Dribble Drabble

The whole "post a day" chapters in FanFic lately has been, in my opinion, awesome.  I do want to make a clarification (which I didn't know myself until recently) between Drabble fic and what we've been doing in the FanFIc arena of late.  Drabble fic has its own definition, and that's not what we're doing.  See the wiki here.  So I think I'm going with the term Dribble Fic, which means absolutely nothing (as far as I know - someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Anyway - why do I think it's awesome?  Because as writers, it is a challenge.  How much can you write per day?  Can you really post a little something up every day of the week for months on end?  Is that even possible?  Well, no - probably not, but can you get close?  And for me personally, how quickly can you COMPLETE a story?  For readers, it's exciting and fun.

There are downfalls, though - a lot of them!

1. There no time for a beta.  You need a beta, no matter how clean your writing is.  This is the part that made both Could Be Worse, Right? and Offside a challenge - not so much because of all the typos that made it past my own eyes, but to keep my OCD self from going through and re-reading each chapter 15 times after I posted it and fixing every little typo.  Why is that a problem?  Because while I'm spinning my wheels (and using up my free time) doing that, I'm not writing more.

2. It's not going to be your best work.  That's just all there is to it.  Especially if you do it all off the cuff.  This is true of all chapter by chapter writing, though - not just dribbles.  Some of my best ideas come three chapters later, and usually I can find a way to work them into the story without too much effort, but it would have been better if I eluded to the idea earlier on.  In a dribble, it's not three chapters, its twenty.  Or thirty.

3. It's stressful.  It's a lot of pressure on the writer when you know "x" number of readers and literally hitting "refresh" over and over again, twitter-stalking you, and sending multiple PMs a day asking if you are going to update soon or should they go ahead and go to bed.

If you are a writer, I'd suggest trying it once (even if you don't post it).  It's challenging and fun.  I'm not sure I'll do it again soon, though.  I was debating with Tempt My Tongue, but i think I've decided on more traditional chapter lengths and a weekly posting schedule.

How about readers?  What do you think of this new "trend"?  Exciting and fun, despite the lower level of quality, or do you prefer to wait a while and get something more thought-out?

Let me know what you think!


  1. To answer your question as a reader - I like the daily thing, although it can be frustrating. I find myself checking the chapter length and sometimes saving it until the next day just so that I'll have more to read. It's a luxury to have daily updates, for sure. As a writer, it can be frustrating for all of the reasons you mentioned. Also, you'll have readers who want the daily updates AND longer chapters. You can't please everyone.

  2. I love them.  In fact I'm reading one now called Arrangement by QuantumFizzx.  It is addicting and everyone who is reading seems to be begging for more, even though she has been very faithful to update daily as promised- one day she even updated twice, *yay*. She says it will be short, about a week, but I would hope for more.  I know you all remember another "post daily" fic she wrote called The Plan.  That was my first fic of this kind and I seriously could not get enough. 
    Back to the original topic, I do so love stories that update often, but yesterday I saw on The Lemonade Stand that they had rec'd several completed post daily fics.  I tried to start a couple but couldn't really get hooked enough to continue to the end.  I wonder if it's b/c they're just better read the way they were intended-one chapter a day. 
    Savage, I loved the parts of Offsides that I could read, but some parts were just too sad for me.  Also, I was, and am, still so caught up in UC that I would literally get frustrated (jealous) when Offside would post and I was SO anxious for more UC. 

    Anyway, my thoughts sound a little like drabble.  Thanks for the discussion and for writing such WONDERFUL stories.   

  3. as a reader I love it and find it very addictive. As much as I love UC, I can forget about waiting for an update till Friday ... but waiting for updates of CBWR or Offside knowing they were coming frequently was nail-bitting experience. Paradox, isn't that ? Both forms of writing/posting are great, however, very different in every way. I'd love you write both whichever you'd choose. I trust you know better what would be best for the fic you were writing.
    And as to "real" drabble ...  well, yeah, that is also an interesting and chalenging form but for me it is too easy to loose the focus if the plot meanders lazily and is full of interrupted conversations ... "All Nighters" by CaraNo was a good example... bad examples are not worth remembering :) "Arrangement" also seems to be a good one, I agree.
    I also think writers shouldn't be slaves to forms and rules as they have the right to be creative far beyond them. Only the best will be raed and remembered anyway, rules or not.

  4. my previous post wasn't meant as a reply to SydneyAlice but was intended as a post in general conversation :))))))  

  5. For me when there is a lot of suspense/drama in a story, it would be better if it is written in the traditional format. With the daily updates it is more stressful (there are more incomplete scenes and cliffhangers ) and addictive (I look forward to the update all the time). 
    "Offside" and "CBWR?" are some of my most favorite stories. The way you tell them through the short chapters, so meaningful and well composed, is fascinating. I have the feeling that there isn't one unnecessary word in them.

  6. I love the dribbles but they are very addicting!  You almost start having withdrawl if they are not updated daily!  I recently loved cosmogirls dribble as she updated every morning and it was in my inbox at 6:45!  I enjoy them because they are like real life which is unpredictable and quick!  That is one reason I loved offsides!!

  7. As a reader i prefer longer chapters and updated on a weekly/fortnightly bases,as I tend to get  frustrated  with dribble fan-fiction , I start them but never end up finishing them. I'm sure that I am missing some awesome story's.
    love love UC :) 

  8. I think your analysis of "dribble" fic is spot-on, Shay (and you're right, it's not "drabble", which I have always understood to be a type of short-story, which clearly these FF fics are not).  My first intro to "dribble" was QuantumFizzx's "The Plan", which was brilliantly done in real time, and I loved your own "CBWR?" and "Offside", but as you rightly point out, the downside is the lack of time for fine-tuning, and as a somewhat anally retentive reader who fixates on grammar and spelling, I do sometimes struggle with this side of the genre.  Undoubtedly, when it works, it works brilliantly, but the pitfalls are many, so I think there's definitely a time and a place for it - I would hate to see a great FF writer such as yourself abandon your traditional story-telling style to exclusively write "dribble" (and thankfully, you appear to have no intention of doing so).

    So looking forward to seeing TMT start to post regularly.

  9. I  love the drabbles. I am following 3 right now. The key is to keep an actual storyline going regardless of how short, and they are short, 100 words or less. Very talented writers who are able to pull it off. Most lose the storyline and in the end, not sure what it was about. Except for my 3 I am following, they are really very good! The drabbles are also just fun reads when you need a break from other stories or waiting on updates. So glad they are gaining popularity.

  10. I like to mix things up, so I doubt I'll ever stick with the same thing for every story.  That's why my next fic will be back to Vamps - haven't done them in a while. :)  Thanks for the kind words. :)

  11. I think that is a lot of the appeal as well.  Its like a little bit of crack every day.  LOL  Wait...that's not a good thing, is it? :)

  12. I kind of want to go back and re-write Offside as a "normal" fic.  It would probably be about half the length it is now.  Hehehe.

  13. I try not to remember the bad examples, either.  :)

  14. I dont really have a  a preference. You did really well with daily updates for both Offside and CBWR?. Then you did well with long ones like H&D. Not very fond of UC, gotta admit it. Sometimes you get stuck with a plot direction and find it hard to come out on the other side no mater how many weeks you put your work on. So, i would say, it depends, on the story, characters, what you are more comfy writing and the final outcome.