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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.

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3 thoughts on “Buffering is for chumps

  1. I normally write the chapter, then post it within two days. I generally don’t write anything in advance. I know I should, but I have a lot more fun this way. There’s always the worry that I won’t post it in time, but that’s the risk we all gotta take. At the moment, I have an idea of what I want to happen in Radio Silence, but I don’t really know what happens in each chapter until I get to that chapter. Rebel without a cause. 😀

  2. Usually, I set the outline for the entire story, which, by outlines, means the start, important middle event, and let my characters take it from there. I don’t do chapter buffer just because I like procrastinating, and not having something to fall back on just pushes me to write the next chapter faster (so I can go play games!). I only buffer when, like my next serial, is unpublished or can’t be published due to some reason. It’s more exciting this way.

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