1. InPieces
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    InPieces Senior Member

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    Question.

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by InPieces, Aug 4, 2008.

    It's been a while since I've been here. Hi to everyone.

    Just a quick question regarding getting published.

    I am writing a trilogy. Like most trilogies and series, there is an overall plot, but each book has its own distinct plot. Everything has been planned out, whether on paper or in my head, and I am nearly finished the end of the first novel. Here is where my inquiry lies...

    Should I write the complete trilogy before I send off manuscripts (or samples from the first manuscript) to publishers or should I just send the first one with my intentions for the overall trilogy clearly stated in the cover letter / query?

    Guidance would be greatly appreciated. Hope all is well :)

    ~ InPieces
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as a new and unknown writer, it's always best to not even mention you're writing a trilogy, as that pegs you as a newbie right off the bat... every book must be able to stand alone and no publisher will care how many sequels you intend to write, until they can see if the first one actually sells... if it sells exceptionally well, then they might be interested in sequels...

    so my best advice is to just submit your book on its own and make sure it's complete within itself, even if you leave the possibility for sequels open...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. InPieces
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    InPieces Senior Member

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    Solid advice. I hadn't thought of doing it that way. Now that I think about, combining it would make it longer, but not long enough to be too long. I actually like the idea, I guess i had always just thought of it as three books instead of one.
     
  4. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    How does one do this, may I ask?
     
  5. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    Can't really say more than Mammamaia said but, in my opinion, you write your novel as a complete entity, leaving sufficiently strong loose ends to carry it further.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    InPieces,

    What you might consider doing is completing your first novel and begin the submission process, realizing it may take a while to sell it (and sadly maybe it won't find a publishing home).

    If it doesn't find a home, having spent the time writing the rest of the trilogy, while possibly not a 'waste' of time (you'll certainly learn how to write better as you go), the other books in the trilogy may be even more difficult to sell, especially if it's coming in the middle of the story arc. Of course, if it's not a true trilogy, but maybe a novel and has the potential for sequels--same characters and setting/world--it's a slightly different issue.

    By writing a second novel not related to the first one, while working on submitting the first one, you will eventually have two separate novels that you can submit.

    I say this from experience. I first wrote a SF novel. Sure there are sequels that I could write (I did not write it structured for a 'trilogy'), but it stands alone. While I sent it out I wrote the first 4 or so chapters of the sequel. I did this so that if I ever come back to it--sold the first novel--I'd have established the character's voice and feel going already. Why? Well, I figured it may be a year or two or more before I'd get to the sequel, and I'd be more able to hit the ground running. Although it may seem odd, as you're working on a novel/trilogy now, if you put some years and other works inbetween, sliding easly back into the novel/trilogy may not be as easy as expected.

    Then I wrote a fantasy novel, and submitted it, knowing there are sequels possible. Thus, two novels out on submission, doubling my chances, right?

    After doing that, I decided to write short fiction (time factors and other concerns, I didn't want to tackle a novel right away), and I've managed to get a few published and have more that I am now submitting.

    As things now stand, the SF novel made it out of the slush pile (actually this is the second time), past an editor (this it it's first time), and now is on the executive editor's desk at a pretty big publisher. My fantasy novel, I just submitted the full manuscript to a smaller publisher after they requested it after viewing the submission package (synopsis and 1st three chapters).

    While I cannot say this has worked for me, yet (if it does), it appears to me to be a sound strategy.

    Terry
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'd also mention that with the likelihood of several rejections on your first volume, you may have to do quite a lot of rewriting on that first volume to get it publishable.

    Those changes may very well make anything you've envisioned or begun writing to complete the trilogy obsolete. That's a lot of wasted effort, Ja?
     
  8. InPieces
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    InPieces Senior Member

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    At this point, I'm going to continue to write. Yes, it could be 'a waste of my time', but every writing project is experience to me. Besides, when it's finished, if I feel (and possibly mammamaia if she is so inclined to look over it once it is finished) that it is ready to shop around, then that's what I'll do. If not, then oh well, I'm young, and writing is fun :)

    ~ InPieces
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    How can it be a waste of time? The only way I can see that it would be is if you learn nothing at all in the process!
     
  10. InPieces
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    InPieces Senior Member

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    Which would be impossible :)

    I'll just keep writing, and I'm content to do so.
     
  11. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    I'd query the first manuscript, but state in your query that this is entended to be the first book in a trilogy, and give an idea as to the overall plot of the trilogy. You might even include a brief overview of the series (on a seperate page).

    I once spent years writing a trilogy myself, only to discovery the first book was basically unsalable. If only I'd known that early on, I might not have wasted so much time writing more in the series. I could have moved on to a more promising project.

    Edit: I can't count that experience as a total waste because I sharpened my writing skills alot during those years. But it was, from a publishing standpoint, a stall.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...if it's violence-free, i'll be glad to give it a look even now [which would be best, imo], so you'll know if your writing is up to snuff before you get entrenched in bad habits that will be harder to break, the longer you indulge in them... you can send me the first chapter and your synosis any time...

    ...bravo!... that's probably the healthiest attitude you could have...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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