All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Novel, why art thou so Fat?


So as you know I've been writing my Novel, The Longest Cycle, for over a year now. I finished it a while back and then got to the editing. You also know that I realised that my single novel, meant as book one of a trilogy, turned out to be a lot longer than I intended or expected so I cut it down into two books. You also may know that I finished editing the first and started sending it to publishers calling it a Duology.
What you don't know is that I just got to the end of part 4 and the second book is almost as big as the whole thing was when I started editing and decided to split it in two.

That's right, people; it would seem that Book 1 of my first EPIC trilogy is now its own EPIC trilogy. In case you aren't psychic enough to see; I'm shaking my head in exasperation.

For the most part there's really no problem with doing this, the longer the book the more detail there is, the more real the world feels. There's always the chance that there will be a lot of bits that aren't necessary or that will just annoy people, of course, but the way I've written this I don't think that I have too much to fear of that.
I wrote the book out in one go, leaving alone the bits that I wasn't in the mood to write or that I didn't have the inspiration for so that I could come back later. The reason the book's size has exploded isn't because I've added new scenes or characters - though I have done that a little bit to improve the flow in some areas - it's because the more important scenes, like the major battles at the end of Parts 3 and 4 were so short that they seemed pathetic.
Re-reading them I've re-written them giving them more scope, more action, more power and generally made them a more exciting read.
A good example of this is a battle at the end of part 3 where the main characters raided a prison. Originally it was all done in 22 pages, but after editing it (and I didn’t realise I was doing it at the time) it ended up as a 79 page battle.
I'm currently writing out a battle where the main characters are defending a small town, it’s the final battle of - what is now - the second book. My original draft was a generous (and by that I mean I'm including stuff that I really shouldn't) 5112 words, or 14 pages in Microsoft Word speech. More importantly than the lack of length, the main villain in the battle, the man that is practically impossible to kill died on page nine.
With the new draft (which is currently only 1/5th done) I am up to 6133 words - 16 pages - and the main characters only just walked into the bad guy.
It just flows so much better than it did before.

So what's wrong with turning my book into a trilogy?
Besides the fact that I've already sent out letters saying it's a duology, not much. It is definitely harder to get a trilogy published than a single book, a much smaller investment for the agents and the publishers. That said it's also quite hard to get a 600 page book published and there's no way I could have fit everything into that or less.
I guess there's really nothing particularly wrong with trying to publish a trilogy over a single book or a duology, it's just exasperating that this book, intended as part one of a trilogy has become a trilogy all of its own, but that's the way things go sometimes I guess.

Anywho, /rantover

Vidia, Nick Clegg apologises for what the Liberal Democrats have done in office... THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF SONG!!!!
- James

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