A series of interludes "between" chapters

DAgent

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Hi everyone, gonna throw something a little bit different out for everyone to mull over.

In my WIP I've written a combination of interludes that belong at the start of each chapter up to one specific chapter where a certain character re-enters the frey.

These are basically a way of following up from a rather violent incident that left this main character crippled very early on in the story, and sees him trying to put his life back together before he ends up becoming relevant to the plot once more. Up until the last of the interludes he's been out of action and out of sight, but still present while the story has focused on other characters.

But come chapter 9 he's in a position to take part in things again, and I decided to add these interludes as a way to remind people he was still around, because they might very well have forgotten about him. But I left his name out of the interlude text because I still wanted some air of mystery about him, about who it was in those sections.

I was thinking about posting this in the critique section, but the interludes combined add up to about 2500 words, so a bit of of the critiques sections rules and remit. But I did wonder what everyone here might think of the idea and how well it might be executed.
 

Wayne Mack

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If you feel that the interludes are a necessary or useful way to convey information to the reader, then do it. As a reader, I tend to scan over interludes, though I do read them. Just take that as a warning not to include major plot elements in the interlude. In the initial Mistborn trilogy, Brandon Sanderson opens each chapter with a brief interlude from an unnamed character. I believe the intent is to let the reader wonder who the PoV character of the interlude might be. So, if it feels like the right thing to do, go for it.
 

Bramandin

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How easy can you edit the interludes out if they're not working? It might be worth a try, but I think the B plot has to be as interesting as the A plot.
 

Swank

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Start short and grow the interludes until they are full chapters. Bonus points for shrinking the regular chapters at the sme rate.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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This is my worst nightmare.

A prologue is bad enough, but one before each chapter is madness IMO.

I've only seen it work once in

"The World of Null A"


Although they were not so much as interludes, more an introduction to the philosophy and were very short.
 

Steve Harrison

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When I'm unsure about what elements to include I go with my instinct and write them out. I then get a better view when editing of whether they work, or, more importantly, if I can incorporate them elsewhere in the story or discard them completely. But sometimes they work even better than I'd hoped, so it fits my overall view of writing: whatever works, works!

I do this with prologues. I write a lengthy one at the beginning of each novel, then, as I write, I whittle it down by moving the information elsewhere in the story. The goal is to eliminate the prologue entirely or leave only what I decide is necessary. My two published novels have prologues after this process.

If you want to include the interludes as a reminder of the character, don't underestimate your readers' ability to retain detail. In my first novel I introduced a character POV in the prologue who I didn't mention again until the final chapter. Quite a few readers told me they were wondering throughout the book how he related to the story, which was exactly what I'd hoped!
 

DAgent

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How easy can you edit the interludes out if they're not working? It might be worth a try, but I think the B plot has to be as interesting as the A plot.
Rather easily, they are rather short, less than a full page in most cases, and I plan on editing them down further. But they could easily be removed altogether if not deemed needed at all.
 

DAgent

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If you want to include the interludes as a reminder of the character, don't underestimate your readers' ability to retain detail. In my first novel I introduced a character POV in the prologue who I didn't mention again until the final chapter. Quite a few readers told me they were wondering throughout the book how he related to the story, which was exactly what I'd hoped!
That's exactly the same aim I have :)
 

TheEndIsNigh

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@DAgent @Steve Harrison

The above three posts sound like the process of writing with Scrivener


or the free Ywriter7


I've not used Scrivener but I have used Ywriter6.

The advantage is you can build your world and characters with their back stories for later reference so you don't suddenly have their eyes change colour or forget they have a missing arm or only two sisters. The moons in the sky at night don't suddenly change to five. The detail you provide yourself in the back files is as detailed as it need s to be and can be for anything people, world, weapons, currency, animals with six legs -anything.

You can also attack the work in chunks setting out chapters and scenes you know you will need but havn't figured out yet. That off world trip the main character makes is just a couple of chapters you'll work on later when you (as the writer) have figurred out exactly what he needs to learn to kill the eight legged purple spotted dog monster in chapter 22.

The only issue I had with Ywriter was the lack od a spell checker , but I don't know if that has improved in version 7
 

Jo Zebedee

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blah - flags. So many flags.
I’ve done this twice

once with a character going through a trauma that meant they could no longer be the point of view character but who I wanted to still connect with the story and reader
once with a character who had a personality state I wanted the reader to pick up subtly and whose story sat outside the main arc

they worked fine.
as Teresa says you can do anything, it’s how well it works in practice that matters
 

Steve Harrison

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@DAgent @Steve Harrison

The above three posts sound like the process of writing with Scrivener
I've only ever used Word (except during the pre-personal computer days when I had a typewriter and then a primitive word processor). I like to print out my work regularly and make written notes. Not sure how I'd take to something fancy and fandangled like Scrivener...
 

TheEndIsNigh

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I too use Word nowadays. Mainly becasue I've installed ProWritingAid which finds all those none context spelling errors like

Were for where and such like.

However Ywriter et al does allow chapter and/or scene printing and you can print out all the facts if you're** that way inclined

**Also your and you're

Did I mention I'm crap at grammer.
 

DAgent

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@DAgent @Steve Harrison

The above three posts sound like the process of writing with Scrivener


or the free Ywriter7


I've not used Scrivener but I have used Ywriter6.

The advantage is you can build your world and characters with their back stories for later reference so you don't suddenly have their eyes change colour or forget they have a missing arm or only two sisters. The moons in the sky at night don't suddenly change to five. The detail you provide yourself in the back files is as detailed as it need s to be and can be for anything people, world, weapons, currency, animals with six legs -anything.

You can also attack the work in chunks setting out chapters and scenes you know you will need but havn't figured out yet. That off world trip the main character makes is just a couple of chapters you'll work on later when you (as the writer) have figurred out exactly what he needs to learn to kill the eight legged purple spotted dog monster in chapter 22.

The only issue I had with Ywriter was the lack od a spell checker , but I don't know if that has improved in version 7
A tool for creative writing ... that somehow misses out on ... a spellchecker? I guess that goes to show how dedicated they were to everything else.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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@DAgent

Sorry I mis-remembered the features.

I've just looked at the latest features of Ywriter7 and it seems the spell checking issue is no longer a problem. Its been upgraded muchly since I used it and now has real time checking.

In any case when I did use it I found it very useful and certainly worth a look for anyone consdering ' buying' Scrivener.
 

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