blank spaces much later.

*puts a check mark in that column*

That's basically been my reasons for never doing it. Sounds like they may still be valid. :-)
[User Picture]
From:jedibuttercup
Date:July 14th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
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I post a lot of WIPs, when I'm not posting little one-shot stories. Some of them have languished quite a while, unfortunately-- but none of them are ever going to go entirely unfinished. I wouldn't post them at all if I didn't think I could resolve the plot and give it a satisfactory ending, eventually. It's just a matter of getting the time and inspiration together all at once when my Muse isn't distracted by other shininess. Things like the finish-a-thon from last winter really help with that; I doubt I'd have finished Eclipse yet without it.

I know some of my readers are probably frustrated. On the other hand, being as ADD as I am? If I didn't post those chapters, and get encouraging reviews as I go, I'd probably never post anything longer than little snippets of scenes. Instant gratification goes a long way toward keeping the Muse rolling. =)

I'd say it's entirely up to you and your preferences; if it would help you to have encouragement and reader reactions to spur you toward the ending, then go ahead and post in chunks. If it doesn't matter to you, then you might as well wait to make sure it's at it's polished best.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 16th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
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I'd say it's entirely up to you and your preferences; if it would help you to have encouragement and reader reactions to spur you toward the ending, then go ahead and post in chunks. If it doesn't matter to you, then you might as well wait to make sure it's at it's polished best.

Well, I do like responses, and that's probably the main reason I'd post that way, if I chose to. But I also write for the sheer personal gratification the story itself gives me, so... Hmmm.
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From:kizmet_42
Date:July 14th, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
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I won't post WIP unless it's to my writing group. They're paid to endure that.

I have a couple of WIP that I follow and gnash my teeth at. It's not pretty.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 16th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
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I won't post WIP unless it's to my writing group. They're paid to endure that.

*snerk* Yeah, that's kind of been my attitude. Why inflict my unfinished work on anyone?
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From:kerravonsen
Date:July 14th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
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No, don't post it in parts. If you feel your momentum flagging, tell us and we will encourage you. When I have posted in parts, I have regretted it, because while I was still writing I realized I had to go back and change some bits, and I ended up re-posting them.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:July 16th, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
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When I have posted in parts, I have regretted it, because while I was still writing I realized I had to go back and change some bits, and I ended up re-posting them.

See, that's what I'm afraid of. With long stories I usually end up having to go back to what I first wrote and either cut some stuff or add in some setups. And just because I think this story is coming together more quickly than others doesn't mean that won't be true of it as well.

If you feel your momentum flagging, tell us and we will encourage you.

*facepalm* What does it say about me that it *never* occured to me to do that? With the exception of the friend/beta upon whome I am inflicting it in pieces, somehow I have never quite thought of my LJ community as another writer's group.

I need to quit being so "independent". Thank you; I shall try this.
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From:wneleh
Date:July 15th, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
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In general, I don't tend to respect WIPs. I just don't see how they can be as well done as works that are presented as a whole. I know that, in my fanfic, even when things are plotted out in detail I find that I need to change bits, or I come up with ways of foreshadowing as events develop.

The few times I've posted WIPs, it's been when I've been 90% done and wanted to get the latter parts polished and out but have had trouble devoting the time. Setting an aggressive schedule (like, committing myself to getting the whole thing posted over the course of two weeks) has helped me focus in. And I've found that, in these cases, I *didn't* end up wanting to change prior parts - once I'd posted them, they felt like canon.

I *do* have a series going, that's at nine or ten stories now. I know how the next several stories are going to go, but I really don't know how the whole arc will end. For some reason, this feels very different than having a WIP out there. I think this is because each installment has been unique (can one apply that word to fanfic?) in tone, style, POV, and objective.

And then there's Kitty and Martha's 'Beach'. I'm very glad they've made it available, even though it's been stalled for a while. Just diving in and reading a few chapters is great when I'm in the mood for TS smarm.

- Helen
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:July 16th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
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In general, I don't tend to respect WIPs. I just don't see how they can be as well done as works that are presented as a whole. I know that, in my fanfic, even when things are plotted out in detail I find that I need to change bits, or I come up with ways of foreshadowing as events develop.

Yes. More confirmation for my original thoughts about WIPs. I'm less skeptical of them now that I've read some WIPs in progress which are really, really good and manage to keep all their parts coherent and streamlined. It does make me wonder if said authors have actually written most of the fic and are just using the WIP mechanism to force themselves to rewrite/finish it.

I could see myself doing that, actually.

And yeah, Summer of 1999 is definitely a series, not a WIP. The stories almost stand alone, most of them, in terms of pov and structure.

I've never read "Beach," actually. Kitty and Martha sometimes turn the smarm meter up a little high for me (which doesn't mean I haven't obsessively reread Martha's fic "Lovely"...hmm...I am due for yet another reread of that, I think...).
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From:kerravonsen
Date:July 17th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)
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And yeah, Summer of 1999 is definitely a series, not a WIP.

(pauses, looks, does doubletake) Hey, does this mean that wneleh is Helen W? (!!!)
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 17th, 2006 04:56 am (UTC)
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Spell her LJ user name backwards.... :-)

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