Question: What is Effulgence?

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Question: What is Effulgence?

Postby Yulerule » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:35 am

I read Luminosity and Radiance and Flashes quite a while ago and really liked them. I proceeded on to Elcenia (started reading when Summon was still being written, Ch 16 was the last one up when I found it). I checked for updates rather regularly (around once a week) and mostly lurked on the tvtropes page, though I did comment once in a blue moon. :) When you moved on to Goldmage, I proceeded to reading that (read ch 9 today) but tapered off on checking the tvtropes pages as updates became sporadic.

Anyway, I noticed mention of Effulgence, and lots of minor details - so I have a vague understanding of what it is based on people's comments.
It's like a bunch of different fictional worlds connected by placing a "Bella" or Bella-type character - called a Bell in various storyworlds. There are other characters that crop up again and again in various storyworlds that you have templated (same personality, same reaction to events, originate in world of story line but are in essence transplants of some specific character into other storyworlds). Again - I've read like, the first 3 chapters, but this is my understanding from various comments I've read about it. I don't know if they interact or what - currently I'm imagining it like roots - It grows from one point of origin, but there are multiple story lines all spread out - no idea if they intersect.

I tried reading it when you opened up for the public, read the first couple chapters. How long is the entire thing? (Approx. how many words or some other meaningful measurement). How long are (from what I understand) self-contained storylines/universes generally?
Is my understanding of what it is somewhat close to the mark? Even if it isn't how would you describe the whole thing - take a couple of paragraphs if you have to.

I plan on reading it (eventually), as I really like your writing - I recommended Luminosity to a couple friends of mine (mostly because of one epic quote) but I can see it's quite long (understatement of the year, probably) and I don't know if I can read specific parts separately, and I don't have that much free tome on my hands.
Thanks for reading this, and answering any of my questions.
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Re: Question

Postby Alicorn » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:18 am

You may be interested in the explanation at How To Read Effulgence. You're pretty close.

A scrape of Effulgence made in February is just shy of thirty megs not counting the user icons, and with known bugs reducing the quantity of text collected. It has grown since, although not at its peak historical speed. I don't know exactly how to render that into a wordcount, but Elcenia's original-format logs (instant messaging RP between me and Julie) is around twenty megs including out of character conversation and known to exceed one million words. Incandescence is similar in concept, but shorter and I have a different coauthor. Some of my sandbox RPs also have Bells in them, although since I refer to specific Bells by nickname this isn't necessarily obvious by looking.

You can read individual Bells' storylines up until the point they contact other Bells in any order and without knowing more than you currently do (although I think it's improved by the accumulated understanding of the other character templates you get by reading more or less in order). If all you want to do is read, say, a Bell in the Stark Trek 'verse, skip to the thread "warp factor one" and jump in. She hasn't even pealed yet so you can read everything with her little symbol on it and miss nothing of that specific character.

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Re: Question: What is Effulgence?

Postby Yulerule » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:15 am

Oh yeah - I think I actually read that page - remembered the information - forgot I read official explanation (hey, that rhymes!). Thanks for answering. On a side-note - can I assume that both Elcenia and Goldmage won't be updated anywhere in the near future?
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Re: Question: What is Effulgence?

Postby Alicorn » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:05 pm

I'm partway through a Goldmage chapter and an Elcenia prequel thingy, but I can't vouch for the immediacy of updates, only promise that it's not never again. Subscribe to the RSS feeds or follow my Twitter or Tumblr to be sure you'll catch them.
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Re: Question: What is Effulgence?

Postby cbhacking » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:41 pm

Assuming ASCII/UTF-8 as opposed to UTF-16 or similar, 30MB is 30 million characters is ~5 million words (average word length in English is around five characters, plus the space, according to something I vaguely remember learning sometime long ago). Of course, that's assuming plain text format; if one includes things like HTML formatting and such then it's going to be significant portion of that but not 100%. On the other hand, that was some months ago and there's the mention of known bugs, so...

It's vastly longer than most individual novels, though I think it falls shy of, say, the entire Wheel of Time series combined (not actually sure about that though; it took me less time to read but that's not a reliable indication). Unless you read ridiculously fast or have basically nothing else to do with your waking hours, it'll probably take at least a few weeks to read through. Throwing all the other "Glowfics" (collective term for roleplay-based storybuilding with at least some of the characters and themes first seen in Effulgence, though there's now a growing body of glowfic that Alicorn has no direct hand in) into the mix doesn't currently *greatly* increase the total length - maybe by about 25% at a generous guess? - but it's non-trivial and the different POVs can be fun.

You asked how long the storylines of each world are. That varies heavily. The first part of Effulgence is basically all the same set of characters and same world; it spends longer than some entire worlds have had devoted to them just getting to the part where it's not Earthfic anymore (if you don't know that term, go read the short story; it's good and the term is also a handy one). There's some characters and worlds that get a lot more screen time than others, with others getting basically none. Most of them have at least a few chapters worth of novel-style writing attached to them, but some are more like a book or two in their own right.
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