1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Pacing the timeline and books.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Oct 4, 2010.

    It's that time again folks. I've run into a road block for Amos, my Colonial detective. I set up a timeframe of fourteen books (a year per book) and during the series, big things happen. This is the timeline:

    Book #1 (1770)= Series begins. Amos is twelve.

    Book #2= Amos is booted from tavern. (This happens near the end.)

    Books #3-5= Amos spends time in an orphanage until he’s adopted.

    Book #7 (1776)= Mister Wilkins, his former caretaker dies. Tavern closes.

    Book #9 (1778)= Amos marries his wife and they move in with her older brother who runs a farm.

    Book #11 (1780)= Amos' son, Simon is born.

    Book #14 (1783)= Series ends. Amos is twenty-five.

    The issue is the pacing. I feel like I'm rushing things. Take Amos getting expelled, for example. The readers would have only known Amos' life in the tavern for a book and a half until he gets thrown out. Is that enough time to show the tension between the two?

    And the latter half, when he's married and has a son, isn't that jumping the shark a bit?

    I need help. :(
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on the story - I went from being bedbound to being married with a child in a year and a half. However just looking at the list the time in the orphanage doesn't make sense for colonial times - twelve is a big boy anyway, eighteen he would have been working for a good while. Can't see anyone adopting him then maybe apprenticed
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You have a plan for fourteen books that take your hero from age twelve to age twenty-five, and you think you're rushing things?

    To me, that sounds like the opposite of rushing.
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    ...

    Point taken. More like I'm taking my sweet time to get Amos to the end.

    I think I'll have to research Colonial America some, to see what a kid Amos' age would be doing. I think instead of orphanage, he goes to apprentice at something.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in re 'rushing things' it seems to me you're doing too much pre-planning and not enough actual writing...

    get your first book completed and successfully published [= selling well] before getting so hung up on sequels...

    your first book must be good stand-alone read to be taken seriously by agents/publishers and they won't be interested in your proposed series until and unless that first book is a bestseller and readers clamor for more...

    another major problem i see is that the first proposed books will only be suitable for the younger end of the YA market, while later ones are only appropriate for the adult market...
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Good point. I agree with you.

    I honestly think that the best thing I can do is just to forget the whole timeline thing I set up, pick an age for Amos and stick with it. (He's fifteen, let's say)

    Only write the first book. That's it. If that does well, write the sequel. That way I feel more free to do what I want. If I want to write a mystery book where the hero is a husband/father, then I should make it another thing entirely.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just because you have a series planned doesn't mean to say you have to tout it as such. JK Rowling had all seven of her books planned before she sold the first one. Also there is definitely a shift in the publishing industry at least in the UK to prefer someone who is going to write them more than one book. I have a couple of friends who have recently sold series ideas and trilogy ideas along with their first book.

    I also wouldn't worry about the YA/Adult thing if you manage to sell your first 5 or 6 books and they do well, you have a basis to sell the others - not to mention your YA audidence will have grown up. There are YA books with grown up or adult MCs and there are adult books with child MCs - although admittedly at 5.30am with my own story burning up my mind Oliver and Dr Who are the ones coming to mind lol. Also if you can manage crossover books that is all the more lucrative for anyone involved. Harry Potter has done a lot to change the publishing industry and ultimately that is the success they are looking for.

    I think it is a good idea to have your series planned even if you don't sell it as a series, now I am drafting out later stories with the same characters it is worth knowing where you are going with it so you don't need to rewrite previous books (which will be a problem if you do get one published). And you only sell one book at a time - there is no reason why each book can't stand alone whilst have a central story that drives them forward.
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That's what I had in mind. As the books progress, the readers are getting older and older so by the time Amos' twenty-five, they're in their twenties and/or reading mature, adult fiction. The new readers (especially if they are young) start with the first book, when Amos is just a young lad. And I thought it'd be good for me since I'd know where Amos will end up even if I don't actually get to reach it.

    But I do agree with mammamia in that each book has to be a stand-alone.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, this is the only smart thing to do... now get busy writing that first book!

    hugs, m
     
  10. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    In Colonial times pretty much all young boys attended Latin School or Writing School or both. Some did quit Latin, however, when they became of age for plowing and field work.

    Hope it's going good. I like the sound of your series. :)
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Also, in Puritan society, adolescent boys were often apprenticed and went to live with other families. This was because the Puritans recognized that adolescence was a time of rebellion, and they feared that the discipline that needed to be applied could serve to damage the loving relationship between parent and child.
     

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