Author Topic: Progress and Submission Reports  (Read 24762 times)

Bookstore Guy

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2009, 08:15:45 PM »
the agents I talked to at worldcon (big-time agents) preferred under 130K for epic fantasy. my good friend pitched a novel to one of the big-guns and the agent told him due to the word count (180K) that he should either look to cut it down significantly (by 40-50K) or to consider splitting it into 2 books and perhaps add a little here and there to make things transition well (2 100K novels rather than 1 180K novel). from a guy who managed a bookstore, I'd rather sell 2 books that were 300 pages for 7.99 each rather than 1 book that is 700 pages for the same price. its a matter of profit margins now days.
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Silk

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2009, 08:24:51 PM »
Thanks Frog!

I'm hoping that when I revise I'll be able to trim some 20k; I don't know if that's going to happen, but we'll see. I'm not really sure mine has a good "splitting point" and at 160k maybe getting shorter, a split might make it too short for adult fantasy.

Anyway, there's not much point in worrying about market trends just now. I figure I'll write my book (and revise it) as long as it needs to be first and then start worrying about whether it's too long, too short, etcetera.

Besides, by the time any of us are ready to shop our manuscripts, the market may well have changed.

Renoard

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2009, 08:30:42 PM »
Frog: I don't know where you got the idea about fighting? †I was just taking the time to explain better what I meant.  I appreciate the post once I realized where you were going with it.

Books, I'm sure you're right. †That's the huge problem that generally creeps in when business majors wrest decision making away from creative types. †Dickens loved to explore it at length. †:)

It's what prompted a book called The Closing of †the American Mind. †Sadly we're dumbing down the reader and the language, and the loss of semantics has a negative effect on critical reason. †Kids who can't express themselves well are more susceptible to intellectual bullying. †That's what prompts the creation of subcultural dialects.
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2009, 09:30:03 PM »
the monetary reason is just 1 reason. you also have to consider the reader's mentality. readers tend not to like a long hiatus in between novels. the longer the novel, generally the greater amount of time in between novels. by writing shorter novels (or by releasing pieces of 1 long novel) once a year, you maintain you name in front of the reader's eyes. it was a mentality that prevailed in the thriller genre, but has become more prevalent in the fantasy genre over the past 6 - 8 years. not everyone can be like Brandon and write a TON every year. the buyer has been shown to be generally more faithful to an author or series if a book is coming out every year.

personally, i think it's great. i would much rather have a smaller stream-lined novel than a bloated one that lags at various points. there are plenty of long novels that are excellent, but i dont think people should TRY to make it long. Write your book. when you are done, look at how long it is and decide if you want to cut or add to it. submit it how you want. but just keep in mind, it might be easier to get that shorter novel published first, and then release you longer one later when you have the backing of a publisher.
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Frog

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2009, 09:42:49 PM »
Sorry, got a little sensitive and now I'm not sure why. But I'm fine with having a good discussion.
Here is some more fun perspective:

HARRY POTTERS
Philosopherís Stone....77,325
Chamber of Secrets.....84,799
Prisoner of Azkaban...106,821
Goblet of Fire........190,858
Order of the Phoenix..257,154
Half Blood Prince.....169,441
Deathly Hallows.......198,227

Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe...36,363
Anna Karenina...349,736
War and Peace...587,287
Gone with the Wind...418,053
The English Patient...82,370
A Prayer for Owen Meany...236,061
Crime and Punishment...211,591
The Brothers Karamazov...364,153
Sense and Sensibility...119,394
Great Expectations...183,349
Enderís Game...100,609
Moby Dick...206,052
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...30,644
Emma...155,887
The Hours...54,243
The Golden Compass...112,815
The Fellowship of the Ring...177,227
The Two Towers...143,436
The Return of the King...134,462
The Lord of the Rings...455,125
The Tenth Circle...114,779
My Sisterís Keeper...119,529
A Tale of Two Cities...135,420
White Teeth...169,389
Atonement...123,378
The Mouse and the Motorcycle...22,416
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn...109,571
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer...69,066
One Hundred Years of Solitude...144,523
Memoirs of a Geisha...186,418
Snow Falling on Cedars...138,098
Cold Mountain...161,511
Midnightís Children...208,773
A House for Mr. Biswas...198,901
All the Pretty Horses...99,277
A Suitable Boy...591,554(est.)

(Most of these come from http://www.renlearn.com/store/quiz_advanced.asp?c=MP+30%3A45%3A9+8002%2F01%2F3. Find a title. Included in the info on the title is the word count.)

And really I don't see length as an indication of dumbing down the reader or the language. Languages are meant to evolve and people are busy. They are going to want to know your worth it before they invest a lot of time in you.

Oh, and just to keep things on topic (kind of) good luck with the editing, Silk! I actually enjoy that more than the initial writing, but then, I have a tendency to overdo it (classic over thinker over here).  :-[
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2009, 09:58:27 PM »
rather than grab a ton of random novels from varied reading levels for their word counts, i would look at the agents you want to submit to and see what they ask for in their submissions. personally i dont think you should compare epic fantasy to russian literature or to harry potter. it does no good.

regardless, write your book the way you want. you can edit or add later. my personal discovery has been that I need to master the art of telling a self-contained, stand-alone story before I add the added difficulty of making a huge series. i think as new writers we tend to get overzealous and overambitious. some people will write a fantastic series on the first try, but i think more will write a passable stand-alone and succeed.
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Renoard

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2009, 10:03:57 PM »
Yeah that's the other thing.  This novel is intended to be a completed plot arc.  So if it's published ot can be done with.  Or if someone wants to pay for more I have an outline for sequels.

But I have to get those 16+ chapters written and the story completed. ugh.
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Frog

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2009, 10:08:54 PM »
Oh, I wasn't just talking about Renoard's book anymore with that list. Just word count and books in general because I thought it was interesting. If it doesn't interest you, please disregard it.
Good luck to both of you! :D
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2009, 10:16:34 PM »
word counts are VERY interesting when you categorize them by genre, reading level, and when they were published. for example: I am writing a paranormal horror. I look at the novels published over the last 6-8 years and say "hmm, looks like 80K is the average. guess I'll shoot for that." I throw out the extreme short novels and extreme long novels since they aren't the norm. you could do the same with epic fantasy. match that with a preferred agent, and you give yourself a good goal to reach.

and yes Reonard, writing that last bit can be frustrating. so close, but so far.
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ryos

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2009, 01:48:52 AM »
I didn't know Order of the Phoenix was the longest Potter, though I've long maintained that she should have cut 100-200 pages from it. It just dragged on and on with endless teenage angst.  :-\
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jwdenzel

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2009, 11:05:50 PM »
I'm trying to crawl back out of my cave and get active again...

Status of my novel:
I am still completely hooked on my story. There's a constant, daily urge in my mind to TELL THE DAMN THING.  But I have many, many excuses, and that's just sad.  ("Excuses are the tools of the inept."  Ouch)

Anyway, I 11 chapters written. About 30,000 words, I think.  I have put about half of it up here on RE for feedback.

In order to get back into things, I might start from the prologue and doa  major editing pass:  implement some new ideas I have, address all the awesome feedback I've already received, and then re-send out the pages again to the list, hopefully taking advantage of all the new readers here, or people who missed it before but have more time now.

Hopefully that editing pass will get me back in the flow, and I can sit and get the next 30k down on paper.

(While still having to deal with my excuses....*grumble*)
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Renoard

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2009, 08:45:15 AM »
Well I've decided to split the novel (again) and with 2 to three chapters and some chunks and segues to write, I'm at about 130K and will likely reach 150ish.  Decided that I had a whole chunk I needed to develop that wouldn't fit in the old outline.
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SomeHackWriter

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2009, 10:27:54 PM »
I don't know how long my latest piece will end up.  It needs a lot of work.  But so far (two parts out of a possible five) I'm at 4,500 words.  It will probably end up in novella range, around 20,000 words or so.

Silk

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2009, 10:29:52 PM »
I'm working on a new short story, and I've no idea how long it will be by the end of it. But I've done a ridiculous amount of world-building (for me, anyway) and a walloping 310 words of actual prose. I haven't the foggiest idea how long it will end up.

Reaves

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Re: Progress and Submission Reports
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2009, 11:54:45 PM »
I haven't been very active in RE excuses lately, I know. I just want to get this novel finished before I send it out for critiques!

I've set Crystalheart aside for now. It's going to be either two or three books in total. I couldn't tell you which because as of now I have no outline for it! That is why I am setting it aside. It's simply gotten too sprawling and too meandering. I don't want this to be a huge, slowly paced book that never ends; I want it to be tight and focused, because that's the kind of book I like to read. I fully plan to come back to it in the future and make several changes, in some cases drastic ones.

Meanwhile I've been working on a thriller. I was calling it a supernatural thriller, but I think I'm going to take a page out of writerainge's book and call it a paranormal thriller. Really, its almost New Agey.

Anyway, I've got it completely outlined. By that I mean I've got several paragraphs written summarizing each chapter. I plan to have it completely finished by the time school starts up again in September and if all goes well I'll start submitting it then!
(I haven't done anything about it yet, but I keep on promising that I'll drop in and deliver a few critiques every now and then. We'll see what happens! :) )
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