1. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    3 small questions

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cave Troll, Sep 10, 2015.

    So I have 3 simple questions, if any would care to share upon 1 or all 3 that would be great. :D

    1. Best to get the more random one out of the way. Is it strange to have basically written an 'album' that revolves around a book? I feel at this point since I did a little presentation vid a while back, because I had some people ask me about what my characters in my novel looked like. Now I seem to be randomly making songs on different parts of it. So I just figured I'd ask.

    2. What should I do as far as my novels length? The reason I ask is because it is 119,291 words and it is basically only halfway through the entire story line. So would it be better to make it a two books, or just finish in one go.

    3.This one could be controversial. I have been taking a break from my novel to write a short story, (that is what I said about the novel) and it touches on some morbid themes. It touches lightly on the subject of animal cruelty (similar to some real serial killers), but it is merely to explain how the MC got to where they are now, and what they do 'professionally'. I do not endorse the harm of animals, it is just to add some realism. This is just a small chunk of backstory, for the MC who turns people into works of art and sells them. Is aiming for realism in this case going to far to given this type of disturbing content? It merely says that they had done some things, and not in detail like a quick wash over. And no the MC is not into bestiality.
     
  2. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    1. By album, you mean a collection of music? I think if it helps you get in the zone and you enjoy doing it, then go for it. I can think of a few bands that have released successful concept albums based around literary works, so there's enough appeal there. Also, I love scores that have leitmotifs for each character ('character theme songs'), so I could definitely see it being helpful, if a bit unorthodox.

    2. What stage of the writing process are you up to? If you're still drafting, then be aware that the editing process will whittle down the word count. But it does sound like quite a lot, so if splitting the story into two self-contained books is an option, it's one I'd consider. It's impossible to give a definitive opinion without knowing your story.

    3. I think it's morally fine to write about animal cruelty, as long as it's not glorifying it (assuming you're targeting adults). It might seem tacky/exploitative if you include it solely because it's controversial (therefore a hook), but if it fits with the character's journey that's fine. Personally, animal cruelty upsets me, but not if it's imaginary, and to address any issue you need to be able to discuss it.
     
  3. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Thanks. It is more of a soundtrack of miscellaneous events.

    It is still in the progress stage. Been doing extensive cleanup on what I have so far. It has been quite a saga, hitting Pluto, Helen(sub moon of Dion, Saturn), and Callisto (Jupiter's moon). Still have to make a trip to Mars, the moon, and in the end Earth. Leading up to a bigger conflict with the whole mess, just not sure how I want to wage war on an entire planet.

    No that little snippet is not the hook. I was hoping following a person who has a different way of going about life (in a disturbing profession). Like how they react in a world that is not really accepting of what they do. Turns out they can be close to ordinary, despite being successful at their less than normal means of surviving. It gets into MC's crummy child hood as well as their close friend, while flying down the freeway on their way out to dinner. Also delves a little more into the MC's personal thoughts on issues, and how they feel that being charitable is a good thing (makes a lot of money on a global scale). I know the weirdest 'killer' and their peer ever right? Turning people into art, preserving the body with plastination, and support charities in their spare time.
     
  4. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    All sounds fine to me then :)

    I forgot to mention earlier: an obvious link between 'art' and animal cruelty is the practice of ear cropping and tail docking dogs. IMO, that's a form of mutilation, and all about human preferences and aesthetics, not of benefit to the dog. But it's very common around the world; increasingly illegal though, including where I live. (Ear/tail amputation for veterinary reasons is another matter entirely.)

    Not sure of your exact angle, but that could be an early precedent towards your character's modus operandi.
     
  5. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I have given it a lot of thought, and might shorten the whole backstory part, when the MC is dissecting a frog in class as a 13 year old. And play off of that. As for the artwork, it is only people and not animals. I think people who crop tails/ears on dogs are just douches.

    I was going with a steady escalation method to how the MC came to the thought of creating art out of them. Then using the evolution to transition from there to people. But I might just shorten or cut it out entirely. They do have certain rules that they follow in a sense. They won't do jobs for anyone that wants a child, animal, or pregnant woman. Go figure even my 'evil' characters have ethics and morals when it comes to what they will and will not do. Some things should remain 'sacred' in a way so they are not completely evil, since they have to deal with others that make them look like nothing in comparison. That and it would be far to cruel to do horrible things to a child or a pregnant woman.
     
  6. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    1. I am hoping to write an album for my novel too... Or a soundscape ... In the digital age, I'm not sure just words are enough. I think we all need to think outside of the box and evolve story writing.

    2. Just keep writing... Then edit

    3. Write about it if it is important to the story or character. And if written from 1st person, glorify it. People find excuses and think they are doing the right thing, when clearly, they are not. And an outsider or reader will see this.
     
  7. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @sprirj It is in first person, and I did shorten the part a little bit. Just trying not to have PETA freaks on my case over a fictional story. You know the ones that think fish are screaming on a grill in some fancy restaurant.

    Perhaps I should just post the part in question. That way an informed opinion can be made on whether it should stay revised or revert back to the original full memory/backstory.



    It was rather interesting in the transitional period from adolescences to adult hood. The physical, hormonal, and mental changes that occur. Finding myself up past my bedtime many nights searching the internet for the artistic renderings of the grotesque and morbid that hid in plain sight there. To me they were beautiful in their depictions of horror, suffering, and death. So many unique renderings of twisted, and tortured imaginations.

    It had been difficult, but I did my best to hide my fascination for the macabre imagery. After spending the better part of the first six months perusing the morbid online galleries, I began to notice my sexual receptiveness to these raw nerve depictions. Seeing the not so subtle sexual nature in the well drawn up pictures. Establishing my infatuation into a mutual duality of both intrigue and lust. I developed my personal preferences as a silent critic of these dark galleries, but always had to see everything.

    Not long after I began to draw similar pictures whenever I could. My budding artistic ability had been crude in comparison to those that posted in the galleries. I knew that if I just kept practicing I would be just a good as they were. At times I got frustrated in my lack of talent, but I learned that it took time to develop my abilities.

    My peers at school really did not associate with me. I had accepted becoming the outcast that did not fit in. Not that I minded as I was sure they would ever accept my bizarre interests, outside of my education.

    The following year, the curiously morbid fantasy lifestyle escalated. I was 13 when I got my first real taste that really set off my strange intrigue. It was in biology that I got that taste really setting of my dark lust. Dissecting the frog. It laid on it’s back, the preservative had kept the thin skin supple like when it was alive. Though I did not like the strong odor of formaldehyde that emanated from the specimen. Plucking the small scalpel from the disposable dissection kit beside the specimen tray, I mimicked the way I had seen others brandish it in shows and books. Felt almost like holding a pencil, but instead of using graphite it was sharp blade. Enjoying the way it felt in my hand as I cradled the small medical knife. Letting the tip of the blade hover millimeters above the lifeless frogs body, consumed in the moment with excitement and a steady building tingle inside me..

    Savoring this moment letting it fill my senses, before making the first, the virgin cut that would later become so many more. Apparently, my odd behavior fell into concern with the head masters. They dismissed it soon after, as nothing more than a ‘phase’ that I would grow out of. How wrong they were, the frog was my initiation to what I would later become.

    One day while sitting in deep thought. I thought of doing something I had never thought before. Why not make flesh into art? Anything can be a canvas to an artist.

     
  8. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Yep buying it. :)
     
  9. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    That is good. Thank you, for your thoughts.

    Now the MC just needs to survive a night on the town (doing a bit of research for a job) with her friend Quin (short for Hellayna Harlequin, pseudonym) who is a crazy/fun type of person.
     
  10. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    1) Don't know if it's strange but one of my favourite albums is "War of The Worlds" Jeff Wayne and David Essex. So why not?

    2) Screw the length - write the book - then worry.

    3) No idea. That's for you to decide.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  11. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Regarding the length, the average length of a novel is 80,000-100,000 words. To more than double this in the telling of the story; then put yourself in a position of editing down over 50% sounds like a nightmare that would bury most of us (me for sure). I would encourage you to take a hard look at your outline or storyboard or however you've laid this out and ask yourself some hard questions about what you must have in vs what you could cut. To do all this writing now only to cut it later seems wasteful (of your time) and may end up being incredibly frustrating. Is there an earlier conclusion/climax that you can build to while leaving open the possibility to a sequel if you find readers? Sometimes less is more.
     
  12. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Yes I have been considering cutting it off, when a couple of MCs are heading to Mars. Already hit 4 places already in the solar system. That would leave plenty I think to make a quick trip to the red planet, and then wage a massive war on Terra going after 30 key players. Funny thing is I have been taking a break from trying to fix everything that I already have. Some stuff has been cut out already as it seems irrelevant to the story and is still the mass of words I already stated in an earlier post on the thread. I am just not sure how it will be received if it is not completely over in the first shot. Have any suggestions on how to write a reasonable open ended/possibly end, type of way? I am not to good with the 'cliffhanger', and have yet to attempt it.
     
  13. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Thanks. You're a real peach. :p

    I might just have a go at seeing it till the end with out having to leave it on a cliffhanger.

    I think I feel it is best read through the revised version I posted further up in the thread.

    Thanks for your thoughts. :D
     
  14. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    You do not have to write a cliffhanger--you just have to write a story that has an ending. In order for the reader to want to go on to another book written by you, they will have needed to have loved the first, and that probably means not getting bogged down in the details. Remember to write for the reader rather than writing for yourself. Maybe you are at a place to have some friends read what you've written (I mean non-writing friends, but people who are interested in your genre) to give you feedback about whether it is a compelling story, has enough or too much detail, etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  15. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I have let one person awhile back when it was shorter read it. They liked the descriptive nature of the violent elements (kind of strange coming from a woman's perspective).

    I think I may have written the bulk of it that has an obligation to completion, so I don't know how much I can really cut out and still have it finish strong. I don't know if slapping an epilogue on the end will be enough to cover all the open ended parts of what gets cut short/left out entirely. Seems I have written myself into a rock and a hard place.
     
  16. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    In answer to #2, I would write it all at once as though it were one novel, then divide it into 2-3 novels during the final revision process. You may not yet know where you want to break it up and that's not something you really need to concern yourself with during the first draft. First draft should be about getting something to work with on paper. By writing it all as one, this will help you when working on continuity issues during the revision process. Plus, readers will be happier with you if parts in a series are released close together. I'm currently working on a 7-part science fiction series that I am writing in this manner. All seven books will be finished (except maybe some polishing) before I release the first book.
     
  17. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    That sounds reasonable. I might be able to just make it one long book.

    7 Books all in a row, that sounds intimidating when it comes to editing and all that jazz. Still good for you. I bet you have way more XP at this than I do. Been having a hard time fixing all the issues that I have already. :p
     
  18. psychotick
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    Hi Due,

    You're looking at this wrong. We are in the age of the indie. Books don't have to be a certain length. And you aren't restricted by word counts in any way.

    Personally I have novels out there ranging from 50k length to 250k length. They're all fine. And more importantly they are the right length for the story. That in the end is what matters. Not an arbitrary word length. And not what an agent might suggest is comercial.

    And when you edit your book - you don't edit for greater concision. You don't edit for more description. You edit for a better book. Again word counts are irrelevant.

    That's why I say write it first. Then worry about length and decide how to deal with it.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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