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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Posted a topic like this in Writer's Cafe before but the main question is more geared towards readers anyway so... What do you think of episodic novels? Do you like them, dislike them, or are you indifferent. To clarify, episodic novels refers to when a single book seems like it's made up of several related 'stories', not books in a series where the individual books are like episodes.
 

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Indifferent: I've read some where it worked quite well, and others where it did not. As with most such questions, it's a combination of choosing the right technique for the specific story in question, along with executing it well -- sort of a "form follows function" thing.
 

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John Scalzi is doing that now with the Human Division and releasing a chapter every week or something. Not bad, but its too much work to go buy them each week and I fell behind after #2 and now I think he is on 9 or something. Getting it all in one book would be better, but still it would have to be done well to keep the interest and not be like a short story anthology.
 

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glutton said:
To clarify, episodic novels refers to when a single seems like it's made up of several related 'stories', not books in a series where the individual books are like episodes.
Top be perfectly honest, I have no clue what that means or what the difference is. Are you talking about selling a book in chapters? Or short stories that are connected with no actual end in each? Or stand alone books that happen to be in the same world?

I don't like anything that is not a complete story basically. I wouldn't buy chunks or chapters.

Now I read and love the "In Death" series by JD Robb. They are each full books and they are futuristic police procedural. So you usually get the resolve of a crime and such, but there is always some over arching story line with the characters. But that is a series, right? ???
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Atunah said:
Top be perfectly honest, I have no clue what that means or what the difference is. Are you talking about selling a book in chapters? Or short stories that are connected with no actual end in each? Or stand alone books that happen to be in the same world?
None of the above, I left out the word 'book' after single book, but I mean a *single* novel/book being made up of what could be considered several stories.

Like for example the first third of the book shows the hero fighting in a war, then the second third shows the hero coming back home to find the woman he loves has married another man and tries to win her back, then the last third shows him in his old age being upon to fight for his country one last time.

That kind of thing.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chad Winters said:
Many books have that as Act 1, Act 2, etc. Never had a problem with it
Yeah many books do have it but some people don't seem to like it in my experience so I was wondering if it was a common preference... and do you prefer when the sections are separated by a designation like Act/Book 1/2/3 etc?
 

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An example of one that worked well for me is David Drake's "Old Nathan". You can think of it as an episodic novel or I suppose as a chronological collection of short stories or novelettes about the same main character, each standing on its own but overall building upon each other to some degree.
 

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glutton said:
Yeah many books do have it but some people don't seem to like it in my experience so I was wondering if it was a common preference... and do you prefer when the sections are separated by a designation like Act/Book 1/2/3 etc?
I think its useful to signify is there was a significant break in continuity, but if its just stuck in the middle for no clear reason that would be annoying
 
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