1. afinemess
    Offline

    afinemess Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    10

    A couple of issues

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by afinemess, Sep 24, 2009.

    I have a few things that are bothering me, so I'll lump them togther.

    I have my novel divided into two distinct halves. The first half is Book One, the second, Book Two. The two together span ten years, book one covers cover six years rather quickly, each chapter or section starting with a month and year so the reader can keep up with the time line, and the second starts four years after the first one ends, and is flat out from there.
    I think it worked rather well, but I dont know if it's a common way to write. I havent read anything lately broken down like this. Plus, explaining to my husband that book one and two are the same novel and not seperate novels is like pulling teeth.
    Him: "So which are you gonna try and get published first?"
    Me: "It's all one book."
    Him (confused): "But it's two books."
    Me: "I saw Hemingway do it in a book and I liked it, it's normal."
    Him (shaking his head): "Then why call them books?"
    Me: "Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!"
    I like the seperation, because the first "book" leads us to a major shift in the novel, the main characters husband dies, and the second part picks up four years later. Is this okay to do, or will I get laughed at? I just havent read anything modern done this way.

    Secondly, do you think a novel can have too much tragedy? This novel contains 3 deaths, an almost drowning, a fire, and a mental breakdown. (I mean, come on, if you went through all that you'd have one too, that has to stay. haha) It flows well, and its the point of the book, but I dont want my readers going "Gee, another thing going wrong, how redundant..." I guess the only real way to test this would be to have some people read it, but if anyone knows other things I could read that have a lot of drama, go ahead and reccomend them. That way I can see if I think it's annoying in other books.

    Okay, enough rambles today, thank you all for your time!;)
     
  2. Dcoin
    Offline

    Dcoin Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NYC
    I always like the idea of using this format for large breaks in the story. For example, if a character overcomes a major obstacle or a monumental event that will change the story, then the Book II tag makes sense.

    If however, it’s just a continuation of the story, then it might lose its effect.
     
  3. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    Nope. Lots of books have deaths, murders, suicides, etc. But make sure you aren't including these things just for the sake of tragedy.
     
  4. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    I read Halo: Fall of Reach(yeah I know its probably not the best example) In it the Chapters start off with the Month, the day, and the year and the time. Well it also gives a location. The book also spands a couple decades I think.


    Not sure how widely its used, but I know its been done before.
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    many, many novels are still divided up into 'books'... it's done all the time, by big name novelists... and a series of tragedies/horrors also occur in many successful novels...

    you should be able to pull several novels from your bookshelf, to prove to your hubby that it's a standard way for books to be divvied up... and to prove to yourself that a series of unpleasant happenings is far from rare in noveldom... i'd be concerned that you're not doing enough reading, if you don't know this... to become a good writer, one must be a constant reader, y'know...
     
  6. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    I don't think you should worry about too much tragedy either. It's more entertaining, after all (to some readers, at least).
     
  7. Sophronia
    Offline

    Sophronia Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    4
    Don't worry about the structure of your story sounding different. It sounds quite interesting to me, and I think some people go for 'different' stories anyways. The first Book being timed in months and the second Book being on a steady time line makes them both independent stories, but because of the overall plot, it also links them together. At least, that's what it sounds like to me heh.

    As for your tragic elements, if you're worried about redundancy, you can go back, check your story line, and see if you can create balance. What I mean by that is create lighter situations that will keep the interest of the reader if they do get 'bored' with all the tragic things happening. You could add humor, some character development, accomplishments, etc.
     
  8. afinemess
    Offline

    afinemess Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you all for the replies!

    I have mixed in lots of humor and side stories and a few happy surprises in the mix and i think it breaks up the tragic events. I think I'm freaking out now that I'm closing in on the finish and second guessing myself. I'll feel better about it when its complete and I've had a few reviews. I have this fear that people are going to read it and tell me its awful. Even though I feel its fabulous. haha I need to quit over thinking it, and just go with what I've got, or I'm going to screw it up.
     

Share This Page