1. PastPresentNFuture
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    PastPresentNFuture Senior Member

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    Overambition?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by PastPresentNFuture, Jun 22, 2011.

    Hey guys i'm 17 and trying to write my first novel. I already have a decent plot but the problem is it won't resolve itself within its own boundaries. It has to be part of a trilogy at least. Do you think I should start smaller? What would be the more intelligent choice?
     
  2. carsun1000
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    carsun1000 Active Member

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    By smaller do you mean everything compacted into one book or write one now and see if it is good enough for a follow up?

    My suggestion would be to write as you originally planned. If you think you have enough materials for a three part book, by all means go for it. Good luck and welcome on board!
     
  3. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Go ahead an write the epic, but don't submit the first book for publishing. Write a shirt story or two and let the publishers build faith in you before you hammer them with your trilogy.

    From what I've seen, that's the method recommended in the publishing section.
     
  4. Suadade
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    Suadade Senior Member

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    This, dude. Will this be the first thing you write though? If it is - and even if it isn't and you've just written shorter things in the past - get ready for some serious hardships on the way. Writing is hard.
     
  5. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Can you explain more? How many words do you have right now and what are you projecting the word count to be? Do you think it needs to be a trilogy because you have three plots?
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    A trilogy as a first work is unrealistic and overambitious. If you are serious about wanting to publish it, that is. Neither agents nor publishers are likely to be interested in committing to a multi-volume work of a newcomer.

    If you are serious about publishing it, work on the first novel, but make certain that it can stand on its own. You can leave tendrils at the end that can be the roots for a future story, because most stories leave the future as somewhat uncertain (and the reader fills in the blanks). Then, if it really is published and does well, you can let your agent and publisher know that there's more where that came from.

    OTOH, given your age, you may want to write this more as an exercise to develop your writing skills and style, in which case there are no rules and do whatever you feel will give you the most enjoyment. Just make sure you're clear with yourself on what the expectations are.

    Good luck and happy writing.
     
  7. James Scarborough
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    James Scarborough Member

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    Think big; write small.
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Huh? What does this even mean?

    If your story needs a trilogy to tell it, write a trilogy. Don't squeeze your art into a form it doesn't fit in. Write the story the way it needs to be told.

    That doesn't mean it will be easy (or possible) to publish. But is that your ultimate goal? Are you serving your ego or your story?

    If you want to be published, write what publishers want you to write. Or self-publish. But don't bend and twist and break a story to make it fit into a box that's too small.
     
  9. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're seeking to have your work published, your odds are greatly increased by writing a standalone novel first. It can be the first book in a series. But you're correct in that a first book in a series is structured differently than the first book in a trilogy.

    Is it impossible to interest an agent/publisher in the first book in a trilogy? No. But it is much harder, even if it is a well-written work with great potential. Keep this in mind if you move forward with the trilogy project. The odds are already long for a writer to find a publisher for his/her standalone first novel.

    Also consider writing the first novel in the trilogy and then moving on to another project. Why? Because you may spend years writing the trilogy, but if you cannot sell the first novel in it (which may take quite a while), the other two novels in the trilogy have little purpose (commercially). They will, of course, be learning experiences.

    Just my two cents.

    Terry
     
  10. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I agree,
    Trilogy is tough, you are asking the publisher to commit to three books.
    If you can make it a potential series. Publisher commits to one book, and if it sells then they can commit to book two.

    Trilogy: the story isn't complete until all three are done.
    Series: each book can stand on its own, without needing another.
    I am reading a series, I read the second book first, not realizing it was a series. I was not in the dark by not having read the first book, I would have understood some minor details better, but I could have stopped with that book, and have had a complete story.

    Maybe rethink it, and figure out how to write it in a series rather then a trilogy, or get it started and work on it, but try to focus on something smaller for the publisher to commit too, to earn your trust.
     
  11. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    i would recomend presenting a stand alone first; you can have the trilogy worked out ,but the publishers may not invest in a trilogy at first. or ,you could always self publish

    note:i think i'm gonna look into self publishing because my series is a bunch of stand alones but revolve around the same universe (some characters making frequent appearances and all ).
     
  12. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Ambitious? Of course it is, but you can never be too ambitious.

    Naive? Yes. How about writing one book first, and take it from there. If you get to the end well done. Writing books sounds a lot easier than it is, and I doubt you've planned in detail each of the three books scene for scene. I say this because if you had you wouldn't be asking the question, you'd already know the answer.
     
  13. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I'm sort of in your position. I'm almost sixteen and as I've had the idea of the setting for years (though under many different permutations) I don't want to waste it on one book. But as others have said publishers aren't inclined to take up a series of books from a hitherto unknown writer especially at our age. So when contacting publishers what do you do? Lie. Lying is what you do. Make it so the book could stand on it's own but at the same time make it so sequels would make sense. Then if your book is a success the publishers will take up sequels. Harry Potter is an excellent example. Had PS sold poorly J.K could easily have finished things up there but there was also room for expansion.

    Also if certain features of your books are obvious cliffhangers or loose ends edit or remove them. You can always shift them over to your sequels if things go well which is what I've decided to do with a subplot in my book to make things more publishable.
     
  14. PastPresentNFuture
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    PastPresentNFuture Senior Member

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    Thanks guys, this was really helpful. Thanks for welcoming me on board
     
  15. Phantom_Brainwash
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    Phantom_Brainwash Member

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    Listen to the above posters, I started out with a 10 book series, it died in the first book, truly the whole book was a failure (but I was 12, and you know, 12 year olds never listen to common sense). Even the rewrites fall short of what it could be.

    However, have you looked at self-publishing? It requires more promotional work on your part, ask around your friends, would they read it, let them read some, do they like it? If they do, when you do publish (even self,) get them to recomend to their friends. True friends would have no problem doing this for free because they want to see you succeed just as much as you do. Of course, if your friends are writers as well, you can always return the favor ;)

    ~Phantom
     
  16. Steve T
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    Steve T Member

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    As this is your first novel, I would think you shouldn't write a Trilogy just yet. I am in the same stage as you, but if you want to get pubish then If I was you, I would write a stand alone novel. Then If the novel gets pubished and that's the time when you should write a trilogy.:)
     
  17. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    I question whether someone actually has a trilogy right out of the box. It can happen but I'm apt to think that the grand idea is also an idea that can be compressed down to a a better and stronger single book.

    I think it is realistic to think that after a person was to have a successful first book that given the right type of character(s), that the 'story', as it were, could continue.

    If you think the story can't resolve itself in 1 book, I would suggest that you might hold on to dearly to the ideas you have and are not ruthless enough in your idea editing.

    You overall concept might stand well over multiple volumes but your current story needs a resolution.
     
  18. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    Reach for the stars, set your sights high, and always believe you can do it. Then... slowly chip away until you have it completed.
     
  19. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't. You're 17. Your writing style will change dramatically over the coming years, as well as your interests, your outlook on life and everything in it. In short, you'll likely be a different person altogether 5 years from now, and then you'll be stuck writing on a trilogy which beginning seems childish or alien to you in some way. By committing to something like that, you'll limit your own developement, because change and progress will then be getting in the way of consistency.
     
  20. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Agreed. If you have enough material, WRITE! :D Ambition isn't a bad thing, and aiming high isn't either. Just write, and after that, only you can decide whether or not you still want it to be a trilogy.
     
  21. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write it as a trilogy. Then when you come to editing and cut out all the dead text you will probably find it comes down to a single novel, maybe a novella.
     
  22. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Good point.
    There is alot of change in your world now. You are alot more mature then you were a year or two ago(I bet you agree on that), but you will probably be alot more mature in a couple years.(hard to believe but its true.)

    When in school, the mind revolves around school. When you leave school or even just go to higher learning, it is not the same. Basically, you mature quickly when you pay the bills.(all the bills)

    My nephew who is 18 and just out of basic training, was the first to "like" my statement to a junior in high schools complaints, when I quoted: "You're going to miss this..."
     
  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Genre can be important here. If you are writing Fantasy, I think you'll have an easier time with a trilogy than in other genres. You can look around and find relatively new fantasy authors whose first novels are part of a trilogy or longer series. In fact, as someone who is reluctant to buy a first book in a trilogy until after all of them are published, I sometimes think that having a trilogy (at least) is the norm in Fantasy these days.
     
  24. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Every one has a valid arguement when they tell you to work on a stand alone book first if you're more worried about the publishing world. I myself have a trilogy that I'm currently working on, but I have no plan to present it to the publishing world just yet. Apparently, (from what I was told by a friend of my grandfather), publishers frown on no-name authors who throw out a series or a trilogy at first. Although there is that lucky few that do start with a series or trilogy.

    Of course, if you're worried more about the publishing world be sure to check all your options first. Know the difference between the two types of publishing and what each type expects. In one self-publishing company I looked into, just for a rough estimate, they wished to have a $6,000-$10,000 payment towards publishing the book. This did not include the cost of proofreading or editting the materials. At your age however, I would suggest you not focus so much on the publishing world. Give your writing time to grow and prepare itself for the world before you jump in the boat. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.

    My overall advice for the trilogy aspect of it is this; just write. If you want to write out twenty books for one particular idea then go ahead and do it. Just because some people will say "Oh well that's too much" or "You shouldn't be so ambitious", doesn't mean you as the writer don't have the right to do what you want with your stories. It's true that in time you may find that those twenty books may be too much for the idea. So you'll start cutting them down and trimming the pages, until you have less then ten books. After all this isn't manga, you don't have 40+ volumes for one simple story. But seriously, just write it out to your heart's content no matter what anyone tells you.

    After all, all we can do is give you that little bit of helpful advice and wish you the best of luck on your journey into the writing world.
     
  25. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    I think people miss the point that wanting to write one successful novel length book is no less ambitious than going in thinking you want to write three.

    You'll probably figure it out on your own. In order to write book two and three, you have to write book one. But there is no harm in separating your ideas and focusing on one main idea if you believe that idea/theme/plot deserves full attention - even though its just a small part of the overall picture.

    In the end, you just need to write. Writing quality trumps quantity.
     

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