well the title kinda says it all.
how long shoud an AAR be before it gets to boring?
well the title kinda says it all.
how long shoud an AAR be before it gets to boring?
It really depends... How good are you at writing?
I suppose the first thing to be aware of is spelling and grammar. For instance, capitalise your sentences, spell shoud as should, to as too... Might sound nitpicky, but you're writing to be read. If you're writing is good enough and interesting, people will flock to your AAR, no matter how long it is. Frankly, you're more likely to burn out then your audience.
United We Shall Remain: The History of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
A New Netherlands AAR for Victoria II: Heart of Darkness 3.01
The Alexandriad: A Personal History of the Times of King Alexander I the Conqueror
A New AAR for Crusader Kings II
Winner of: WritAAR of the Week 06/01/13
- I was Fan of the Week 01/01/2012 - ~ Proud recipient of two Kenshin Cookies ~- ~ More AARs avaliable at my Inkwell! (硯臺) ~ -
there really is no rule to be honest. I did a blog post on my own musings and the responses were essentially 'long enough to tell the story'. So a good AAR could be based around the life of a character (so stops when they die), of a particular war or campaign or a segment of a particular game time frame. Equally there is a tradition on the forums of 'mega-campaigns' running across CK-EU-Vic_HOI.
Also depends how you want to write. if you effectively want to tell the story of the game that tends to one level of detail, if you want to explore the wider dynamics, bring in non-game characters, offer up detailed battle scenes etc ... all change the length.
One idea is to check out the AARland FAQ for a lot of this discussion at greater length, the link is in my signature.
And Tanzhang is absolutely correct, if you are no longer enjoying the writing its time to think of stopping it, preferably in a way that completes the story for your readers
I've found that by the very nature of AARs, most cover a long time period. EU3 is 422 years, so you could cover that in minute detail, one post a decade, or even less! It all comes down to three things:
- Your time as a writer to make it happen.
- Interest from readers.
- Having enough to tell the story with the game provided.
My completed AAR had 80,000 words almost exactly. That was a good length I feel for what I was trying to do. However, if I had the time I could surely have gone longer.
In short the perfect length is...whatever you want!
Downfall: A Byzantine Narrative AAR. See the fall of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen. On Hold 3rd Place OVERALL EU3 (Highest Narrative) AARland Choice Awards Q3 2012!
The Grey Eminence: A British Narrative/History AAR. Witness the rise of Great Britain to world power! COMPLETE! WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2012 Q1!
The Eternal Exile: Nation Hopping AAR with a mix of narrative and game-play. On Hold. | WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2011 Q1!
Winner: AAR Showcase 29/11/2011 | Winner: Character Writer of the Week 19/1/2012 | Winner: Fan of the Week 20/9/2010 and 20/8/2012 | I was Character Writer of the Week 13/12/2010
I have one that topped out at 164 pages, and I have another that's still going (on temporary hold) at 199 pages. I can't necessarily vouch for the latter, but the former (164 pages) seemed to keep everybody's interest through the finish line.
I agree with the other advice provided. You have to be interested, whether anybody else is or not. If you rely on other peoples' interest to keep going, then start it and take advice -- asked for or not -- from your readers as to what they like most and what they don't.
Format also matters. Gameplay is TYPICALLY shorter, but doesn't have to be. My longer AAR is a gameplay format. But, as time has passed, I've stepped up the tempo. Back when EU 3 was a young game (I started it THAT long ago), people wanted more detail. Now, the detail slows it down, I think, so I'm speeding up and getting more general.
My 164-page completed Victoria AAR was a mix of historybook and narrative -- a very different format, and one much more styled to favor length. But your writing style has to keep people interested. Far fewer people have the time to read such stories, and so you may have to put up with fewer readers at first. But the readers are also more loyal, I'd bet.
I also had a 44-page completed Victoria 2 AAR. It was that short because I kept the tempo up and got it finished in just the right amount of pages, I think (this one was gameplay also).
So it depends, but you just have to feel it out.
Serenity - (V2 v1.3) - An isolationist Japan tries to stay out of everybody's way (New! Updated May '13)
Kriegsgefahr (Impending War) - (HOI3/SF/HPP) - Germany attempts to remain at peace! (Updated Apr '13)
Locarno - Italy vs. Germany (HOI3/SF/HPP) - What if Mussolini stood with France against Hitler?
The Die is Cast (Roman Civil War) - Caesar will make a name for himself! (Updated June '12)
Império Novo - An Axis Portugal AAR for HOI 3 (Updated May '13)
Fire Warms the Northern Lands - A Prussian Victoria 1 AAR (Awarded the VictAARian Cross for Jan-Jun 2006)
Castles In the Sky (Vicky 1) * Sforza!!! - A Milan AAR (EU III) (Updated May '13) * I Am Siam (V2 Minor) (tied for Silver VictAARian Cross for Best AAR completed in 2011) * A Long Time Ago... (HOI 1 Argentina)* Check Rensslaer's Inkwell! (list of online writings)
I tend to plot out my story lines ahead of time and I do usually play ahead enough to know which interesting game events I want to use as levers. Like Rens, I have one or two of... um... extended length, but it is a point of pride for me to not leave a story unfinished. In general I would say that shorter is better for new authors. Keep it short, punch it up and have fun!
My personal favorite was written in a series of essays that skipped around in time to show trends and changes by topics. That one was open ended-enough that I could return to it from time to time and not feel locked-in by dates.
So... it will be as long as it will be, which sounds silly but is true. Or you could say (as a wise person already has) that the story will run as long as you are interested in it.
"That which does not kill me, has made a grave tactical error." - Jerry Pournelle
Seven AARs and a picture, too: Director's Inkwell
A Special Providence - An Ongoing Vic/Rev AAR of the Knights Temporal in the Victorian Era, A Tale of The Axe and the Killing Frost
Support Your Favorite Authors! How? Look Here!
It really depends on a person's style and level of description. I can tolerate well written longer story lines quite easily. I'm guilty of having several unfinished stories, with a few finished.
I basically agree with Director and Rensslaer.
Visit TekcoR Productions and get additional news and information about all characters and writings featured! While your at it, become a fan by liking the page!
Prince Imperial - Best Character Writer of the Week (November 7th - November 14th, 2010)
Descendants of Alexander - Weekly AAR Showcase (August 4th - August 11th, 2011)
In den Augen Gottes - Prussia in an Alternative History Affair
Alptraum (Nightmare) - Writer of the Week (December 4th - December 11th, 2011) & AARland Choice AwAARd 2012 (Round 1)
It should be neither too long nor too short, but finish exactly where you intend it to!
As already stated, there are no general rules for that and every writer has to find his own style and pace.
I for myself found it to be quite pleasant to take longer breaks inbetween updates. Never write, when you're not really motivated. Just trying to deliver without actual passion rarely turns out good. If you're the hard-working type, you should consider certain update intervals (Falconette for example tells the readers when to await the next update), but that's totally up to you.
It all breaks down to finding something you're comfortable with and if you're lucky, people will be comfortable with that, too!
Winner of Weekly AAR Showcase January 29, 2012 with The Third Counterweight - Norway Kaiserreich
Ive ended AARs when: Ive gotten annexed (poland, HOI3), I finished proving a gamey tactic is usable (Ethiopia HOI3) and when I became bored of constant revolts (Britain, EU3). But enough about my awful writings, the people who write good AARs should continue to write as long as the audience has continued to listen it's a massive disappointment when really good and large AARs stop for no reason