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  1. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    Advice on the Fantasy Genre

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Someone777, Aug 8, 2017.

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to know if anyone is aware whether publishers prefer series to standalone novels when it comes to the fantasy genre, as I am writing something which looks to be standalone.

    Thanks
     
  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a general statement, readers tend to prefer series over standalone. Publishers try to publish books that readers will prefer. However, even if you're writing a series, each novel within it should stand alone--should have a complete and satisfying story arc.

    That said, there are always exceptions to any trend. Write the book, even if envisioned as a standalone, to the best of your ability and see what happens.
     
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  3. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    Thanks very much!
     
  4. A.S.Ford

    A.S.Ford Active Member

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    The novel I am currently writing (although it is alternative history rather than fantasy) started off as a stand alone novel (and might yet remain so) but when I started reaching the 20% - 30% mark I started to get thoughts of a prequel and how it might continue the story and now I have a second book forming in my head to follow the one I am currently writing. You might find the same happens for you.

    Either way, the write the story you want to write and how you want to write it ... worry about everything else later, that would be my advice :)
     
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  5. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    Thanks!
     
  6. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    For a debut novel, your best bet by far is a book that's standalone but has the potential to be the first in a series. Failing that, a standalone is preferable to a series.

    Publishing an unknown author is a big risk, and publishers are more likely to risk the cost of producing one book than producing two or more.
     
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  7. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    Thanks
     
  8. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    Any idea what kind of word count I should be aiming for or is that also of little consequence?
     
  9. A.S.Ford

    A.S.Ford Active Member

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    I think that depends on your audience. A Young Adult (YA) novel is typically anywhere between 50,000 to 70,000 words whereas an Adult fantasy book could range from 80,000 to 100,000 words. My advice would be to, if you want to have a word count, have a goal in your head (for example 75,000 - half way between a YA and an Adult) and work towards that but don't force the story to fit the word count. If you can only reach 60,000 words before the story feels like it has come to an end then don't make it continue just to fill the gap in the word count, and similarly if the word count ends up reaching 80,000 or 90,000 words before it feels like it has come to its ending point then let it do that. The first draft is all about getting the story done and down the rest you can work out in later drafts as, more than likely, in the editing process your story will gain and/or lose words by the end of it. I hope this is helpful to you :)
     
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  10. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Word count is hugely important. Here's an FAQ on it: https://www.writingforums.org/threads/faqs-on-word-count.152108/
     
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  11. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    Thanks guys
     
  12. Jonas Spångberg

    Jonas Spångberg New Member

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    Some publishers I know say they prefer standalone before series, when it comes to new and 'unknown' writers. Simply a way of testing their work with the audience. A publisher should be able to tell a seller from a shelf warmer, but that's far from the reality. Safer to test them first.
     
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  13. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    Thanks for that!
     
  14. Stormburn

    Stormburn Active Member

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    Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is a good example of a stand-alone book that could have been a series. It was published in 2005 and has a WC of (roughly) 200K. It was very successful and I believe he is intending to write a sequel.
     
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  15. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    That's a comforting bit of information. Thanks. I can't imagine getting to 200k though! At the present moment even 90k words seems daunting; nigh insurmountable, even.
     
  16. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trust me, that will change very quickly. It's much more common to be struggling to get it down to a reasonable word limit.
     
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  17. Someone777

    Someone777 New Member

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    I think you may be right, as I've practically breezed through the first 11, 000 words. Perhaps I'm just worrying too much about which direction to take the narrative in. Fortunately, though, I do have a co-author on this project with whom I plan the book's events. So should I ever hit a brick wall I have someone to fall back on.
     

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