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Inescapable conclusions

January 4, 2010

I need to weld my two faerie novels together.  The first one in particular is simply too damn short to sell, at right under 50k.  Adding anything to it would be padding.  Combining them gives me something in the 105k range, which strikes me as more desirable.

This isn’t as Herculean an undertaking as it might sound.  Mostly it involves changing the shading of some references to past events at the start of the second novel, since they won’t be in a separate volume any more.  Beyond that, I need to tackle a new, expanded query (no problem, it was short) and a new, denser synopsis (bigger issue, since it wasn’t).

Oh, and it means the putative next installation in the story would have to be  of a similar length as well, and will take longer to write and polish…but we’ll implode that bridge when we get to it.

And since I would use the current novel titles as the titles for parts one and two–I need a new overall title.  Maybe I’ll go back and use one of those suggested by my critique group.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 12:40 pm

    Oooooh. Critique group. I admire you for actually having the courage t admit your first draft isn’t 100% perfect and ready to go.

    • January 4, 2010 1:54 pm

      I think I put out fairly decent first drafts, and yet somehow the group manages to find ways of improving them on a consistent basis. I wouldn’t think of attempting to submit work anywhere without their input. Besides, they let me read their stuff too, which means I get to exercise, or perhaps exorcise, my inner editor.

  2. John permalink
    January 4, 2010 1:05 pm

    It’s a shame we have to deal with today’s market, and not yesteryears. 200 page novels used to be common.

    • January 4, 2010 1:55 pm

      So did cholera. Not sayin’ there’s a connection, just sayin’.

      Thinking about it, maybe there is a connection–when average lifespans were shorter, 200 page novels were less of a risky investment, time-wise. This doesn’t explain Russian Novels, of course, but nothing does.

    • candelyn permalink
      January 4, 2010 2:09 pm

      The number of pages written is irrelevant when it comes to writing extraordinary fiction. Publisher’s are only giving the consumer what they want, which is more for their money. It is the intelligent reader, who wants more than to be entertained, who knows that one sentance is enough to enspire, let alone 200 (or more) pages.

      • January 4, 2010 2:26 pm

        If I were in a pessimistic mood, I would refer to the putative Adlai Stephenson quote concerning thinking Americans and needing a majority. But I’m in a chipper mood right now. Call it post-decision euphoria. In any case, I think you’re right on both counts: publishers have business-driven priorities, and they serve some readers better than others with them.

        I do find it fascinating that so many longer novels get out there at the same time flash fiction on electronic devices has emerged as a viable outlet. I also think it’s interesting how important YA fiction (a realm composed mainly of shorter novels, unless your first two initials are J and K) has become, not only for sales but for quality of output. Consider Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, which won the Hugo Award AND the Newbery this year. Now, 67,000 words is longer than either of the two stories I’m pushing into one package, but it’s not exactly The Lord of the Rings, either.

  3. January 9, 2010 10:24 pm

    I am impressed with your willingness to do such major editing to your work. Whether it is necessary or not I don’t know, since for me 200 words is a major literary effort.

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