Yeah I said it. Buffering is for the weak-kneed and knobbly-elbowed. True artists go in unprepared.
To be more specific, chapter buffering is just silly. It’s something writers do supposedly to keep their serial going at all costs. I say that’s something to do when you’re scared you won’t be able to keep your serial going. In other words, when you don’t trust your own mad skillz.
Since my Metal Shadow Prelude days, the most I’ve done in the realm of planning is prepare an outline for the story. An ugly, mangled thing full of present tenses, spelling errors, and adjective overload. ADJECTIVE. OVERLOAD. This cretin of a document would then be copy/pasted and expanded into a readable narrative. I wouldn’t do this transformation in advance; when I said I was releasing three chapters that week, that meant I was expanding those three chapters to be released from the outline that week.
Wow. How plan. So write. Much pro.
I’m doing the same thing with Metal Shadow. Just now I started working on the release for this week, chapter 17. It’s looking to be about 2k tops in the word department, which I could probably write in a day if my hands weren’t always tied behind my back. It’s coming from the outline, and nowhere else. Technically, not even a single word of the full chapter has been written.
Actually, it’s kind of weird to be doing this. With only one chapter on the menu, I get to edit like a madman afterward, which is really fun. I’d forgotten how much. Back in my multiple chapter days, I’d be perpetually nervous about finishing all the chapters AND editing them AND formatting them correctly for viewing. It was a good experience, mind, but damn it, I really like having time to edit.
Anyway, why do some folks find serial writing so difficult? Especially since most of them publish one chapter at a time. I hear the guy who wrote Worm published several chapters a week for several years at a time. That’s hardcore. And he got popular while doing it? That’s hardcore.
Don’t these whiny baby-buffer writers also have outlines? Don’t they even lift? Drop a comment to let me know what your writing process is like. Do preach to me about the virtues of buffering–I’m especially curious to know if it’s helped anyone write faster than usual, or make less mistakes.
Alright, macho-mode off. Back to my lonely writers’ corner.
Oh, hey, you there. Before you leave. A gift.