1. Alex R. Encomienda
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    Alex R. Encomienda Active Member

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    my story is out of control

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Alex R. Encomienda, May 5, 2016.

    Is it good or bad if a story becomes so wild that it eventually gets out of control?

    I've been listening to a lot of Cassandra Gemini lately and it's starting to reflect into my writing. I do plan on traditionally publishing this WIP but I heard that agents do not accept long books for first time writers. My WIP is currently 80,000 words and I'm barely approaching the middle.

    Also, instead of having chapters I have arranged it in parts as below:

    Prologue
    Part I
    Part II
    Part III
    Epilogue

    I cannot see my story any other way because this was what I wanted. But I just want some advice from other writers, what would you do?

    It feels like my story is one big acid trip even though I organized it well. How can I enhance my WIP?
     
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  2. Gareth MH
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    Gareth MH Member

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    Embrace the chaos. Its your friend.

    Other than that rather unhelpful bit of advice I'd say maybe think about breaking it up into multiple books. Try to come up with a climax that you could fit in at around the 100,000 word mark and call that then end of book one. Will most likely require rewriting much of what you've already got. But thats pretty much what I'm doing with mine. Although I only have around 20,000 words at the moment. But with the outline, characterisation, and writing style it'd probably end up at 200,000 words or more if I tried to do it all in one novel.

    Other than that I'd say how deadset are you on traditional publishing? Cause if you did it yourself you could publish it at what ever length you wanted. Just sayin'.
     
  3. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Personally, I prefer when parts are divided with chapters. So Part I, Chapter 1, etc. When I have no end to a part in sight, I feel a little overwhelmed. But I was always the person who had a hard time refraining from skipping ahead, too.
     
  4. Alex R. Encomienda
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    Alex R. Encomienda Active Member

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    Well I want this book to reach as many people as possible that's why I would like it to be traditionally published. I could always write more and more books but I'd save this one for the most effort.
     
  5. IlaridaArch
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    IlaridaArch Active Member

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    I give the best tip I can think of;

    Write the story as you see it. Worry about selling later.

    And for that, there is no clear formula and I think it is foolish to limit your own creativity just because of word count or some other foolish limitation agents and publishers give. I as a book buyer, never think about the size of the book when I buy it. Never. I grab it from the shelf, twist and turn it in my hands and if the back cover seems decent, I take a peek at first page. Like it? I buy it!
     
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  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I know I let my finished novel sit for quite a while after doing an edit, getting beta feedback, and doing another edit. After a couple of years (I didn't intend to let it sit that long, but that's the way things worked out) I returned to it. It was as if I hadn't written it myself. I was able to throw away more than a third of it. I completely rearranged some chapters so the story made a lot more sense and moved along at a more appropriate pace.

    If I were you, I'd just keep writing. Then give yourself a break from it. What you'll need to do when you come back to it with fresh eyes is find your story. Get rid of the bits that don't fit. It sounds like a tricky operation, but it's not. Having a clear-out edit feels great—like having a cupboard clear-out feels great. You know you're getting rid of stuff you thought was necessary when you bought/wrote it, but you don't need it any more and it's just cluttering up your space. Getting rid of it isn't painful at all.

    Until you've finished writing, you really won't know what your story is. So just keep writing for now, and save the worry for later on.
     
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  7. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    I don't let things sit for quite so long but I do tend to take breaks before editing things. I'll neaten it up, do a first pass edit then go write something else. Write the first draft of something else, spend maybe 2 or 3 months with other characters in another setting and then come back once I've finished another story. I think both getting hardcore into another set of characters and seeing another narrative through to the end helps in the process. You get distance enough to not be too precious (because I've moved on to loving someone else) as well as a disconnected taste of 'beginning, middle, end'. It helps you be aware of the kind of things you want to edit, keeps you in the writing zone but takes you far enough away to be dispassionate and see problems where they are.
     
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  8. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeess, pile the clay! Heap material upon glorious material.

    Edit later.
     
  9. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Welcome to the club!

    Just write how it needs to be written, you can always try to edit later. Good luck with that *snort*
     
  10. Lemie
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    Lemie Member

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    I would not advice having those "parts" without chapters in them, though splitting it into smaller parts, even if they are in the same book, seems to be rather common.

    Myself I like to be able to stop reading at the end of a chapter, and not in the middle of one. So I'm not a fan of too long chapters, and your parts sound like they'll be quite long!

    For the part of it growing out of hands - you haven't even reached the middle. This doesn't just mean it will grow bigger - it also means it's not done. Write it and be ready to edit it later. Maybe you realize big parts are mostly filling - maybe the publisheres have to accept that they have this epic on their hand. That's not your problem now. Finishing it up is!
     
  11. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    You're going to finish your book, then read through it. As you read through it, you will begin to see parts that don't belong. You will see extra baggage that can be cut away. Just write the story, then start cutting away to make it better.
     
  12. PBrady
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    PBrady Active Member

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    Write it, leave it for a few months, print it out and then sit down and read it with a red and green highlighter to hand. You'll know what to do with each one.
    Be brutal - especially with the bits that might be long on explanation but short on mood, dialogue, or descriptive narrative.
     

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