1. Polly
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    Polly New Member

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    New Author and confused

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Polly, May 8, 2012.

    I am scared to post, insecurity abounds so please be gentle.

    I have been reading the posts and enjoying all the view points. One of the posts I read states that a new author should not write a trilogy. My problem is that I have 3 stories (all along the same line) running around in my head. Being completely new, perhaps I should not be doing this. Here are the story lines and you will see how they are married together. Each line is far to complex for a single book or perhaps I am simply not thinking outside the box. Help is appreciated but again, please be gentle.


    ______________

    Thank you for the replies but I think I've decided to just continue writing and not worry about the rest of it. If the stories end up good then GREAT if not then I've enjoyed them as well as those few who have read them and keep telling me .... more more more. LOL its fun.
     
  2. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    So you have three books in mind but are insecure because as a first time author it's not recommended that you write a trilogy?

    I hope I understand correctly.

    You can write it however you want. But make sure the first book can stand on it's own. Look at the harry potter series... cliché, I know, but it's a good example. The first book introduces you to Harry's world, and you have a plot exclusive to that first book about the sorcerer's stone, so the book stands on it's own. But then you have 6 other books, all of which with their own plots, that add to an even bigger plot. So yes, you CAN write a trilogy, if that's what you wish. But no one is going to want to publish that first book unless it has some kind of ending, while at the same time, has an opening for your other 2 books that you are planning.

    I'd recommend worrying about finishing the first part. Don't worry about what comes after, take it a day at a time. A lot is going to change over the course of writing... Don't worry about the trilogy, just focus on the first book and take it from there.
     
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  3. Blue Stasz
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    Blue Stasz Member

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    Hm, I can see the relation between book 1 and 3 and I can see that what ever happens in book 2 causes something in book 3, but I think for being it a trilogy there needs to be some stronger connection. Something that happens in 1 and is carried over to 2 and then carried over to 3. Just my two cents. I hope this makes sense.

    I'm fairly new to writing myself, but what I don't agree on are the should's and shouldn'ts. I'm currently reading a couple of books as well as here simultaneously about writing style, character development, plots and whatnot - they all have valid points, but at the end of the day you need to decide what you're comfortable with. If you think you can handle it - great. If not - well, then there is a lesson learned and you'll find better ways for your next approach. Just based on my experience with life - practice makes perfect and you can only learn from mistakes, not from perfection.
     
  4. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    As far as I understand, it's like Jwatson said. As long as your books can stand alone, you're good to go. And that's from a getting it published point of view. Just writing because you enjoy it, then don't worry at all about anything at the moment.
     
  5. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    I think you should write the books. There is a slight connection, but like said above, not a distinct trilogy. That should benefit you because your books should be stand alone and work together. All the ideas sound fantastic and would be far too difficult to write in one book. Start writing the first book, how that turns out will slightly change your other books.

    Write the books for yourself, and do not focus on getting published too much. You want the writing to flow and not be stuck trying to edit and change it as you go.

    All ideas sound great!
     
  6. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Write a trilogy if that's what you want. my first attempt at a novel is part of a pentalogy (that's 5 books) and I'm going all in. do not doubt yourself. Write like you're the best, edit like you're the worst.
     
  7. Langadune
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    Langadune Member

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    Many authors write numerous books/novels/stories/etc that stand alone as a novel but fit into a common "universe." Ben Bova is one example that stands out. His "Grand Tour" series encompasses many stories, some related some not, throughout the solar system.

    That being said...

    Write! That's what matters most. Next, write well (actually, re-write well after completing the "write" part). Advice is great, but remember only you know your motivations and only you know your universe. Write what needs to be written. Tell the story that needs to be told. If it turns out to be a trilogy, so be it. If it turns out to be ten short stories... so be it. What matters must is that you write what you most. Secondary is that you write well and that most usefully comes (as mentioned) once you begin to rewrite and edit.

    WRITE WRITE WRITE.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not so much that you shouldn't write a trilogy... just that you shouldn't waste time trying to sell three books right out of the box... you should query for only a single, stand-alone novel... and not mention that it's the first of a trilogy, since that's a sure mark of an amateur... if the first one sells well, then you can tell your publisher you have sequels and they'll be looked at with interest...
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you try to sell the first of a trilogy, and you are not an experienced writer, I can practically guarantee you will do a poorer job than if put as much work into a truly stand alone book. Why? Because for one thing, you'll be holding back for books two and three. Second, you'll leave dangling plots to bootstrap your second book -- bad idea.
     
  10. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    Cog, does it help at all if you write all 3 books ahead of time and let the publishers see you have a finished draft of everything, and let them make a decision then? Or is it still the concern that if you haven't sold one book, that they don't want to risk trying to sell three?
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As a new writer, you're a huge risk. A publisher may take a chance on you if you show promise, but only for one book.
     
  12. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    And yet, in the paper yesterday, there was an article about how Bloomsbury (J K Rowling's publisher) have just signed a 20 years old UNPUBLISHED author for a 7 book deal for a 6 figure sum...

    It happens, Cog. You might not want people to bank on it happening to them, but it happens.

    Write a trilogy if you feel your story REALLY IS a trilogy, and not just a long winded novel divided into three parts. BUT, as has been said numerous times, make ABSOLUTELY SURE that book 1 can stand alone, and is as good as it could be regardless of the other two books. If it really is a winner, the other two books may be considered. If it's a turkey, they definitely won't.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You do realize why it is news, don't you? It's because it is an extraordinary occurrence.

    That publisher rolled the dice once with Ms. Rowling, and won. We'll see in time whether this gamble will pay off or tank.

    Don't choose your strategy based on the extrema on the Bell curve, or on wishful thinking. Optimism and confidence are good things, but it has to be tempered with the realities of the business. Setting yourself up for failure is less than wise.
     
  14. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    I got nothing but this kind of cynicism from my father for 30 years of being an aspiring author. 'The chances of succeednig are so remote, you have to be realistic, it's best not to get your hopes up...'

    Funny how he changed his tune when I got an agent... and a good thing I totally ignored him or I'd have stopped trying years ago.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    getting an agent for a single book is not in the same ballpark as getting one to rep a trilogy, nakhti... and the latter is all that cog's advice is addressing...

    or are you saying you queried about a trilogy and got an agent on that basis?
     
  16. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Indeed, it is a trilogy, and my agent is pretty happy about it. It's not even written yet... I queried for an unfinished ms with a synopsis and three chapters, which was all I had written at the time, but the synopsis made it clear that the story wasn't finished there. Book 1 is still WIP. Books 2 and 3 are in outline.
     
  17. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Polly,

    First up, I'd recommend ignoring all the advice so far save for the one word - Write.

    Don't worry about whether its one book or three, a series or a trilogy or anything else. Definately don't worry about agents and publishing. Just write. The time to start thinking about those things are after the book is done. Write it, see if you can, see if it comes out as you want, see if it goes in the direction you imagine it will. So much can happen between when you start a book and when you finish it that it's almost pointless worrying about what comes after.

    - and no need to be nervous here. Most of us have been in the same place.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's so far from the usual process with an agent i'm really surprised you got such a response, nakhti... good for you!...

    who's the agent?... and what agency is s/he with, if you don't mind saying?... is it a new agency, or an old established one?... and how did you find them?
     
  19. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Established agency, with bestselling authors in my genre on their books. As far as the rest goes... networking. That's how you get anywhere in this life. You put yourself in the right places at the right times and you work your ass off to get what you want.
     
  20. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    http://georgerrmartin.com/faq.html

    George R.R. Martin's advice on the subject.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's my standard advice, too...
     

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