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Episodes or One long story?

  1. Episodes

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  2. Full Length Piece

    1 vote(s)
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  1. cb1990
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    cb1990 New Member

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    Writing short stories in an episodic manner

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by cb1990, Nov 15, 2011.

    I started writing a short sci-fi story yesterday about a 21 year old who pays his way by selling drugs has had to leave Earth to escape conscription as he was jobless and wasn't paying tax in an overpopulated world. He runs away to a spaceport where he meets an American who is in the same situation but got caught trying to hitch a ride on a freighter.

    Basically what started as a short story ended up becoming more and more in depth and longer and longer.

    I was just wondering if it would be better to continue writing and make this into a somewhat longer piece or to write it as episodes, almost like a TV show.

    What are your guys opinions on this?
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Episodic stuff can be good. I don't know if I think of fictional episodes as TV episodes. Stephen King's Hearts in Atlantis was what I'd call episodic. All different stories about different people, but they're all linked by a kind of current that pulls them along and pulls them together.

    I can't even try and vote on the poll, though. I like both styles, but if you put a gun to my head, I'd say episodic writing kicks ass. It's just... cool. :p It's a little bit more badass than just one flowing chapter-after-chapter dealy.
     
  3. Gfire
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    Gfire Member

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    I think both are fine. I think episodes are cool just because it is less common. Having your story turned into a TV show instead of a movie is a cool bonus, too.

    I'd probably go with whichever fits better, though. Don't force it into one or the other, I guess, because there's nothing wrong with either, really.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    To be honest, it just sounds to me like you've failed with a short story, and are pushing out towards "novel". These "episodes", are they self-contained stories in their own right, or more like chapters? Could they be read comfortably in isolation, or do they depend heavily on the others as a whole piece?

    The whole idea of a short story is to be short. To strip out anything that doesn't absolutely need to be there, to create an efficient storytelling piece.

    I've not really seen this sort of thing before, and I really think you'd struggle to sell it. Serialised novels have been known (even if they are less common today than they once were), but with a short story "series" I think there would be a reluctance on the part of a magazine to commit to several pieces.

    I'd recommend taking another look at your story, and deciding whether you in fact want to write a short story, or a novel. This idea seems to be in hazy ground between the two, and seems to me like it would fall through the cracks somewhat.
     
  5. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    I work in a schoo library and there's a lot of series' that seem to be written episodically. They tend to be quite popular with the junior students due to their size and lack of complexity.
    Plus, they tie together over a longer storyline and some have extra gimics. It's kind of like a gateway drug for epic fantasy. Dolled out in small doses to get you hooked.
    I don't see much that's episodical in more adult oriented fiction though.
    Don't know if this helps.
     

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