1. Jbaldizon1
    Offline

    Jbaldizon1 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Bend, Indiana

    Are there too many events in my story? Is the story not progressing fast enough?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jbaldizon1, Aug 18, 2012.

    Hey all, i am brand new to this forum and this is my first post. I have a bit of a dilemma, but let me first explain the story.

    The story is a sci fi adventure about a small town heavy metal band that gets abducted by aliens. This small town unknown band books a tour, and all of their money and gear get stolen after a gig. Without any money or gas to get home, they receive a mysterious email not far from their location stating that they need a band to play, they pay well and have all the gear they need. This "gig" turns out to be where the aliens abduct the band. On this other planet the aliens are identical to humans in looks but are capable of much higher intelligence. While having higher intelligence it hinders their ability to be creative. They cannot make their own music or movies, they can only advance technologically. To remedy this the aliens have basically created a way to download anything from earth onto their own planet. Therefore, their planet resembles earth but is not, they listen to our music, watch our movies and enjoy all other aspects of our culture. The before mentioned band released a cd that has been downloaded onto their planet essentially becoming the most popular band on this alternate planet. The planet is in the midst of a civil war, and the good side is losing (I haven't decided on the exact conflict yet). The morale of the good side is low and is hindering their performance. This leads to their general coming up with an idea. He remembers a tv show about the American USO tours to help the morale of the troops abroad. He decides to abduct the band and send them around the planet doing shows to help the war effort. The band eventually gets attacked and becomes more involved in the war effort than just playing music.

    Well here is my dilemma...

    I have so far written 50,000 words. It is 150 pages based on a paperback layout, and i haven't gotten to the abduction yet.

    The layout of the story is like this:
    band finds a new drummer,
    band decides to go on tour,
    band raises funds for tour,
    the band goes on tour,
    in the middle of the tour is when they get abducted.

    So 150 pages in, I am almost near the abduction and its looking like half of the book is on earth. There are certain events and hints of aliens but besides that, it is just a story about a band on earth on tour. Then the second half is the sci fi part, everything that happens is on the other planet.

    I have a lot of events that are entertaining and keep the story going in one direction while introducing sub plots, character building and back story, but i am worried that the reader will be too focused on the thought "When are the aliens going to come?!"
    Although i find most of the events entertaining and add a lot to the story, most of the events are things that won't affect the overall plot of the story. All of the events happen when raising money, or events that happen while on tour. It's almost set up like a video game where there is one main story plot but a lot of side events happen along the way.

    I know its hard to judge without reading it first but...
    Do you think that i am making things too complicated by adding in events that have no purpose? And let me clarify a little, things that DO matter, like inner conflicts and romance happen DURING the events, but the events themselves have no purpose other than to fill in the surroundings. If that makes sense?

    I don't think this would be a problem if this book were to become a trilogy, which is possible, but being my first novel i have a feeling that a trilogy would be too ambitious considering that it's possible that not many people will read it. So a trilogy would be pointless before i have a fan base willing to read all three.

    VERY SORRY FOR THE LONG POST. Thanks so much to ANYONE willing to read it all.
     
  2. fwc577
    Offline

    fwc577 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    It sounds to me like you wrote the backstory of your characters as a novel.

    If the main plot of your story is the band getting abducted by aliens it should happen within the first couple of chapters and probably not much further in than 50 pages.

    Nobody cares about your band getting a new drummer or raising funds for the tour, or making the decision to tour in the first place. What people care about is the plot which is your band getting abducted by aliens.
     
  3. Reptile Hazard
    Offline

    Reptile Hazard Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    El Salvador
    Well, you yourself said that a lot of the events happening before the abduction were pointless, so yeah, remove them. As for the romance and other subplots that start during those events, maybe add them as a flashback. That way you will keep your readers interested.
     
  4. Jbaldizon1
    Offline

    Jbaldizon1 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Bend, Indiana
    So then take out anything that is unnecessary. How would you get the band from hometown to the site of the abduction? Just skip the tour all together and go straight to the mysterious email asking them to play a show?
     
  5. Reptile Hazard
    Offline

    Reptile Hazard Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    El Salvador
    You don't need a big set up for that. You can start the story narrating briefly why they are there and how they got there. I mean, it's like, you don't have to tell the life story, from birth to the moment you introduce them, of every character you use. You let the reader know about the character's past through the narration of the story, if need be.
     
  6. Jbaldizon1
    Offline

    Jbaldizon1 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Bend, Indiana
    I understand and agree. I just wanted to verify. I guess i combined two ideas, a story about a band on tour and all of the "hangover-esque" shenanigans they can get into, and a sci fi story where they get abducted. I have a lot of editing to do, thanks. Any other advice is appreciated.
     
  7. Reptile Hazard
    Offline

    Reptile Hazard Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    El Salvador
    I would advise you to at least keep the tour part in separate document. That way everytime you want to reference something from the tour, you have consistent source, and wouldn't contradict yourself.

    By the way, love the premise. Or more likely, the moment you said they were on tour and then got abducted by aliens really took me by surprise. I mean, I was expecting maybe something to do with the mafia or something, but aliens? Nice hook (depending on you target audience.)
     
  8. Jbaldizon1
    Offline

    Jbaldizon1 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Bend, Indiana
    Thanks! I appreciate that, i realize it would possibly limit the audience but it's something i would personally love to read, so I'm sure their are others out there that agree. Thanks for your help again.
     
  9. Walshy1595
    Offline

    Walshy1595 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    That's the way I see this too. I'm sure it's not absolutely vital that you include all the backstory in the actual novel. Maybe you could work some of the events into the novel as either flashback, conversations between characters etc. Somehow, if you find the events leading up to the abduction necessary, figure out a way that you can still inform the reader about them, but not necessarily write it as a part of the book. I hope that makes sense, but if it doesn't I'm sure someone else has said it better here somewhere.

    Best of luck!
     
  10. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,969
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    If I were writing this book, the abduction would happen on page one:

    It started out as a good night. No, a _great_ night. We got a gig, we replaced the drums, we finally got the chance to play music in front of other human beings. Hell, the audience wasn't even drunk--much. I had just stepped out the back door of the club to give my ears a chance to stop ringing, and I was a happy man.

    That's when I saw the lights.


    Or, y'know, something like that. There might be some flashbacks later, or there might not, but I wouldn't devote even ten pages to setup and backstory. Or ten paragraphs. Probably.

    And, no, I'm not published, so my advice has absolutely no value, except from the point of view of someone who reads a lot of books. :)
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    You will need to adjust the story content to a submittable word count, 80,000 to 100,000 words for a first novel (most publishers). That means adjusting the story events, not the words used to present them.
     
  12. Jbaldizon1
    Offline

    Jbaldizon1 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Bend, Indiana
    That's really good to know. It sounds like i may just have to start over, take out a few bits that i can't live without: some events and some dialogue and toss the rest.I have thought about introducing the aliens right away and then backtracking to the beginning.

    Being my first time on this forum and first post, i appreciate all of your help. Thanks for making me feel welcome.
     
  13. nephlm
    Offline

    nephlm Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    The real question is what conflict do you intent to resolve in the conflict. If you intend to resolve either the alien war or abduction than you need to have the abduction no later than the the first chapter, preferably on the first page or even the first sentence. From the first sentence you are formulating a promise about what the climax is about.

    It seems that so far you've articulated a promise along the lines of "will the band make it?" If that's what you resolve in the conflict that is fine, but if so the alien abduction and civil war is a subplot on the surreal journey to success or failure.
     

Share This Page