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Author Topic: Story arc: episodic writing  

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A story arc is a way of telling a story over multiple episodes or installments. Steamhawke uses this method, whereby each post is such an installment. By writing a post you are not just exploring your own plot and character, but also add to the continuous story of the ship and its crew.

Wikipedia on story arc

Five and I always say we want to write a continuous story, with many writers. What we have in mind is that each post can be read more or less on its own, while still fitting in the main story and the setting. In a way it is like writing a book with chapters, and each chapter is divided up in scenes. But I think it is more like a tv series, where each steamhawke chapter is an episode, and each post a scene. There are a lot of scenes and it sure wouldnt fit in one 45 minute episode... But that is what comes closest to.

If you disect a tv series episode, you can see it often has a main story and one or two side stories. These stories are told seperately, but can be joined up. In Steamhawke we can have more than 2 side stories, in fact, every character has such a story, while the traveling or the events in the chapter are the main story.

We write because we enjoy it and love our characters. But for Five and me it is equally important that it is enjoyable to read. That doesnt mean it has to be high literature, and complicated psychological storylines. In fact, the simpler the story, the easier it is to read. Thinking of a reader also helps a writer to focus their story and to provide information as needed to make the story make sense.

I think we make a disctinction between the narrator and writer. What you know as a writer may not be what your character knows. So even if you know the outcome of an event, or what another character has done, that doesnt mean your character knows. Play with this, and use it to effect your character's development. This fits in with episodic writing very well. You can use your character's gaps in knowledge to inform your readers at the same time.

Does any of this make sense? Anything to add? Is this how you see it too? Or do you have a different idea? Suggestions?


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  • Date: 27/08/13
  • Time: 09:59 AM
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Re: Story arc: episodic writing

« Reply #1 » Published on:August 27, 2013, 06:36:37 PM


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This is how I see it too. Of course it makes sense! And how things happen on my site as well.


Re: Story arc: episodic writing

« Reply #2 » Published on:August 30, 2013, 07:50:58 PM


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We're not sure how we're going to handle moving onto another arc, technically I mean.

E.g. let's say that this story arc lasts 15 chapters.

Does the second story arc start with chapter 16?  Or do we "seal off" chapters 1-15 and make a fresh start with chapter 1?

There might even be a time gap between this arc and the next, who knows.


Re: Story arc: episodic writing

« Reply #3 » Published on:December 10, 2013, 03:24:54 PM


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The story arc we are currently in is of course hunting the treasure, which has been worked towards since the beginning of chapter 2.

Everything that happens along the way are short term story plots.

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