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  1. Momo
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    Momo Member

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    My story isn't as long as I had hoped :( -le cry-

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Momo, May 23, 2010.

    Hi all!!

    So I'm experiencing an issue. I've used the "Snowflake Method" to construct a deep story synopsis, a scene list (a-la Excel), and basic character charts. Let me first say that I absolutely love the Snowflake Method for writing. I've ALWAYS wanted to put this idea I had into a novel/series of books, but I could never find the perfect method of writing for me. Then, suddenly one night, I stumbled across the Snowflake Method and fell in love. (Side note: If anyone is interested in this method if you're not aware of it already, simply search "snowflake method" on Google and I believe it's the first result.)

    Anyway, I've put a lot of time into developing my synopsis and scene list, just to find that my entire scene list is only 40 lines long. I'm a bit concerned because I really wanted this to be a long, epic book. This will be the first book in a series of 4, and it's upsetting to find out that the storyline I've put so much time in developing will be much shorter than I had hoped. I have no issues with the beginning, middle, or end. Everything, for me, fits together perfectly, there's some really awesome plot twists her and there, and the ending is an explosion of "Oh my gawd! So SHE was the one behind all of this!!"

    I've been trying to think of new things to add to it, more that the two protagonists have to overcome before they reach their destination, but it just seems that everything I add is an obvious attempt at prolonging the story.

    Sorry for the long description- I guess my question is: Has anyone ever experienced this issue? If so, how did you overcome it?

    I know the simple, reasonable answer is that I should write the story to my liking, finish it to completion and either-- A) After seeing the finished piece, THEN I can determine exactly what to add, if anything. Or B) Write the story as it is, and regardless of its length, be pleased that everything happened that I wanted it to.

    I'm picky and REALLY want this book to be long. Also, I'm not sure if I should finish it THEN add things, as that's a LOT of rewriting and I would prefer to have it all planned out before and get the massive changes taken care of before I finish writing it.

    The book, I estimated, would be approximately 150 pages if I just wrote it as it is.

    (Whoa, sorry for the extremely long, drawn out question :D)
     
  2. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    I'm unfamiliar with the Snowflake Method of writing, but will google it as you say. If what you have written is perfect in your opinion then don't screw around with it. Some slender volumes have lots to say. 'Old Man and the Sea" is an obvious example. And I have always been amazed at what good, fun stories Louis L'Amour told in 120 - 170 pages. I am not a fan of westerns, but I name him as a favorite author. The only reason I would try making it longer is if you have a publisher interested but they are telling you its too short.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    How long is your story in terms of word count? This is a better way of seeing how long your piece is since publishers use different fonts, spacing, etc. when turning a manuscript into book form.

    Why do you want the book to be long anyways? If you add filler into your book, then it will only make the book worse. Elaborate on the things you already have and then go from there. Also, it seems like you haven't finished writing the whole thing, so I would recommend finishing it first to see how long it is at its finished length.
     
  4. Momo
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    Momo Member

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    Well, so far the story itself (first draft stage) is only 4,324 words long covering 11 pages. I've only actually started writing it on Friday. Up until Friday I had been working with the planning stages, outlining the synopsis and character charts and creating my Excel document for my scene list.

    I'm not sure why I want the book to be long, really. I've always envisioned this book/series to be lengthy, filled with different twists, turns and content. For me, part of finishing this series (or, for now, this one book in particular) is to make them long, both in the sense of pages and for the characters. I want the characters to experience a long drawn out journey filled with dangers. I want the protagonists to accomplish so much in the series (and, again, this book in particular) so that the reader is thrusted into the quest right along with them and, finally, after they (characters and readers alike) are finished with the journey, they feel like they've (literally) gone to Hell and back. I want to accomplish this feeling of length by content, not necessarily with lapses in time, also :(

    I think I'm going to write this first draft, strictly following my scene list (unless something surfaces for me that I can add) and see where it takes me. I've been considering that I may have to extend past the point where this book would end and dip into the storyline of the second book, in order to add length to this one, though that presents the issue for me that this book wouldn't be ending in the "perfect" place that I imagined it.

    Thanks so much for your feedback, though :)

    Anymore ideas anyone has would be greatly appreciated, especially if someone experienced this issue before and they found a way out of it! :D
     
  5. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    What I've found to help with this kind of issue (a little at least) is description. This used to be used all the time way back when its the kind of thing that made the Count of Monte Cristo a 1000+ page book.

    For instance, MC walks into a house. Describe that house. Not just the appearance, but all the senses, smell, feel of the air, sounds of the world outside, the thoughts of the character concerning the house. Small things like that can pile up and both increase the length and benefit the story by giving scenes and actions more clear and vivid descriptions.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    When the storyline is thin, add conflict and obstacles.

    Adding detail may add dimension, but it also retards the pace. If you use it to pad out a novel, it will be obvious to the reader.
     
  7. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    Just write what you've got. I too had an "Epic" that fitted into 4500 words which initially disappointed me, then when I'd finshed reading and editing the story two things struck me, first I'd actually finshed something and secondly the story fitted fine.

    Now I'm more than happy with my short story. :)
     
  8. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    You haven't written the story yet, so you won't know until you do what needs to be added to it. I'd try to let go of the attachment of it being long. Long does not equal fascinating, captivating or involving any more than short does.

    Since you're using the snowflake method you've got everything mapped out already, but don't forget that you have every opportunity to deviate from a plan while you're writing. Sometimes unexpected pitfalls occur. Let your characters tell you what's happening to them.
     
  9. System-Crashed
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    System-Crashed Member

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    You don't watch much TV or play much video games do you?

    Use fillers, sidestories, The 'Oh no! a rock fell in my path! I've got to go around', The 'I've got you now! What? you've got an escape pod?', ect.

    Take the anime Inuyasha for example. The plot line is about this girl that accidentally breaks a powerful jewel shard that scatters across Japan then spends around 800 episodes to get it back, most of which she spends with only two shards left to find. Unfortunately, you can't have goku charging his spirit bomb for five episodes straight nor can you have commercial breaks. But you can deviate the plot to have your characters reach a new objective before they complete their main objective. I'm sure that you've got that somewhere in your story already but you can always add more in.

    Cheers!
     

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