1. zilly
    Offline

    zilly Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    3

    Humor/Mystery -- Does it work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by zilly, Dec 24, 2009.

    To be short, I hated reading growing up. In high school, I started to enjoy writing. In college, I've come to moderately enjoy reading.

    That being said, in school, my teachers always said that I should be a writer. And, about two weeks ago, I started to realize that being a writer could make for a very nice life and I'd really like to be one if my abilities permit.

    However, I'm concerned because I write in a highly creative and over-exaggerated style and I've never seen a novel written in a similar style. I think it's fine for short stories -- I've written several and my teachers love them. But, I really want to write a novel now and I think this style would get a little old in novel lengths. Maybe that's why I havn't seen any novels like this.

    Additionally, I really like cryptic works (the movie Memento is the best example I can think of). I'd like to combine the two to create a work that, I think, would be interesting to read (the humor) and hard to put down (mystery/cryptic).

    This sounds like a good idea to me, but, I feel like it could be a big waste of time. What do you think?
     
  2. Kas
    Offline

    Kas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    The ***hole of the world
    Your writing would make it or break it.
    What exactly do you mean by that?
     
  3. zilly
    Offline

    zilly Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    3
    I like to tell stories, so I wouldn't mind to be the next J.K. Rowling, to be honest. I know the odds of that are approximately 1 in 6 billion, though.

    Do you know of any novels that are highly creative and over-exaggerated? I'm fairly confident that, if there is not an audience for this style of writing, I won't create one myself. I don't doubt that my finished work would be an interesting read, but I do doubt that it would even be considered to be published. Does that make sense?
     
  4. Kas
    Offline

    Kas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    The ***hole of the world
    I'm not sure what you mean by "over-exaggerated." Piers Anthony's Xanth series is very creative and unrealistic to the point of being ridiculous, but quite clever, and entertaining, thanks to the intelligence behind it.

    Or are you referring to intense drama? Something else?
     
  5. zilly
    Offline

    zilly Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    3
    That's pretty much it. I'm unfamiliar with Xanth, but I'll be sure to investigate it.

    Thank you
     
  6. TragicJuliet
    Offline

    TragicJuliet Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Arizona, US
    I think if you're not comfortable with it, then it wont come out as good as it could be. I think humor/mystery sounds really good. (Like Pysch on TV) But you need to be confident in what you do. How you feel about your style and your writing will always show up in your stories.
     
  7. zilly
    Offline

    zilly Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    3
    I totally agree. My friend and I have worked out the plot to a novel. I've written the first three chapters and it's absolutely absurd. Everyone I've had read it loves it. However, at the same time, I've been developing the plot for a mystery type story--probably a short one. The mystery has more meaningful themes and I find it more interesting. The two stories both revolve around two characters that are both based off of the same two actual people I know.

    I'd love to work the two together, but I just don't know how it would work out. I really like to try new things, but I really don't want my first attempt to turn out a disaster. What do you think?
     
  8. TragicJuliet
    Offline

    TragicJuliet Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Arizona, US
    The great thing about writing, is it's not like anything else. You can change and alter it all you want, and the magic of it is- you still have the original version and you can always go back to it. Give it a chance, just make sure you keep your original version. No harm in trying out things
     
  9. writewizard
    Offline

    writewizard Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    7
    Writers have a hard life that is not easy. Just as a forewarning and disclaimer.

    Your writing style is unique to you. One publisher may like it, one publisher may not. I remember reading something which said that the writer had finally given up writing for everyone else and wrote for herself instead, and that's the novel that sold. That's what I do.
     
  10. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    on the off-chance that you may pull off a miracle and actually turn out something that's marketable, you should never, EVER write a single word with a partner, before having a collaboration contract in place... no matter how solid you may think your friendship is now, or how lasting-forever you want to think it'll be, the moment money and a by line is involved, all that best-buddy, perfect-writing-partner stuff can and usually does go out the window...

    here's what you should have signed [by parent/guardian, if you're minors] and witnessed before using anyone else's ideas or words in your work [it's for screenplays, but can be used for any written work with a few minor changes]:
    http://wga.org/uploadedFiles/writers_resources/contracts/collaboration.pdf
     
  11. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    lol I'd like to be the next j.k rowling too :D wouldn't we all? Even if I didn't like telling stories, kajillion of dollars sounds nice
     
  12. zilly
    Offline

    zilly Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    3
    That's kind of the point I was trying to get across. I think wizards and dragons appeal to a much wider audience than I'll be able to, though.

    We havn't signed anything yet, but we are planning to do so. The work isn't anywhere near finished, so there's no need to rush.

    Now, I've been trying to find out some information about how getting a book published actually works. From what I've been able to tell, it seems like word count is a pretty big deal. I've seen several articles say publishers don't like to publish the first book by an author with less than 80,000-90,000 words. I already have 15,000, but, from the plot we have, I think it's only going to get to 65,000. That seems a good bit shy of what publishers want.

    Is word count really that big of a deal?

    Books of different genres are different lengths, so I don't see how there can be this universal word count that publishers use. It seems kind of absurd, but, at the same time, I understand the idea behind it.
     
  13. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ...the point is, there IS a need to rush!... if you don't have a collaboration contract in place before you write anything together, it can and most often does get very messy later, when the parties can't agree on how much each one contributed to the project and how to split the credits/potential profits... you'd be extremely foolish to wait any longer before having a contract in place that spells out whether all will be 50-50, or otherwise...

    most publishers prefer/require 80-100k for first novels...

    it is, unless it's meant for the YA market, in which case it could be ok...

    absolutely, if you want to maximize your chances of snagging an agent/publisher, not minimize them...

    books you see on the shelves in bookstores aren't mss submitted to publishers... and most will not be first novels by new and unknown writers... publishers in business to make money by selling their books have found the majority of bookbuyers prefer books of that length, when they've never heard of the author, so it's not absurd at all... just good business practice...

    hope this helps...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  14. m5roberts
    Offline

    m5roberts Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cylon-Occupied Caprica
    "Do you know of any novels that are highly creative and over-exaggerated..."

    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes does this beautifully. However, it works because it's satirical. He uses satire to make fun of the over-the-top tales of chivalry that were popular in his time. I'm not saying that if this isn't what you're trying to do it won't work, as it very well may, but I don't think that finding out by writing it would be a waste of time...
     
  15. zilly
    Offline

    zilly Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    3
    We have always planned to split it 50-50. Maybe I'll look into it, but this started just for fun and only a couple weeks ago got serious.

    I can't believe I didn't think of Don Quixote. I actually am familiar with that book. And, after reading a couple chapters from Xanth, I'm still disappointed. Both of these books have absurd situations that could be related to the situations in my book, but I am writing much more casually and with a much more sarcastic word selection. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, the themes of the book have much less meaning than the themes of Don Quixote, for example. So, I just don't know how the current idea is going to work. It's very funny, but I just havn't seen anything I can even compare to it.
     
  16. m5roberts
    Offline

    m5roberts Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cylon-Occupied Caprica
    That's not necessarily a bad thing - it could be revolutionary.
     
  17. Clockwork
    Offline

    Clockwork New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well Terry Pratchett fits the bill for that kind of (incredibly successful, crazy good) novelist, and while his stories have the veneer of fantasy, there are many which would really fall into the crime and mystery genres (The Watch books especially).
     
  18. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    even if you're not that serious when you begin, it could take that turn later on, which is why anyone writing with another person should have a contract before starting [or in your case, now], to avoid problems later... believe me, many more friendly writing partnerships have ended in legal wrangling disaster, than haven't... if you care about your friend and about what you're writing, sign that contract now!
     

Share This Page