1. kyle777
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    kyle777 Member

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    Book 'Parts'

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by kyle777, Jan 15, 2009.

    Okay, so I just wrote half a chapter for my novel, not even actually, and the word count for that snippet of writing alone is around 4000 words. My book is now at 107,000 words and I still have maybe 7 chapters left. At the rate that I'm going, I'll easily pass 110,000, maybe even make it to 120,000. For a first time novel, that's not something publishers want to take a chance with. 80k - 100k is probably standard.

    So I had an idea just now.

    The plot I'm using could be split into two separate parts, if you will, but the plot is way too wound to cut the reader out halfway, at such a pivotal juncture. Not to mention, the planned series (I hope) is almost excrutiatingly planned book by book, sequel to sequel. Now, I hope someone understands the idea I'm about to pitch, so...
    What if, say, I published two books, right after the other. But they each shared the same name, (for example, The Kingdom Chronicles: Shadows of Avalon) only the second one had some way of telling the reader it's 'Part II', or something along those lines. Now, if this became a series, would the description 'Book 1' be appropriate, even though the two 'parts' would be published in two seperate books? Would it be smarter to name it 'Volume I' or something alternative to 'Book 1'? Would a publisher even go for an idea like this, since it's obviously just a way to make the first one smaller, as a taste, so people will come back for more?

    I hope that made even a lick of sense.
     
  2. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    The only thing I can offer you as far as a possible idea on how to resolve this, is maybe you take it, split it down the middle (or somewhere where it's not completely illogical) and take the 2nd half of it, set it aside, and go back to the end of the first half, and write a little more to it (or edit it in whatever way you see fit) so that the first story reads kind of like its own piece, complete in itself, in its own way.
     
  3. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    Have you been published before?

    If you have not, I would suggest you go ahead worry about getting the one book as good as it can be first then worry about subsequent novels.

    From what I understand a publisher would prefer to have one stand alone novel from you not an idea for a series. Try that my friend focus on making the best possible stand alone novel.
     
  4. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    The first in any series should be a stand alone novel anyway, so that if a person is not interested in your series, at least they gave the first book a try. If the first one leaves far too many questions, you will not have a series at all, because the publisher will not want the next book.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kyle777,

    Just focus now on finishing your novel. Figure when you go back and edit/revise, you can trim some if you need to. If your novel turns out to be about 115,000, it's not the end of the world. It is better to submit a qualty work at that length than try to trim and damage the quality to meet a word count. It's not like the novel is going to be 215,000--or in that vicinity. Depending on the market, some prefer novels over 100,000 words and wouldn't bat an eye at considering a 125,000 word manuscript from a first time novelist.

    Top priority is to get the manuscript prepared, represeting the best quality work you can. Give it some time once you finish (at least a month, several would be better) before going back and editing/revising. After you do that, get a reader or two you trust to go over your work and offer input--where the plot is weak, where description is lacking, where the plot drags unnecessarily, what events are not really related or important to the plot, etc. Also what is working, where and why.

    Get the novel finished and out into circulation (submission). Write another novel while awaiting. Learn from the first experience and you'll have a better shot at bringing in a novel in the word count range you desire. Pretty soon, if your first novel has not been accepted yet, you'll have two novels out on submission, doubling your chances (or more, considering your next novel will likely be better than your first based on experience).

    Hang in there and good luck.

    Terry
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you've never been published before, do you best to keep it as one book. However, if all else fails, try to write the two parts in a way so that part one does not depend on reading the second part. That way, publishers are more likely to accept it because it is less of a risk. Very few smart business men are going to take on a two-part project if they don;t have any guarantees that the first part will sell.
     
  7. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I would agree

    that's what I did with my large magnum opus, I split it in half into two books. Then when the first one got to be too big, I just split that one down into a simpler plot, and am rewriting it as such. The other part I dropped? Will be a complete second novel that is close enough to the first one that it will make sense. For example, think Star Trek II and Star Trek III....while they are two separate stories, both are interwoven enough (and are the same story enough too) that they flow to one another...similar to what I'm doing. Once those two are done, then I will work on the third that is in my mind and go back and take the first half from the opus and turn it into a prequel (since it's 1/2 done already).

    So, with that said, find a logical stopping point in there and rewrite it to stand alone. You can always make the second one fit in. And if the second one gets published but the first doesn't...don't sweat! The savy readers will clammer to want to know what happened before and you can rewrite it BETTER into a prequel if you like...
     
  8. kyle777
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    kyle777 Member

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    Does anyone have any examples of a first book in a series that ends on a good enough cliffhanger but one that doesn't leave all the plot threads hanging? That would really help.
    On another note, I was thinking of splitting my novel at the end of chapter 19, which is the aftermath of a big battle (it's fantasy-themed). But, you see, chapters 20-30 are sort of the quick build-up to the climax, so the second book would feel like one long ending. I mean, I could drastically fine tune the plot to make it feel more wholesome, but the plot I have now is tied together so well, I feel like that would decrease the overall quality of the story.
    I don't know. I feel like I'm just dumping all my troubles onto you guys and hoping some spark of a miracle climbs out of the rubble.
     
  9. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I'll give you a bit of a hint of my ending as an example

    the entire situation in the Beta Scorpii sector, that Kate is in the middle of gets resolved. She isn't aware of the plots for her to do something further when she gets home, nor is she aware that the shadowy Syndicate has plans for her-at the bequest of the Catholic Church. While it's introduced in the first book, its not a 'subplot' that needs to be resolved for the main one: Why was biological weapons being used to kill Sagnar colonies in the Beta Scorpii sector (which isn't claimed by the alliance or the sagnar)

    While it answers all of your main plot questions, it leaves a lot unanswered, like what happens to Kate when she gets home...does her ship and crew make it back to Earth...all of which you have to wait for in the future...
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    John Ringo's A Hymn Before Battle. It is the first book in the series. It is obvious from the reading, but it has its own story arc and is a complete novel in itself, yet the overall storyline is incomplete and sequels are required to finish it. In the end it took for novels to finish the main story arc:

    1. A Hymn Before Battle
    2. Gust Front.
    3. When the Devil Dances
    4. Hell's Faire

    Then there are other books in the series that follow after the initial storyline.

    Here is a link to John Ringo (<-- click on his name here) for Baen Book's website. Maybe this will assist you.

    Terry
     
  11. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it quite yet. Finish the book and take a few months off (that's what I'm actually doing right now :) ) and then get to editing/revising. If their is sections you know you can trim that are unnecessary and the lack of their presence won't damage the quality of the story, then go ahead. If not, then just leave it how it is. It is better to have a high-quality novel that could, be some standards, be considered slightly lengthy than to have a lower-quality novel that fits inside of the standard word count.
     
  12. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Any long novel can be shortened to fit the amount of words a publisher requires. There are always parts that just don't add a lot to the story and can be cut.

    Cut out the parts that do not strengthen the theme. If Stephen King did this, man would his books be awesome.
     

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