1. Yotam
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    Yotam Member

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    Time skip or not?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Yotam, Apr 19, 2013.

    There is a chapter in my ms which is a time skip that reveals and explain the dreadful past of a family of minor character. The chapter by itself is quite good, interesting and explain some of the history and shape of the world I created, but I've been told more than once that the ms can work without that chapter, with only a brief talk about the past from one of the minor characters.
    What's more, removing this chapter will cut 8500 words form my ms (143500), and people told me that for a debut author it will be best to maximize the ms up to 130/120K.

    What do you think I should do?
    The thing is, even if I decide to cut the chapter I thought about it, and if my ms get publish I can still publish the chapter separately through a specific site to my work...
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I have no idea about the chapter you're referring to, because I haven't read the book or the chapter. If you feel that the people giving you the advice know what they're talking about, I would consider it. Ultimately, it's up to you of course. I don't understand exactly what you're saying either, is it random, is there only the one chapter in the middle of the book? Another way to do it (If that's the case) would be to alternate the content of the chapter in between chapters of the present time. So you're getting flashbacks, but in a way that establishes a rhythm. This also will likely force you to pare it down a bit, to info that is relevant to each chapter. Hope that makes sense.

    About publishing it later, on your site, after being published? That's not likely to be allowed by any publisher that owns current rights to your work.
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's about a minor character it may be a good idea to take it out. It would make the length more managable as well. Perhaps it would make a stand alone short story later? If it's already been taken out of the novel it wouldn't be a problem with the publisher--I'm not quite sure what Trish is getting at.
     
  4. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    "Kill your darlings..." It doesn't matter how good it is, if it is not sufficiently adding to the story, you need to murder it in cold blood. Be ruthless in your editing.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If people are saying your story can work without the chapter, and your work is excessively long, take it out. Keep it for possible publication later, as madhoca says. Who knows? If your book is a success, then a future edition of it can include the chapter. A lot of movies that come out these days wind up having "director's cuts" and "extended editions," etc.
     
  6. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Actually it can be a problem. Whether it's a stand alone short or not, it very well could be a problem because it involves a character out of the book the pub holds rights too. I don't know how to make it any clearer?
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It sounds to me, from yourdescrption alone, that the chapter is completely superfluous and should be scrapped. I don't care how beautifully written it is, it sounds like a major speed bump.

    Whoever told you a debut author should maximize a manuscript to 130/120K is either misinformed or operating in a parallel universe. The recommendations in nearly every genre for a previously unpublished writer is 80-120K, with a strong preference for the 80-100K half of the range. The exception genres tend to run shorter than that, not longer.
     
  8. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's clear enough Trish, although I have to question it. So you're saying it is quite normal, when a publisher buys or publishes your book, he owns all future rights to the characters? That you'd have to get special permission to expand it, write follow ups, blog, beit on-line or in further print publications to write about characters and settings you invented? I find that hard to believe...
     
  9. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Okay, it's not clear. No, that's not what I'm saying at all. Advertising is entirely different than selling works with those characters. There is usually a clause stating (not verbatim of course) that you cannot sell anything that contains THOSE characters (or world or whatever) without permission or unless it goes through them. Anything that could be viewed as competing directly with what they hold the rights to, for the duration of that contract.

    How about now? Better?
     
  10. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    isnt that what I said? lol
     
  11. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    If it doesn't move the story forward ax it. It doesn't matter how much you love it. It matters if it has purpose. I've had to cut parts I loved before but in the end I was glad I did because it made the story flow better.
     
  12. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    No, the way I read it (and if I'm wrong I apologize) was that you were saying I said (say that three times fast!) you couldn't advertise either. And that's not what I said.
     

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