Get yer semi-daily Dracula fix here!

Dracula was written as an epistolary novel, where the story is presented as a series of documents. I'm breaking it up into a serial format using the date stamps on these documents to follow the actual time frame of the story. The twist is that we're six months off... mainly because I really wanted to do this right now now now and the actual novel doesn't start until May. More details on the project here.

The entries are not completely regular, so there will be some days with no posts and some with multiple. In the absence of a time stamp I will set posts to go up in the early AM.

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Monday, August 31, 2015

The Nitty Gritty

In case you might be wondering why I've started poking at this in August when the posting will not start until November, this post is about what I have to do to get this set up clean and neat:

Not that I'm complaining as I have no one to blame but myself really, but it's a labor of love for sure and I'm proud of all the work I have and will be putting into it.

I feel it is very likely some of the entries from the original text dissection have gone missing or gotten edited accidentally over the last few years so instead of doing a gruelling cross reference project to get the earlier text all cleaned up I opted to start from fresh text and make sure it's good from the outset.

In order to present this the way I am envisioning I have to:

For the whole text
  • Find digital copy of Dracula ( in this case a .lit file from the University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center)
  • Copy full text into a Word document
  • Go through entire book highlighting the date of each new date stamp to determine the chronology of entries
  • Differentiate any backdated entries by highlighting in a different colour. Because the backdating is sometimes very close to the regular chronology pay specific attention to make sure no current posts are lost in the shuffle
  • Determine how many different narrators are represented in the text and how best to make sure people can easily differentiate them - in this case I've chosen to use icon type header images for the top of each post to represent each narrator - some of these will be reused from previous runs and some of these I'd like to replace

For each month

  • Split up document by month (backdated entries to be left in publishing order)
  • Go through the month worth of entries to number the entries and determine if there are any days with multiple posts - there are a few sections in which multiple people post multiple entries on the same day - this section is super messy 
  • Look for time of day clues in each post and determine what time of day to schedule it
  • Check for backdated posts and determine how to space them out between chronological posts - this is another really messy area as there are some sections with a month worth of backdated posts in between just a couple of days of chronological posts

For each individual post

  • The formatting is always messed up when I paste from the text into blogger, so copy an individual entry into an HTML stripping page (n this case )
    -I may have found an easier way to do this part but I'm still looking into that-
  • Copy that result into a notepad file
  • Add line breaks back in by comparing to original text
  • Copy properly formatted post into a new post on Blogger
  • Tag, schedule, and add any icon images/pictures
  • Publish
The earlier months are fairly straightforward and well spaced but as you start getting toward September and October in the book chronology all bets are off, so starting early is a must. Since I've started from scratch with a new copy of the text any work I've done on the previous text is basically lost except in theoretical application. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Please excuse our appearance while we are under construction!

Poenari Fortress - a known stronghold of the Historical Dracula

I'm taking another stab at a project I've been trying to nail down for a number of years now. The original Dracula novel is presented as a series of time stamped correspondences so my goal is to present them on the internet entry by entry according to those time stamps.

This coming November 2015 I will start a fresh presentation of Dracula in the Off Season.
I will be posting the novel in a sort of serial fashion, but precisely six months off of the actual time stamps in the story. 

I hope to run this at least twice. Once in the "off season" on this blog which will be six months removed from the actual novel and starts in November, and again in May following the exact dates of the novel on our big sister blog Dracula In Real Time.

All previous runs have been removed from this blog in preparation for November 2015, but the full 2011 run is still up on Dracula in Real Time if you want to get the general gist.

My goal with this run is to get the text down clean so that when I do it again in the Spring I can add some neat tweaks. I've done this before (per my last post) but was never happy with the final outcome so I'm hoping a fresh copy of the text and some ideas about what went wrong last time will finally do it.

The main feed for the off season will be here, but I'm going to try to integrate with social media platforms to make it easier to keep up so keep your eyes peeled for more platforms.

More details will be posted here and at the Facebook page
 as we get closer in.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Welcome once again to Dracula on the Off-Season!

In the fall of 2006 I stumbled on a community online which presented Bram Stoker's Novel Dracula in a way I had never considered before; in real-time.

Dracula was written in a form called the epistolary novel, where the prose is presented as a series of documents. These documents are all date stamped, and so Dracula1897 used these stamps to separate out the novel into a sort of serial, making semi-daily* posts following the chronology of the story** spanning the six month period in which the book takes place.

To my dismay I only caught the very tail end of the Dracula1897 run and they have not done it again since. In 2009 Dracula-Feed ran the novel here on Blogger in the same way, but I was not aware of this until well afterward. I decided that rather than wait for someone else to do this again I would do it myself, but of course came to this conclusion at precisely the wrong time of year as the book starts in May and ends in November... and that finally is where we come in!

I started my first off season run-through in November 2010 and tried for a second off season run in November 2012. Ultimately I hated the formatting of the Project Gutenberg text I was working from and never felt happy with the final presentation, so I'm overhauling the whole thing using a new copy of the text.

There may be occasional non-story Admin. posts from me but I will do all I can to keep them at a minimum. Please feel free to let me know at any time if you have any ideas that you think will help enhance the experience and by all means pass the word along.

The Project Gutenberg copy of Dracula is available here.

* the chronology is not completely regular, some days have no posts, some have multiple.
** the chronology is also not completely linear, a few items are presented out of order according to how they appear in the text. these will be noted by an "out of order" tag