"Episodic" stories?


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Thread: "Episodic" stories?

  1. #1

    "Episodic" stories?

    I want the story I'm writing to cover a wide expanse of settings and self-contained plots while keeping each relevant to the main plot, much like the Hobbit and LoTR. By today's standards though, Tolkien would be described as long-winded. I'm worried that taking a similar approach would turn readers off by loading the second act with subplots.

    Are my worries valid? Any advice for this approach? Can anyone refer me to recent fantasy novels that do this?
    Last edited by Topper88; January 16th, 2013 at 11:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Percy Jackson. I'm pretty sure battling a deadly waterbed salesman and getting turned into a mouse count as subplots; they feed into the character development/exposition. Some chapters are like their own short stories.
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  3. #3
    I want the story I'm writing to cover a wide expanse of settings and self-contained plots while keeping each relevant to the main plot,
    With the exception of 'Who dunnits' I would have thought most fiction falls into this category. For example I am reading "The hundred year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared", there is a main story involving gangsters, bodies, money and an elephant, but it keeps swinging back to events in his life over the last hundred years. Decent writers have always had multidimensional, layered, plots settings and characters, long winded is simply the style of writing about it, nothing to say you can't still keep it crisp and fast moving.
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  4. #4
    Member Cornelius Crowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topster View Post
    Are my worries valid?
    No.

    See two of the best-selling fantasy series of all time, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, and George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice for examples of meandering plot lines and far flung locales. Tolkien was tightly focused compared to many contemporary fantasists.
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  5. #5
    Member dolphinlee's Avatar
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    David & Leigh Eddings

    The Belgariad - 5 books
    The Mallorian - 5 books
    The Elenium - 3 books
    The Tamuli - 3 books

    If the writing is good and the story well crafted readers are happy.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    Percy Jackson. I'm pretty sure battling a deadly waterbed salesman and getting turned into a mouse count as subplots; they feed into the character development/exposition. Some chapters are like their own short stories.
    I heard good things about that series but never read it. I'll check it out, ty

    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    With the exception of 'Who dunnits' I would have thought most fiction falls into this category. For example I am reading "The hundred year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared", there is a main story involving gangsters, bodies, money and an elephant, but it keeps swinging back to events in his life over the last hundred years. Decent writers have always had multidimensional, layered, plots settings and characters, long winded is simply the style of writing about it, nothing to say you can't still keep it crisp and fast moving.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cornelius Crowe View Post
    No.

    See two of the best-selling fantasy series of all time, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, and George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice for examples of meandering plot lines and far flung locales. Tolkien was tightly focused compared to many contemporary fantasists.
    I would describe those books as having a series of layered parallel plots rather than being subplot after subplot after subplot. It's a fairly minor distinction, but an important one IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by dolphinlee View Post
    David & Leigh Eddings

    The Belgariad - 5 books
    The Mallorian - 5 books
    The Elenium - 3 books
    The Tamuli - 3 books

    If the writing is good and the story well crafted readers are happy.
    Thanks, I'll check those out

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