Wednesday, June 5, 2013

At a crossroad

I need to make a decision.

What it comes down to is 1) keep working on "Riverbend" and make it a great historical novel or 2) shorten the novel and make it a historical romance.

There is a difference.  If I keep to the longer length (90,000 word or thereabouts) I can add more description, backstory, and character development.

If I shorten it (50,000 words) I have a better chance of getting published. I just have to think like a poet and give my descriptions and backstories with more concise and vivid scenes. Making one sentence draw the picture instead of a paragraph; one word instead of a sentence.

So - is my heart's desire to write an epic that may never be published or write a story I can share with readers?

The cold facts are that I have a chance in a million of getting the longer novel published. I could self-publish, but without a strong following, I don't see it selling more than a few copies to friends and family.

I learned from an editor at a recent workshop that digital publishing is the wave of the future. More and more people have e-readers and want to download books they can read in an evening or on a commute (hence the shorter word length). The good news is that there are millions of readers looking for books. Maybe even mine.

So I now face the chore of chopping whole paragraphs, maybe even chapters. Some of my favorite scenes must go. And I must introduce the hero in the second chapter and not the sixth. (A big "no-no" in romance genre. In fact, he should appear in the first chapter or even the first pages, but I need at least one chapter to set up the plot.)

Thank you all for your continuing input. Writers need support and I am grateful for yours.










13 comments:

  1. At the end to the day, you have to do what works for you. If making moneyis the goal, by all means, do what the industry dictates. if however, the goal is to tell the story you wAnt to tell, do that.

    Either way, best of luck. : )

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    1. I'm hoping I can do both, Robin!

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  2. I'm a big proponent of writing your heart - even if no one reads your story, you've remained true to yourself. That's probably not a fashionable practice these days, so I'm not sure I've been helpful to you. :>) I do know you face a difficult decision. All best wishes.

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    1. I understand -- my heart is still in this book, but I would like it to be read by others besides myself :)

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  3. What a dilemma, Sandy. I think you made the right decision, in my humble opinion. Probably because the shorter books appeal to me.

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    1. I think they appeal to many readers who don't have time to read longer books. That said, I often choose a book because of its size -- the longer, the better! I guess I am a fast reader because I get to "the end" much too soon.

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  4. Like the others, I don't know what decision I would make. I like reading long novels with interesting characters. I haven't read very many romance novels, but plan on writing one! They are usually shorter, right?
    It will be fun to try anyway and I hear they are very popular and sell well.

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    1. Can't imagine a book in any genre without some romance in it -- love makes the world go 'round, right? The criteria for a romance is that it must have a Happy Ever After. Good luck!

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    2. Thank you, Sandy, and the same to you. I look forward to reading your next book! I do like your writing.

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  5. That's a tough one Sandy, I am learning that I am a ruthless slash and burn editor. If my book is 90,000 first draft, it might be considerably less by last draft. So, I would go with my heart and then slash and burn ;-)
    I recently read that single, stand alone's are 85-100K and the series books are closer to 50-60K.
    Have fun!
    Cris

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  6. :-( tough decision, but it's such a wonderful story..I hate for you to lose one word.

    Tami

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  7. The dilemma is do I cut to 50,000 for a digital book or add to it to reach 85,000 for a stand alone? I think I am just going to write it and when I reach the end, type "The End" no matter what the length and go from there.

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  8. Personally I am hoping for the bigger, meatier historical novel. It will be a hard decision, but sometimes the story cries out to be written in all its full glory. We'll all support you in whatever decision you make. But I vote for the BIG historical novel. You've shown you can do romance, now try to stretch. Give yourself the time to do it! Cheers, Beverley

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