1. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    Episodic stories?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Vagrant Tale, Jul 4, 2016.

    I'm doing some studying at this time for my plot, but I wanted to plant the seed and wrestle with this here and now to strengthen myself later.

    I've been working on a novel, which uses the 3-act structure, but is further divided into 3 episodes, with the first episode starting in act 2, and the third ending in act 2 before the climax.

    Maybe that's a bit muddy of an explanation, so I'll try to clear it up a bit more. The structure is currently:

    Act 1
    Prologue
    Intermission 1
    Act 2
    Episode 1
    Intermission 2
    Episode 2
    Intermission 3
    Episode 3
    Intermission 4
    Act 3
    Climax and resolution

    Does anyone have any experience with this type of episodic format? Are there any successful books that use it? I really like to have the protagonist go through a large variety of situations, which is why I was drawn to it in the first place, but I'm afraid it may lose its momentum in between short stories. Does that make sense?

    Does anyone have any input, experience, thoughts, or advice on this?
     
  2. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I've always associated the terminology you've used there with broadcasting or plays. Chapters and scenes rule my vocabulary on this score when it comes to non-fiction books.

    What I'm reading from your post is that you intend to run some consecutive short stories containing the same MC which are all quite apart from each other. And cumulatively those stories have their own arc which is resolved in the final story?

    I've got a few thoughts I can share @Vagrant Tale but I'd like to know first if my assumption is correct.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  3. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    Hi @Vagrant Tale, I'm also not exactly sure what you're after, but you structure above sounds like it could be a picaresque novel (Wikipedia link). Google that term a bit and you'll dig up lots of examples.
     
  4. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply! I'm sorry, I don't really know the formal terminology for what I'm talking about, so I've designated my own terms for it, so it is a bit confusing now that I reread it. You are quite spot-on in your assessment however.

    Thank you very much for replying, and honestly I did not even know this was a thing.

    Really the idea is that the protagonist is a captain of a spaceship, she gets information from her employer to contribute to some greater unknown goal, and she carries out contributing. All 3 episodes are different instances of her acquiring assets for her employer. The intermissions are the "down-time" on the ship in-between episodes, where the reader gets to see the characters interacting on the ship a lot like roommates, there being a very loose chain-of-command beyond the protagonist and 1 or 2 others.

    During episodes and intermissions, the protagonist slowly gets a picture of a larger consequence of continuing to help her employer. I'd like to type more but I am being rushed out the door at this moment, but I think you understood what I meant in my first post.
     

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