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Krazykat
04-11-2012, 08:09 PM
Iíve read all the threads on querying for a trilogy I could find and they all say: present the first book only as a stand-alone book Ďwith series potentialí. This puzzles me because it seems that some trilogies are a rather different sort of animal; theyíre not really a Ďseriesí with three books in it. (Only a couple of people said if it has Ďone story arcí, a trilogy should be queried as a whole, but there wasnít much discussion about that.)

Sure, Iíve also read all the stuff about how itís riskier to take a chance with a new author if thereís three books involved instead of just one. But we all know that if you walk into the SF/Fantasy section of a bookstore and randomly grab one book, chances are probably greater than fifty percent that it would be part of a trilogy. (Especially if you were looking at fantasy alone, separated from sci fi.) It makes it seem kind of illogical that mentioning trilogies or series is considered Ďtabooí in queries, since thatís precisely whatís being published the most . . .

But whether it makes sense or not, I know that trilogies from previously unpublished writers are frowned upon and considered difficult to sell, despite the fact that trilogies in general are very much in demand . . . (Silly me, why do I expect the world to be logical?)

So here I am, still reeling from the shock of discovering that the word count of my very polished science fiction novel (that I was feeling quite good about) is more than twice what seems to be the universally accepted upper limit (120k). Of course, some folks have suggested breaking the novel up. When I first toyed with the idea, I decided the first books would be real downers and it just wouldnít work. But in the unending process of researching agents and reading countless blogs, I keep seeing more and more doom and gloom about word counts; everyone keeps saying that unless youíre already a wildly successful author, straying more than just a little outside the recommended word count limits is tantamount to a death sentence for a novel.

So I revisited the idea of splitting this novel up, and figured out where I could make the breaks to turn it into a trilogy that might actually work. But of course, it would be one of those trilogies thatís really a story told in three parts, where each book is not actually intended to stand on its own.

The big question now is: which is the lesser of two evils? Is it worse to say, ďHereís my 265,000 word novel,Ē or, ďHereís my 78,000 novel thatís the first part of a trilogy (and the sort thatís clearly part of a longer work, because you can tell thereís a lot more to come . . .)Ē???

Cyia
04-11-2012, 08:27 PM
It's not as simple as splitting one cohesive novel into three parts and declaring them separate novels.

In a series, every novel has to have a sufficient resolution of its own main arc while contributing to the over-reaching arc. If there's a point around the 78K mark where the characters have set and achieved the goal pertaining to those 78K words, then you might have something workable.

Justin SR
04-11-2012, 08:50 PM
You can change stuff around, mess with it, tear your hair out trying to find a way to get it in the door, or you can write the best story in the world and force people to pay attention to it, no matter how long it is.

Patrick Rothfuss sold the Name of The Wind, his debut novel, at 250,000 words and as the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicles.

It can be done. If your book is good enough, they'll have to take it.

Old Hack
04-11-2012, 08:59 PM
But most first books aren't good enough, and many agents and publishers won't even look at a 265k-long debut so will have no idea how good it is.

When you're an established, successful author you'll probably be offered three-book contracts and you'll be able to sell all the trilogies you want to, so long as they sell in good number. When you're an untried, untested author publishers will almost certainly be cautious. If you offer them a good enough book which fits their requirements they'll sign it up and see how well it sells. If it sells well, they'll consider signing up another of your books. If it tanks, they'll not.

My advice? Write a new and better book, of a length more appropriate to the market. Sell that. When it's a huge success, see if your agent can sell your monster-book. He might well find a publisher who'll snap it up. You never know.

kaitie
04-11-2012, 09:05 PM
It's also possible that the book itself could be cut down a very decent amount. Now, getting 265k down to something more manageable would be difficult, but at that length even getting it down to, say, 180k instead would at least give you hope that someone will consider it.

Is this your first novel? Or hell, even your fifth lol? I had to cut 70k words from a book once. I'd ended at 185, and right now it's sitting at 116k, which was about as low as I could get it without sacrificing story. And to be honest with you, I had thought it was polished as hell at that point.

Once I started looking to cut things, I discovered that I was a ridiculous over-writer and that the problem was that I had an awful lot of extraneous words. The vast majority of those cut weren't entire scenes, but just realizing I could take the phrase, "He reached out with his left hand and grabbed the cord and pulled it from the wall" could be easily turned into "He unplugged the cord."

I'm guessing that I could personally probably cut at least 60k from one as long as yours just by simplifying the wording. I haven't seen it, but it's a guess based on helping a lot of people work with cutting for length.

I've also done a beta read for a book that was over 200k, and that book could easily have been in the acceptable range. The author made a mistake I've seen often when I help people with this--lots of meandering plot things that go so far off topic that the reader loses track of what the actual focus of the plot is. Subplots are great, but it's really easy to go too far with them, to the extent that it's hard to tell what the main storyline is supposed to be. This is another possibility.

Now, it's entirely possible that your writing is so spectacular that you've managed to write a 265k book that doesn't drag and has good pacing the entire way through and doesn't use overly complicated writing, but it's incredibly difficult to do.

As Cyia said, just cutting a book into thirds won't really fix the problem unless the book should have been three to begin with. You'd need to do complete rewrites to make it work. What I would do, personally, is edit (more than once) and see how much length you can cut down. Then have a beta reader go over it and see if there are plot elements that can be cut down. Or maybe you can start the book at a later point (A lot of people start too early). Things of that nature. You could also post in SYW once you have 50 posts, or toss a chapter my way and I can see what kind of whack job I can do on it (I'm good at this sort of thing).

Something else you could consider to try to identify plot problems is to write a synopsis. You might find that you have more than one scene dealing with similar situations that can be combined, or that a subplot about a secondary character isn't really that important and can be cut out (save it! You might decide to write another book about them later). If you do all this and still can't cut anything, then I'd consider making it a trilogy, but again do that in a new file (so you still have the original) and know that it's going to take a heck of a lot of work.

If all else fails, and honestly skipping straight to this step is also acceptable, you could just write a new book, but plot it out so that you know it will be more within the acceptable range. That's what I did. I knew my long one wouldn't make a good first book, so I wrote a new one that was under 100k to use as my foot-in-door book. My thinking is that if I get a couple of other books published, that first longer book will have a better chance.

Hope this helps.

kaitie
04-11-2012, 09:19 PM
It can be done. If your book is good enough, they'll have to take it.

This is sort of true, but the problem is that most people won't even consider it. They'll look at the word count and reject it based on that. There is always the one in a million exception, and I'm sure we can all think of one, but if the OP decides to query as is, he needs to have lower expectations--basically knowing that the book will not even be considered by most and that it would take being that long-shot.

The problem (I think some of this explanation is silly, but this is the problem as it's described by the professionals) is that most publishers won't take a longer book from a new author because a) the books cost more to produce, b) bookstores can't fit as many on the shelves and will thus stock fewer, which will likely limit sales, and c) debut authors don't have a throng of fans willing to pick up a giant book just because it has the author's name on it.

In other words, it's a bigger gamble. More costly to produce, as well as likely to sell fewer copies means a bigger risk. We might not always like that, but there is a reason behind it.

There's also the fact that the vast majority of first novels are out of standard length because the author is still getting a grasp on style and hasn't quite mastered pacing yet. Pacing is even more important for a long novel, and very difficult to maintain.

I think, in general, that when a word count falls vastly out of the average, the first thing the author should do is look to see if he/she might be able to improve the writing. Books that are too short often don't have enough description or are telling and not showing. Books that are too long often have too much description and have a bit of that everything but the kitchen sink feeling.

The best thing we can do is look to see if there are places we can improve before just going for it because someone else has managed it. And heck, this is difficult enough as is. We at least owe it to ourselves to see what we can do to help our odds. :)

Little Ming
04-11-2012, 09:54 PM
You can change stuff around, mess with it, tear your hair out trying to find a way to get it in the door, or you can write the best story in the world and force people to pay attention to it, no matter how long it is.

Patrick Rothfuss sold the Name of The Wind, his debut novel, at 250,000 words and as the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicles.

It can be done. If your book is good enough, they'll have to take it.

That's not exactly a fair comparison. Rothfuss had previously published excerpts from the series as short stories and they won a Writers of the Future contest, so that was probably a huge factor in his book deal.

But to repeat what everyone else said, it's not as simple as cutting up your novel. They need to have logical ending points where conflicts come to a resolution (not necessarily a happy ending, just a resolution). I think a lot of fantasy book deals are sold as a series, but I think it's always better that your first novel is a "standalone with series potential" so you can be more flexible. If the publisher only wants one book, you have that. If they want a series, you can do that too.

And yes, edit, edit, edit. You might be surprised how much you can cut out. ;)

Cyia
04-11-2012, 09:56 PM
If your book is good enough, they'll have to take it.

No "they" don't.

No one "has" to take on a book, regardless of quality.

Justin SR
04-12-2012, 01:34 AM
That's not exactly a fair comparison. Rothfuss had previously published excerpts from the series as short stories and they won a Writers of the Future contest, so that was probably a huge factor in his book deal.


He had one short story published five years earlier, as far as I know. I'm really not trying to argue. I'm kind of playing writer's advocate is all. While I completely understand and realize that many, many people need to seriously cut their books down (and I do understand this, on much more than an intellectual level, having beta read), I'm just saying it's not a rule. If every word of the story fits, like I think it does in both of Rothfuss' stories, then it only makes it better for every word that's in it.

I am sure that telling people to get their books within the guidelines for their genre is the proper advice most of the time, but I don't like the idea of those guidelines being enforced so much that something truly amazing can't get through.

The Kingkiller books are my favorite ones, of my favorite type, of my favorite thing. That is my favorite fantasy book. And I'm uncomfortable with the idea that if Pat Rothfuss was pitching it now, just five years later, everybody would be telling him to cut it in half.

Little Ming
04-12-2012, 01:54 AM
He had one short story published five years earlier, as far as I know.

Yes. And that short story was an excerpt from the very series he got the book deal for. As stated above, he won Writers of the Future contest for that one short story. That is a prestigious award that very, very likely helped him get his book deal.



I'm really not trying to argue. I'm kind of playing writer's advocate is all. While I completely understand and realize that many, many people need to seriously cut their books down (and I do understand this, on much more than an intellectual level, having beta read), I'm just saying it's not a rule. If every word of the story fits, like I think it does in both of Rothfuss' stories, then it only makes it better for every word that's in it.

I am sure that telling people to get their books within the guidelines for their genre is the proper advice most of the time, but I don't like the idea of those guidelines being enforced so much that something truly amazing can't get through.

I can appreciate your enthusiasm, but you should not go into the submission process thinking you are the exception to the rule. Guidelines are there for a reason, and while everyone can think of exceptions to the rules, realistically most of us (99.9%) fall within the guidelines. You're far more likely to be shooting yourself in both feet by believing your novel is the exception.



The Kingkiller books are my favorite ones, of my favorite type, of my favorite thing. That is my favorite fantasy book. And I'm uncomfortable with the idea that if Pat Rothfuss was pitching it now, just five years later, everybody would be telling him to cut it in half.

HE WON THE WRITERS OF THE FUTURE AWARD.

I don't know how much clearer I can make that. If you win a very prestigious writing award, you can be given far more leeway when it comes to guidelines.

Seriously, if you win a Hugo or a Nebula and then approach agents/publishers you will get far more interest than the debut writer with no record. That's just the way it works. You will also be given more leeway when it comes to word count.

But until you win those awards or have a solid publishing record, you are just like everyone else and you follow the rules.

kaitie
04-12-2012, 01:58 AM
You'll note that I didn't say "You have to cut it in half." What I said was that it's to the author's benefit to check and objectively try to see if there might be a problem that can be fixed. If an author is able to look at their work and say, "I honestly tried and it's impossible to cut, everything is necessary," then they ask outside sources for opinions. If the outside sources say, "This is amazing and brilliant and nothing should be cut," then they can start submitting to agents--with the awareness that they're going to get a lot of rejections based on the word count.

I love long books myself, and obviously some are published, and I wouldn't want to tell those people to change. Well, in some cases they actually could have done with a hundred or two pages being cut, but mostly I wouldn't say to change them. What I would say is that it's more important to an author to err on the conservative side and try to really examine their work for flaws rather than to say, "This person did it so I'm sure mine is in the same category." The truth is, for most of us, it's not.

Justin SR
04-12-2012, 02:28 AM
[QUOTE=Little Ming;7182820]
I can appreciate your enthusiasm, but you should not go into the submission process thinking you are the exception to the rule. Guidelines are there for a reason, and while everyone can think of exceptions to the rules, realistically most of us (99.9%) fall within the guidelines. You're far more likely to be shooting yourself in both feet by believing your novel is the exception.

QUOTE]

How can you ever hope to published if you don't think this?

Justin SR
04-12-2012, 02:34 AM
And I guess what I'm talking about is not whether a person will be given leeway to write what they want, but whether they should.

I've pretty much said everything I think about this anyways, but I just think that stories can transcend the guidelines that people set for them. I really do.

Ctairo
04-12-2012, 02:45 AM
And I guess what I'm talking about is not whether a person will be given leeway to write what they want, but whether they should.

I've pretty much said everything I think about this anyways, but I just think that stories can transcend the guidelines that people set for them. I really do.
Of course there may be stories out there that are the exception that proves the rule. But does thinking your story is one of them make it so? And since some of writing is a crap shoot, you have to look at the odds.

That's all everyone's saying. Of course, should you ignore the odds, and find a home for your book (ah, publication!), you get to tell a marvelous story of how you pooh-poohed every piece of advice and believed in the power of your story. It'll be great press.

If it happens.

Little Ming
04-12-2012, 02:51 AM
I can appreciate your enthusiasm, but you should not go into the submission process thinking you are the exception to the rule. Guidelines are there for a reason, and while everyone can think of exceptions to the rules, realistically most of us (99.9%) fall within the guidelines. You're far more likely to be shooting yourself in both feet by believing your novel is the exception.



How can you ever hope to published if you don't think this?


And I guess what I'm talking about is not whether a person will be given leeway to write what they want, but whether they should.

I've pretty much said everything I think about this anyways, but I just think that stories can transcend the guidelines that people set for them. I really do.

Justin,

I think we are getting confused here about what rules and/or guidelines mean. No one is saying that the writer can't write whatever he wants, but this thread, this sub-forum is about increasing the chances of getting an agent and getting published. Guidelines are not there to be "transcended." They are there because agents don't have a lot of time and if you send them a query with a word count double their upper limit, you are very, very likely to be rejected without even being read. So how can you transcend the rules if no one will even read your MS? It won't matter if your MS really is that exception to the rule, because the agents won't read it in the first place.

And I really don't think it is helpful for you to tell others "Here's a guy who broke the rules and he's doing really well, so I think other people can break the rules too." Again, everyone can think of exceptions to the rule. But very, very few people are the exception to the rule.

So write whatever you want. There are no rules to that. But if you want to increase your chances of being published you follow the rules, you do not "transcend" them.

BethS
04-12-2012, 03:01 AM
The big question now is: which is the lesser of two evils? Is it worse to say, “Here’s my 265,000 word novel,” or, “Here’s my 78,000 novel that’s the first part of a trilogy (and the sort that’s clearly part of a longer work, because you can tell there’s a lot more to come . . .)”???

Conventional wisdom would tell you that you must be able to query the first novel on its own.

And then there are the exceptions to conventional wisdom.

Fwiw, I am in a similar situation, having written (and I'm still working on it actually) a very long fantasy that I eventually came to accept would have to be split into volumes for publication. This is a one-story-arc-in-three-volumes kind of situation.

The first agent who read what I envisioned as being the first volume loved the writing but didn't get the story. He wanted it to be more complete in the first volume. And he wanted it to be a somewhat different story than the one I'd written.

The second agent I sent a full manuscript to read the whole thing (not just the first volume), although I still hadn't finished it (which he knew before he read it).

He offered representation based on a huge, incomplete manuscript.

And fwiw, Patrick Rothfuss did pretty much the same thing (wrote a long story that had to be broken up), although he's had to do substantial rewriting of the second and third volumes.

And Justin SR--there were many times when I despaired I'd ever get anyone to look at it because I knew what they'd say when they saw the word count. But I believed in it and so I kept plugging away at it, until one day the opportunity presented itself when not one but two agents agreed to read it despite its size.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, they read the manuscript based on client recommendation. I never queried them in the usual manner. So the recommendations got them to look at it. But the agent who took it on did so because he loved the story.

And that's really what it comes down to it. The writing and the story.

BethS
04-12-2012, 03:10 AM
He had one short story published five years earlier, as far as I know. I'm really not trying to argue. I'm kind of playing writer's advocate is all. While I completely understand and realize that many, many people need to seriously cut their books down (and I do understand this, on much more than an intellectual level, having beta read), I'm just saying it's not a rule. If every word of the story fits, like I think it does in both of Rothfuss' stories, then it only makes it better for every word that's in it.



As I understand it, from what Rothfuss has said on his blog, the original manuscript was very long and it was decided to divide it into volumes to publish. Because of changes he made to what became the first volume, he had to do substantial rewriting of what would become volumes two and three. But you're right--these don't follow the mold of your average series, with resolutions in each volume. The Kingkiller Chronicles is really one long, long story, divided up. The first two volumes end at turning points, but there are no resolutions.

This is not without precedent. The Lord of the Rings did it first.

BethS
04-12-2012, 03:14 AM
he won Writers of the Future contest for that one short story. That is a prestigious award that very, very likely helped him get his book deal.

It probably helped him get noticed in the slushpile when he queried his agent.

But what got him the book deal was the fact that editor fell in love with the manuscript. She said it was the best thing she'd read in 30 years. She would have felt that way whether he won an award or not.

KalenO
04-12-2012, 06:42 AM
It probably helped him get noticed in the slushpile when he queried his agent.

But what got him the book deal was the fact that editor fell in love with the manuscript. She said it was the best thing she'd read in 30 years. She would have felt that way whether he won an award or not.

Nobody's arguing that it was the actual manuscript that got him his book deal though, is the thing. All that people are arguing is that without winning his very prestigious writer award, that 250,000 manuscript would never have gotten a read from that editor in the first place, so she had a chance to fall in love with it.

Old Hack
04-12-2012, 10:07 AM
If every word of the story fits, like I think it does in both of Rothfuss' stories, then it only makes it better for every word that's in it.

If "every word of the story fits" and the writing is good and the story is good, I see no problem in submitting a huge book. There's a reasonable chance you'd find an agent who would fall in love with the book and offer representation. The problem is that very few books are good enough to carry such a length, and very few writers are good enough for them to be sure that "every word of the story fits".


I can appreciate your enthusiasm, but you should not go into the submission process thinking you are the exception to the rule. Guidelines are there for a reason, and while everyone can think of exceptions to the rules, realistically most of us (99.9%) fall within the guidelines. You're far more likely to be shooting yourself in both feet by believing your novel is the exception.

LittleMing speaks sense.


How can you ever hope to published if you don't think this?

You don't have to think you're an "exception to the rule" in order to get published. You have to write a really good book and submit it to the right places. That's all. Thousands of writers do it every year while still following agents' guidelines to the letter.


And I guess what I'm talking about is not whether a person will be given leeway to write what they want, but whether they should.

No one has to write what they don't want to write. No one.

Sure, if you want to be published then you'd be wise to keep the conventions in mind as you revise your work (and possibly as you write); you need to follow guidelines. But you can write whatever you want.

If you want to write books which don't correspond to the guidelines then you can expect to struggle to find representation and publication; you can resign yourself to remaining unpublished; or you can self-publish. But no one is forced to write what they don't want to write.

Krazykat
04-12-2012, 10:29 AM
First I just want to say that I really appreciate all the comments; itís so good to have this feedbackóand itís also rewarding when it starts a lively discussion.:D

Of course I know that if you split the book up, each part has to have a climax and some kind of resolution, and what I meant was that I did find places to break the novel where those elements were there, but of course they are still parts of one larger story . . . So I know itís kind of borderline, however, it still seems to me, as some folks pointed out, that there are a number of trilogies out thereónot just LOTRówhose parts really donít stand alone that well . . .

I find it amusing that itís very common here to see replies that essentially say, ďQuit yer fussiní and jusí go write the best darn book you can!!!Ē (Even if it doesnít address the question at hand, you canít argue with that!) And Iím quite aware that there are probably far too many people on AW agonizing over the whole business of publication and finding an agent when they havenít finished a single book yet (though I do sympathize with their impatience!) and Iím sure thereís innumerable queries being sent out for novels that are no more than rough drafts.

However, I can assure you that Iím not one of those folks, and I wouldnít be posting on a forum about querying agents if I didnít have a completed manuscript thatís ready for submission, and which Iím very confident is a darn good book. I want to laugh when someone starts launching into the classic spiel about editing (even if itís a really good spiel!) when the subject is this book. Donít get me wrong, Iím certainly not saying Ďthis doesnít apply to me!í. Iím just saying itís ironic because this particular novel has been through so many revisions and been edited so many times. (The dang thing is so polished you could use it for a mirror.) :(

And no, itís not my first novel. I was very fortunate to grow up in an environment where I was thoroughly immersed in good books and exposed to the craft of writing early on, and I think I learned a great deal by osmosis. I was eleven when I started what became my first novel. The earliest draft of this book was actually my third attempt at a novel, and since it has gone through a couple of huge transformations within those countless revisions, and I also started several other novels in between those revisions, the truth is itís probably not unrealistic to call it my fifth novel!!! (So even though I donít have any published novels, I canít honestly say Iím a greenhorn at novel writing.)

You could argue that one of the reasons I havenít sold a novel is that Iím such a perfectionist when it comes to revising; I have very high standards and I just keep tweaking things. So unlike most folks, I probably donít need to be told to edit moreóI need to be told to stop picking at the damn book and start submitting it! :deadhorse (Okay, maybe endless editing is not quite the same thing as 'beating a dead horse', but that one is just so funny!!!)

And Iím in no position to whine about not being published yet, because Iíve barely even tried so far . . . Iíve only done a few stints of querying half a dozen editors or agents, and that was mostly when I was in collegeówhich was a lot longer ago than I care to admit! (The manuscript I was querying then was in first person, and I got several replies saying they wouldnít consider a first person novel, because at that time it was frowned on in fictionóboy, that sure has changed!)

I have tons of other stuff in progress, and I may have two more books ready to query by the end of this year. (Both unrelated stand alone books.) In the meantime, since finding an agent is such a slow and tedious process, and I do have this beautiful polished manuscript sitting here, it seems to me it would be foolish to give up without even trying to query it on account of the length . . .

Heckówhatís the worst that can happen? I find out that nobody wants to look at it? (Itís a pretty sure thing that nobody will look at it if itís just sitting in the box!)

And since I am going to go ahead and query it (I've sent two out already), Iím certainly going to put my best effort into the process. So of course Iím just trying to figure out how to improve the odds of getting someone to look at it! (As Justin was saying, if a book's good enough you should be able to get around the length issueóbut of course, as several other people pointed out, that doesn't work if you can't get anyone to read it in order to find out how good it is . . .:e2cry:)

Thatís why Iíve come down to wondering whatís worse: a doorstopper, or the first part of a trilogy thatís a three-part book and not an episodic series? Whatís more likely to chase agents away?:scared:

KalenO
04-12-2012, 11:06 AM
Krazykat, the reason no one's given you a definitive answer to your question yet is because there isn't one. 'It depends on the book' is touted around so much because well, its the truth.

At the end of the day, nobody else here has read the book. No one else here knows it like you do. So only you can decide what's best for the book. If the book needs to be 250,000 words for the sake of the story, well then you're just going to have to query it as such and see what happens. If there is a way to break your one big story into three smaller, continguous stories, then do that - as long as you're confident that you're not sacrificing your story for the sake of a shorter word count to sneak your MS across an agent's desk.

Bottom line...if you can query your book as a single 78K manuscript on its OWN merits, then go ahead. If agents request the full and make it to the end of the manuscript and see a cliffhanger ending, but still go 'man, that story was a good read', its not going to be a problem. My CP was an unpublished author with no credits to her name when she queried her YA manuscript, and she ended it with a cliffhanger and the words 'End Book One.' She still got multiple offers and ended up with a major deal, because the book still worked on its own.

But there's no substitute for that. If an agent reads through your 78K manuscript and goes 'umm, scuse me, but that's it? Where's the rest?'....then yeah, you're out of luck. But nobody here can say why one cliffhanger works and another one doesn't. Why one book feels complete with one while the next feels like it was shortchanged. We don't know which yours will turn out to be - and there's no way for anyone to guess which view agents will take when they read your MS. So you just have to suck it up and decide one way or another, because there is no hedging your bets here. There's no safe option with ANY manuscript. There are only options.

Best of luck either way!

Old Hack
04-12-2012, 11:26 AM
Of course I know that if you split the book up, each part has to have a climax and some kind of resolution . . .

I wonder, then, why you asked your initial question?


I find it amusing that itís very common here to see replies that essentially say, ďQuit yer fussiní and jusí go write the best darn book you can!!!Ē (Even if it doesnít address the question at hand, you canít argue with that!)


When I suggested you wrote a new book, I was addressing the question in hand. I suggest you re-read my comment, and think more carefully when dismissing good advice in future.


I wouldnít be posting on a forum about querying agents if I didnít have a completed manuscript thatís ready for submission, and which Iím very confident is a darn good book. I want to laugh when someone starts launching into the classic spiel about editing (even if itís a really good spiel!) when the subject is this book.

If you want to laugh at the advice you've been given here, then I suggest you think carefully about your future participation at AW. It's not appropriate to ask questions and then laugh at the responses you are given, or to dismiss the help you've been given as "classic spiel", and it's not respectful towards your fellow writers, either.

Judging by your comments here, I'd bet good money that a decent edit would significantly cut the length of your manuscript.

If your manuscript is ready for submission and you're confident it's good enough, stop asking for advice you're going to misinterpret and laugh at and go and submit the thing. Let us know how you get on with that.


You could argue that one of the reasons I havenít sold a novel is that Iím such a perfectionist when it comes to revising; I have very high standards and I just keep tweaking things. So unlike most folks, I probably donít need to be told to edit moreóI need to be told to stop picking at the damn book and start submitting it!

Patronising.


... since finding an agent is such a slow and tedious process, and I do have this beautiful polished manuscript sitting here, it seems to me it would be foolish to give up without even trying to query it on account of the length . . .

Heckówhatís the worst that can happen? I find out that nobody wants to look at it? (Itís a pretty sure thing that nobody will look at it if itís just sitting in the box!)

The worst that can happen is that it'll be soundly rejected by everyone you send it to, and that most of them will not consider it again if you later rework it and want to send it out again. You will burn your boats. But if you'd rather do that than consider the good advice that you've been given here, then be my guest.


And since I am going to go ahead and query it (I've sent two out already), Iím certainly going to put my best effort into the process.

If you're already querying it, why on earth did you start this thread?


Thatís why Iíve come down to wondering whatís worse: a doorstopper, or the first part of a trilogy thatís a three-part book and not an episodic series? Whatís more likely to chase agents away?:scared:

You've not considered all the options there. Try this:


Whatís worse: a doorstopper, the first part of a trilogy thatís a three-part book and not an episodic series, or a monster of a book which is in need of much revision and has been written by someone who refuses to listen to good advice even when he asked for it if it goes against what he's already decided he's going to do?

Krazykat, you don't seem to realise how dismissive and disrespectful you're being towards the people who have offered you good advice in this thread. Nor do you realise that your comments here are twice as long as they need to be to convey your meaning, and that provides a good clue for the reason for the extreme length of your book.

If you want advice, then ask for it here. If you want people to pat you on the back and tell you you're brilliant, ask for it at home. But please: stop dismissing AW's members like this, and think carefully about the advice you've been given here.

Krazykat
04-12-2012, 12:06 PM
Once I started looking to cut things, I discovered that I was a ridiculous over-writer and that the problem was that I had an awful lot of extraneous words. The vast majority of those cut weren't entire scenes, but just realizing I could take the phrase, "He reached out with his left hand and grabbed the cord and pulled it from the wall" could be easily turned into "He unplugged the cord."

I got a kick out of this because I recently came up with something similar when I was talking to my brother about editing, except that my example was deliberately more extreme. The long version was: "When she went outside of the house, carefully closing the heavy front door behind her, she noticed that the air felt icy cold, probably because of the fact that the wind was very strong." And the revision is: "She went out. The wind was strong and it was icy cold." And of course, unless there is some significance about the way she 'carefully' closed the door, there is no additional information (or anything poetic or interesting!) in the first passage. I do sometimes find myself putting those meaningless filler words--i.e. 'because of the fact that'--in my freewriting, but I don't sweat about it because it's so absurdly easy and painless to fix (unlike a lot of other things)!

I also wanted to say that you had a lot of great points and really helpful advice in all of your posts here, even if much of it doesn't apply to my situation with this particular novel, since all of that work has already been done with it (and numerous times!).

The only thing you mentioned at one point that makes me uneasy is the idea of "too much description." I shudder when people say that, because I think that's a vague generalization that is potentially dangerous because too many aspiring writers take that kind of thing out of context and it contributes to the 'dumbing down' of style that is so frighteningly common these days. Because people are worried about using 'too much', they just avoid description altogether!

There is no such thing as "too much description" as long as it's well-written and you're not describing the wrong thing at the wrong time. The ability to seamlessly weave beautifully-crafted and vivid description into your prose is one of the hallmarks of a truly skilled writer.

My sister has an MPW from USC and she's always telling me how one of the instructors there would go on about writers who literally describe every single thing in a room, starting with the carpet and going right up to the ceiling . . . Obviously, that's absurd and meaningless! However, I'm afraid that simply saying that 'too much description' can make a book too long does not convey what that professor was talking about.

This subject also always reminds me of "Ill Met in Lankhmar". When I first read it (actually, I've only read it once--once was enough!) I was thinking, "Whoa! This thing really won both the Hugo and Nebula for best novella? It sounds like it was written by an eighteen-year old SCA nerd!!!" . . . And then I realized that the darn thing was such a classic that the reason why it sounded like an SCA nerd wrote it was undoubtedly because all the SCA nerds who try to write are copying Fritz Leiber . . . So maybe none of that stuff was as much of a cliche when he first wrote it!

But I digress . . . The point here is that one of the painfully dorky things Lieber does in that story is putting description in at the wrong time and place: rather than working the description in as he goes along, as each new character appears, he just stops and describes them from head to toe . . . Aaaaargh!!! (Of course, it's really quite funny!:ROFL:)

Krazykat
04-12-2012, 12:34 PM
Krazykat, you don't seem to realise how dismissive and disrespectful you're being towards the people who have offered you good advice in this thread. Nor do you realise that your comments here are twice as long as they need to be to convey your meaning, and that provides a good clue for the reason for the extreme length of your book.

If you want advice, then ask for it here. If you want people to pat you on the back and tell you you're brilliant, ask for it at home. But please: stop dismissing AW's members like this, and think carefully about the advice you've been given here.

WHOA! I am really sorry that I seem to have offended you, but to me this is completely out of the blue. You completely misunderstood me in a million different ways. I was not being dismissive or disrespectful of anyone, nor was I ignoring anyone's comments.

I honestly have absolutely no idea where you got this reaction from or why you interpreted what I said in such a way. Perhaps we have a very different sense of humor, and some of the stuff I meant ironically or playfully didn't come through that way for you.

All I can say is that I'm really, really sorry I upset you, and that just about everything you said here is a complete misinterpretation of what I was actually thinking.

I think AW is great and most of the folks who post on here are very helpful. My opening to that post was completely sincere.

Thanks again to everyone else for their suggestions, and when I get a chance I will respond to some of your specific comments.

quicklime
04-12-2012, 04:08 PM
How can you ever hope to published if you don't think this?


realistically.

Old Hack
04-12-2012, 04:15 PM
WHOA! I am really sorry that I seem to have offended you, but to me this is completely out of the blue. You completely misunderstood me in a million different ways. I was not being dismissive or disrespectful of anyone, nor was I ignoring anyone's comments.

I honestly have absolutely no idea where you got this reaction from or why you interpreted what I said in such a way.

Here's where I got it from:


I find it amusing that itís very common here to see replies that essentially say, ďQuit yer fussiní and jusí go write the best darn book you can!!!Ē (Even if it doesnít address the question at hand, you canít argue with that!)

...

I want to laugh when someone starts launching into the classic spiel about editing (even if itís a really good spiel!) when the subject is this book.

....

And since I am going to go ahead and query it (I've sent two out already)

You might not have meant those quotes to sound dismissive, and you might not have meant to imply that you're laughing at the advice that you've been given: but that's how they read to me.


Perhaps we have a very different sense of humor, and some of the stuff I meant ironically or playfully didn't come through that way for you.

This isn't about a sense of humour, it's about being respectful towards AW's other members. Please remember that in future, and take greater care to ensure that your intentions are clear.


All I can say is that I'm really, really sorry I upset you, and that just about everything you said here is a complete misinterpretation of what I was actually thinking.

I think AW is great and most of the folks who post on here are very helpful. My opening to that post was completely sincere.

Thanks again to everyone else for their suggestions, and when I get a chance I will respond to some of your specific comments.

Thank you.

BethS
04-12-2012, 05:42 PM
All that people are arguing is that without winning his very prestigious writer award, that 250,000 manuscript would never have gotten a read from that editor in the first place, so she had a chance to fall in love with it.

There's no evidence of that, and it isn't the way things usually work. IF a query arrives in the slushpile and mentions the writer having won a prestigious award, then an editor might request to see the manuscript, but only if she liked the story premise as well.

In this case, the manuscript got a read from the editor because Rothfuss's agent put it on her desk and said, in effect, "Read this, it's good." The award had nothing to do with that. She would have read it anyway. She may not have even known about the award before she read it.

BethS
04-12-2012, 05:53 PM
WHOA! I am really sorry that I seem to have offended you, but to me this is completely out of the blue. You completely misunderstood me in a million different ways. I was not being dismissive or disrespectful of anyone, nor was I ignoring anyone's comments.

I honestly have absolutely no idea where you got this reaction from or why you interpreted what I said in such a way. Perhaps we have a very different sense of humor, and some of the stuff I meant ironically or playfully didn't come through that way for you.



Fwiw, I got the humor and didn't think you were laughing at anyone's advice.

RKLipman
04-12-2012, 06:30 PM
There's no evidence of that, and it isn't the way things usually work. IF a query arrives in the slushpile and mentions the writer having won a prestigious award, then an editor might request to see the manuscript, but only if she liked the story premise as well.

In this case, the manuscript got a read from the editor because Rothfuss's agent put it on her desk and said, in effect, "Read this, it's good." The award had nothing to do with that. She would have read it anyway. She may not have even known about the award before she read it.

No, sorry.

Most people in the current marketplace would see it's a whopper from a new author and pass.

I agree that there are exceptions to every rule. I also think the single most important thing to keep in mind while pursuing publication is that You Are Not The Exception.

Terie
04-12-2012, 07:02 PM
I agree that there are exceptions to every rule. I also think the single most important thing to keep in mind while pursuing publication is that You Are Not The Exception.

This. Especially the second sentence.

I also noticed, as has been remarked upstream, that you (Krazykat) use far more words than necessary to convey what you're trying to say. If your novel is like this, you won't likely find anyone to take it on even if you do manage to get requests for partials or fulls despite the huge word count.

Here's the thing: publishing is a business. Books over around 120K words have to be bound with more expensive types of binding. I'm not just talking about something as simple as more paper and ink; I'm talking about the means by which the pages are actually bound together. Therefore, publishers are much less likely to be interested in a debut book that's going to cost them substantially more to produce than another equally good but shorter book would. They take chances only when they believe a work is hugely exceptional.

Here's a suggestion, Krazykat: Go count up the number of SF (not fantasy) debut novels you can find the size of yours. Not very many, are there? The authors writing doorstop SF almost always started with books within the usual word counts.

Fantasy is probably the genre with the highest number of exceptions, but you've already said your book is SF, not fantasy. Therefore, talking about books such as The Name of the Wind, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and so on is fairly irrelevant to the case at hand.

BethS
04-12-2012, 07:04 PM
No, sorry.

Most people in the current marketplace would see it's a whopper from a new author and pass.



They would and they did. But here's how it played out.

After years of rejection, revision, and more rejection, he entered the contest and won the award. He attended the workshop associated with the award. He met Kevin Anderson, who introduced Rothfuss to his agent.

The agent loved the story, and submitted the manuscript (all 500K of it) to Betsy Wollheim at DAW.

The award led to him getting published because it was the first step along the road. It's what broke him out of the pack and helped him meet the person who helped him meet his future agent.

So while his editor might not have gotten the opportunity to read his manuscript if he hadn't won the award, the award itself was not the reason she agreed to buy it. Rather, she offered a contract because it was "the most brilliant first fantasy novel I have read in over 30 years as an editor."


I also think the single most important thing to keep in mind while pursuing publication is that You Are Not The Exception.

Unless you are. But the proof of that is in the pudding, as they say. You can't always know until you prove everyone wrong.

Emily Winslow
04-12-2012, 07:30 PM
How can you ever hope to published if you don't think this?

I took this comment to mean that most submissions are rejected, so anyone who gets an agent/publishing deal IS the exception.

In the context of the wider conversation in this thread, "exception" is being used as short for "exception to the stated guidelines" and in that context I agree that one should usually aim to fit in as best one can.

But I think Justin's comment was a light aside about the writing life--we're all aiming to be the exception to the slushpile and get the deal.

I don't think he meant that all writers do or should ignore submission guidelines.

RKLipman
04-12-2012, 07:31 PM
They would and they did. But here's how it played out.

After years of rejection, revision, and more rejection, he entered the contest and won the award. He attended the workshop associated with the award. He met Kevin Anderson, who introduced Rothfuss to his agent.

The agent loved the story, and submitted the manuscript (all 500K of it) to Betsy Wollheim at DAW.

The award led to him getting published because it was the first step along the road. It's what broke him out of the pack and helped him meet the person who helped him meet his future agent.

So while his editor might not have gotten the opportunity to read his manuscript if he hadn't won the award, the award itself was not the reason she agreed to buy it. Rather, she offered a contract because it was "the most brilliant first fantasy novel I have read in over 30 years as an editor."


I think we're saying the same thing, for the most part.

In my opinion (and experience), getting someone to read your shizz is the hardest part of this whole process - but once you get past that hurdle, things get much easier.

But there's no getting past it unless folks read your stuff, which would almost certainly not have happened here without the award.

kaitie
04-12-2012, 08:58 PM
I think the most telling part of that story is that he didn't get an agent through querying the normal way, but by being introduced to his agent by someone else.

Beth, what we've been trying to say is that the chances are exceedingly slim that a person with a 250k word novel will get picked out of a slush pile. That doesn't mean it can't be queried, just that if it is queried, expectations shouldn't be, "I'm sure I'm that one in a million who can do this," but "I'm almost certainly going to be form-rejected by everyone and if I can get a request or two I'm on the right track."

Or, things can be done to improve those odds. I also would like to say that a doorstopper is going to need an amazing query that doesn't have a single extra word in it. That's advice, btw. If you overwrite the query at all, they're going to assume the word count is because it's overwritten, fair or not. A super concise, tight query letter will at least hopefully get them to look at some pages (but those pages had better be similarly tight and concise, for obvious reasons).

Little Ming
04-12-2012, 09:09 PM
They would and they did. But here's how it played out.

After years of rejection, revision, and more rejection, he entered the contest and won the award. He attended the workshop associated with the award. He met Kevin Anderson, who introduced Rothfuss to his agent.

The agent loved the story, and submitted the manuscript (all 500K of it) to Betsy Wollheim at DAW.

The award led to him getting published because it was the first step along the road. It's what broke him out of the pack and helped him meet the person who helped him meet his future agent.

So while his editor might not have gotten the opportunity to read his manuscript if he hadn't won the award, the award itself was not the reason she agreed to buy it. Rather, she offered a contract because it was "the most brilliant first fantasy novel I have read in over 30 years as an editor."



Unless you are. But the proof of that is in the pudding, as they say. You can't always know until you prove everyone wrong.


I think we're saying the same thing, for the most part.

In my opinion (and experience), getting someone to read your shizz is the hardest part of this whole process - but once you get past that hurdle, things get much easier.

But there's no getting past it unless folks read your stuff, which would almost certainly not have happened here without the award.


I think the most telling part of that story is that he didn't get an agent through querying the normal way, but by being introduced to his agent by someone else.

Beth, what we've been trying to say is that the chances are exceedingly slim that a person with a 250k word novel will get picked out of a slush pile. That doesn't mean it can't be queried, just that if it is queried, expectations shouldn't be, "I'm sure I'm that one in a million who can do this," but "I'm almost certainly going to be form-rejected by everyone and if I can get a request or two I'm on the right track."

Or, things can be done to improve those odds. I also would like to say that a doorstopper is going to need an amazing query that doesn't have a single extra word in it. That's advice, btw. If you overwrite the query at all, they're going to assume the word count is because it's overwritten, fair or not. A super concise, tight query letter will at least hopefully get them to look at some pages (but those pages had better be similarly tight and concise, for obvious reasons).

I apologize if I was unclear before (happens when I'm sleepy :tongue).

I didn't mean to say that Rothfuss was published solely because he had an award, but that the award probably got him some leeway when it came to the submission guidelines (and I think BethS proved that point). If a complete unknown had submitted a 250k (or 500k) MS to an agent, s/he is far more likely to get an instant rejection, as opposed to someone who can say "BTW, this novel is based on my short story XYZ which won the Prestigious Award."

Of course, the novel had to be good too to get published. But the Prestigious Award probably helped him get his foot in the door. ;)

I was also trying to point out that other writers (especially unknown/unpublished writers) should not be expecting the same "exception to the rule" treatment.

Krazykat
04-12-2012, 10:58 PM
Fwiw, I got the humor and didn't think you were laughing at anyone's advice.

Thanks, Beth! That makes me feel a lot better.

(And just in case anyone else misunderstood, when I said 'amusing' I meant in the sense of 'it's funny because it's so true.')

Though I've done a fair amount of research here and I think it's a terrific resource, I haven't posted here a lot because when I do have a question I always try to find previous posts that might have already answered it. While reading these, I've seen a lot of instances where the OP says they're working on a book and they have a question about genre classification or something relating to agents or publishing. Invariably a lot of people will jump in, (usually in a nice way, but not always!), and say that there's no sense in worrying about those things until the book is finished and the writer has done everything they can to make it the best they can make it. This is often followed by detailing ways to get beta readers, do workshops, advice about editing cold, revising as thoroughly as possible, etc., etc.. And they often end by reiterating that after all that, and only after all that, is it time to think about querying.

This stuff does get repeated over and over again, but it needs to be, doesn't it? This is the process; there's no other way to get it done. And it's great that we have people here, like Kaitie--who would probably be quite adept at teaching writer's workshops--who do a really good job of explaining all this.

But I'm still a bit shaken and feeling like I got in trouble for trying to follow these instructions to a T, as if it turns out I really wasn't supposed to . . . What I mean is, I did all my homework and didn't show up here asking about querying agents until I had completed the preceding stages of the process. I didn't ignore anyone's advice, (and I certainly didn't mean to sound as if I was bragging about this infuriating book!), I was just explaining that I had been exposed to the same really good advice previously and had consquently already gone through the process of applying it to this manuscript.

Also, it was my understanding that this part of the forum is not for seeking advice about writing itself, but for asking advice on publishing and dealing with agents--i.e. business and marketing, which is an entirely different set of skills from writing fiction. Technically, I've never sought advice on writing here, though I understand that when the topic ends up turning to writing issues it's only because people are really trying to help, so they're pulling out everything they think might be helpful with regards to the topic, which is all good. (And I know that most people honestly don't intend to be mean or snarky when they suggest that a book may be overly long because it's overwritten and really needs to be cut. Heck, we've all seen published books that would have been better with more editing!)

In the future, however, I think I will leave details about my own work out of this as much as possible. (Perhaps I should have just asked, "When it comes to querying agents, do you guys think the stigma against over-the-limit word counts is greater than the stigma of a LOTR style trilogy?" and left it at that.)

With regards to the discussion about Rothfuss, I think Kaitie is spot on with this:


Beth, what we've been trying to say is that the chances are exceedingly slim that a person with a 250k word novel will get picked out of a slush pile. That doesn't mean it can't be queried, just that if it is queried, expectations shouldn't be, "I'm sure I'm that one in a million who can do this," but "I'm almost certainly going to be form-rejected by everyone and if I can get a request or two I'm on the right track."

Or, things can be done to improve those odds. I also would like to say that a doorstopper is going to need an amazing query that doesn't have a single extra word in it. That's advice, btw. If you overwrite the query at all, they're going to assume the word count is because it's overwritten, fair or not. A super concise, tight query letter will at least hopefully get them to look at some pages (but those pages had better be similarly tight and concise, for obvious reasons).

This is really what this is all about anyway, and the point about how good the dang query needs to be is excellent, of course. In any case, there's no question that the word count is a problem--that's what started the whole issue. This is about brainstorming to think of ways to improve those odds. (That's why I was toying with the trilogy concept--but as the conclusion seems to be that that won't help either, we'll probably just chuck that idea.)

Any opinions on the riskiness of 'accidentally on purpose' leaving the word count out of the query letter? (I think I can hear some people cringing at that . . .)

Toothpaste
04-13-2012, 12:18 AM
You leave it out, agents will think you're leaving it out for a reason, further they will think you are trying to pull one on them. Or they will think you haven't done enough research into how to write a good query. Either way, not a good idea.

BethS
04-13-2012, 01:11 AM
I think the most telling part of that story is that he didn't get an agent through querying the normal way, but by being introduced to his agent by someone else.

Beth, what we've been trying to say is that the chances are exceedingly slim that a person with a 250k word novel will get picked out of a slush pile.

Undeniably true, particularly in today's tight-fisted, risk-averse publishing climate. So if such a writer doesn't have the opportunity of an introduction to an agent through client recommendation (which, I will admit, is how I got my agent), their best bet is to write, as you said, a dynamite story, followed by a dynamite query.

BethS
04-13-2012, 01:26 AM
Any opinions on the riskiness of 'accidentally on purpose' leaving the word count out of the query letter? (I think I can hear some people cringing at that . . .)

Well....

A friend of mine, who is also a best-selling novelist, used to advise leaving it out, figuring that the longer you can keep the Awful Truth to yourself, the better your chances of getting a read before it all slips out. And she would know, since she writes enormous doorstoppers.

However, much about her career path has been unconventional, so it doesn't surprise me she would say this. It's the kind of thing you might or might not get away with.

I think your best best is to query for the first volume and include the word count for that. If you get a request for a full and/or they want a synopsis, you will probably have to reveal at that point that the first volume is part of a longer story arc.

Krazykat
04-13-2012, 08:04 AM
Thanks again, Beth. (Just curious--would you mind revealing who your friend is? Sounds like an interesting writer.)

Okay, just one more idea to throw into the fray. (Yes--still brainstorming about ways to increase those odds for getting a manuscript looked at.)

What if a query said:
"The completed manuscript is 250,000 words. If divided into three parts, the first book is 80,000 words; I am querying the entire manuscript since it has a continuous story arc."

Helpful or harmful? (At least it's very honest--it's certainly the whole truth and nothing but the truth.)

KalenO
04-13-2012, 08:49 AM
Thanks again, Beth. (Just curious--would you mind revealing who your friend is? Sounds like an interesting writer.)

Okay, just one more idea to throw into the fray. (Yes--still brainstorming about ways to increase those odds for getting a manuscript looked at.)

What if a query said:
"The completed manuscript is 250,000 words. If divided into three parts, the first book is 80,000 words; I am querying the entire manuscript since it has a continuous story arc."

Helpful or harmful? (At least it's very honest--it's certainly the whole truth and nothing but the truth.)

I definitely would advise against that. I think its most likely to make you look unprofessional, like you can't make up your own mind or stick to your guns.

Which no offense, but is exactly what you're doing. You can't 'increase your odds' because querying isn't a game of chance, no matter how much importance we place on statistics.

You can't please everyone. Trying to please everyone will just dilute your story and thus your 'chances'. Decide for yourself what's right for your story and stick to it. If you're not getting the results you want, stop querying, reevaluate, and try a different tack.

Honestly, wordcount aside, your concerns here are really no different from any other writer embarking on the querying process. For instance, I write a lot, and quickly. I have a number of manuscripts that I could query....and that can be paralyzing. Because its VERY easy to get caught up in trying to predict which MS is the best, or the 'biggest book'. The most commercial. Countless hours can easily be wasted analyzing trends or recent deals, trying to figure out which one might get me the most agent offers, or the biggest book deal, or sell film rights. And the more I obsess over which MS to query, the more I put off querying, the more pointless it all becomes because no deal is still worse than a deal on the 'worst' of my manuscripts.

At some point, every writer needs to just stop worrying, stop second guessing, stop trying to predict the future, stop trying to cover every angle and every base....and just hit send.

Old Hack
04-13-2012, 09:30 AM
Okay, just one more idea to throw into the fray. (Yes--still brainstorming about ways to increase those odds for getting a manuscript looked at.)

What if a query said:
"The completed manuscript is 250,000 words. If divided into three parts, the first book is 80,000 words; I am querying the entire manuscript since it has a continuous story arc."

Helpful or harmful? (At least it's very honest--it's certainly the whole truth and nothing but the truth.)

Every query will get looked at. If a query is good enough, and the book it describes fits with what the receiving agent is interested in and has room for, then that will result in a request for a partial or a full.

Your problem is that your book is far too long for most agents to consider. No matter how hard you try to think up work-arounds for this, it's still a significant problem for you if you want to get it published.

If you want to increase the odds of getting partial or full requests, then your best bet is to substantially reduce the length of your book. Splitting it up into three separate books isn't likely to work unless each book can work alone; being secretive about the word-count isn't going to help; and nor is slipping carefully-worded sentences into your query. The book is far too long. Period.

If you don't want to change it, and you're convinced that your writing is good enough, then I still think your best bet is to write another book; establish yourself as a successful, popular author; and then try to publish this one. A giant of a book is received much more positively when it comes from an established author than from a debut author.

However, you've made it clear that not only do you want to venture out into the world with this book, as soon as possible, you are in fact already querying it. Bearing that in mind, I'm not entirely sure why we're even having this conversation. I don't see why you're asking for our advice about what to do with this book when you're already in the querying process.

Having read several of your comments here I think it's highlyg likely that you overwrite, and badly. When you reach your required 50 posts, why don't you post a section of your writing in SYW? You'd receive good advice if the good people there think it needs further revision, and if they don't then you'll know you're good to go.


the more I obsess over which MS to query, the more I put off querying, the more pointless it all becomes because no deal is still worse than a deal on the 'worst' of my manuscripts.

KalenO, which of your manuscripts are you the most passionate about? If you're only going to query one of them, that's the one to query. But there's no law to say you can't put more than one out on query at once, so long as you don't query the same agency with more than one book at one time. Get your queries out there. You know you want to.

Quickbread
04-13-2012, 10:47 AM
What if a query said:
"The completed manuscript is 250,000 words. If divided into three parts, the first book is 80,000 words; I am querying the entire manuscript since it has a continuous story arc."

I've gotta agree that this would make you come off looking unprofessional, as if you don't understand the difference between a series and a novel. It's simply not possible to break up one arc into thirds and sell the chunks as novels. They have to each feel complete on their own. That said, you could chunk the novel into threes and then rewrite each third, creating an arc for each one so that they do indeed stand alone, while also standing as a bigger arc together. But each one needs to be a story with a beginning, middle and end.

Think of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, which was originally one long movie. The movie studio, however, wanted to double the profits, so they chopped it in half and released them separately. Nevertheless, each one is half of the same plot arc, and it's weird to watch them separately because of that. It's only forgivable because it's Tarantino. In books, splitting a text would probably only fly for JK Rowling. And only if there was some exceptionally creative and clever reason for her doing so.

BethS
04-13-2012, 04:57 PM
What if a query said:
"The completed manuscript is 250,000 words. If divided into three parts, the first book is 80,000 words; I am querying the entire manuscript since it has a continuous story arc."

Helpful or harmful? (At least it's very honest--it's certainly the whole truth and nothing but the truth.)

Yes, it's the truth but there's such a thing as too much truth too soon. :) Some (perhaps many) agents will turn that into an automatic reject.

Find a way to get them hooked on the story first.

BethS
04-13-2012, 05:07 PM
It's simply not possible to break up one arc into thirds and sell the chunks as novels. They have to each feel complete on their own.

Well, no they don't, actually. The Lord of the Rings is an example of one story told in three volumes.

See also, Mordant's Need by Stephen R. Donaldson, a single story told in two volumes. The first one ends on a cliff-hanger.

And there are others. A recent example is The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind, etc.) There are no resolutions in the first two volumes. They each end at a turning point.

And for that matter, look at George R.R. Martin's humongous series of humongous books, A Song of Ice and Fire. That's one very long story, divided into volumes, none of which feels complete on its own.



That said, you could chunk the novel into threes and then rewrite each third, creating an arc for each one so that they do indeed stand alone, while also standing as a bigger arc together. But each one needs to be a story with a beginning, middle and end.


Depending on the story, that may or may not be possible. You could not have done that with any of the stories I listed above.

Some stories just need a lot of room to tell.

quicklime
04-13-2012, 05:41 PM
Unless you are. But the proof of that is in the pudding, as they say. You can't always know until you prove everyone wrong.


Thing is, there are millions out there, certain they are that exception. Some of them believe they are the one guy who can't sing all that great, but who can knock it out of the park in their American Idol audition if they just show up dressed as a bumblebee. Some of them believe they can write as long as they like, they're so fucking awesome it won't matter.

The example you cited won awards, THEN got a publisher. Considering the OP's seeming wordiness and lack of shiny awards to get his foot in the door, the comparison is a little like saying since you like chicken noodle soup, there's no real reason to suspect you won't like lobster bisque--the two are different enough that one hardly lends credence to the other....

quicklime
04-13-2012, 05:48 PM
Well, no they don't, actually. The Lord of the Rings is an example of one story told in three volumes.

See also, Mordant's Need by Stephen R. Donaldson, a single story told in two volumes. The first one ends on a cliff-hanger.

And there are others. A recent example is The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind, etc.) There are no resolutions in the first two volumes. They each end at a turning point.

And for that matter, look at George R.R. Martin's humongous series of humongous books, A Song of Ice and Fire. That's one very long story, divided into volumes, none of which feels complete on its own.



Depending on the story, that may or may not be possible. You could not have done that with any of the stories I listed above.

Some stories just need a lot of room to tell.


I believe at least two of your other examples were not debuts, and LOTR was a single book, split by publishers due to length rather than the author, and this was over half a century ago.

You're a great sport at being the one to try cheering folks up, which is a good thing, but I'm not sure how much relevance these things have to a debut author being able to do as he likes.

Jamiekswriter
04-13-2012, 06:30 PM
The big question now is: which is the lesser of two evils? Is it worse to say, ďHereís my 265,000 word novel,Ē or, ďHereís my 78,000 novel thatís the first part of a trilogy (and the sort thatís clearly part of a longer work, because you can tell thereís a lot more to come . . .)Ē???

IMHO, it's bad to say both. The 265K novel part is going to scare off some agents. However, if you pick the ones that want the query and the first chapter or the first five pages, you have the chance to win them over in pages. If you don't want to split up your novel -- do it this way. That way if you get rejected, you know its because the chapter/pages didn't hook the agent and not the size of the MS.

You probably have a better chance of getting a full request, if you *can* break the book in three. I think the given the thought of reading an 80 word novel or a 265 word novel, given the time constraints on agents, the odds are you'll get a better response rate with the 80K.

Saying it's the first part of a trilogy is tricky because it sounds like it will be an unfinished read. However, as long as you have a stand alone book in the 80K section you send to the agent, this might be the way to go.

I speak from experience -- sort of.

My vampire book is book one of a trilogy. I didn't mention series potential until I got the offer from my agent. I ended the book on a cliff hanger. One problem got solved, but we never find out who murdered the Deathlord. My reasoning was the reader would want to read the next book to find out.

My agent had me do a rewrite that solved the murder in the first book (book arc) and made me play up the series arc a little more. So you could read the book as a stand alone but when you read the second book you had "insider knowledge" of what was going on. Also the other two books in the series had to be stand alone with their own book arc, with the series arc being solved in the third book. She said this gives me a better chance of publishing the first book.

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck with it :D

BethS
04-13-2012, 06:40 PM
Considering the OP's seeming wordiness and lack of shiny awards to get his foot in the door, the comparison is a little like saying since you like chicken noodle soup, there's no real reason to suspect you won't like lobster bisque--the two are different enough that one hardly lends credence to the other....

I'm not getting what that analogy has to do with OP's situation, but maybe I'm just dense.

As I said above, the one who will prove to be the exception generally doesn't find that out until they're well on their way into the Land of Exceptional Exceptions. But by that same token, no one else can predict before the fact whether any given writer will prove to be an exception.

It takes a heaping helping of self-belief to remain true to your vision in the face of everyone telling you it's not going to happen unless you win an award and maybe not even then. But from the outside, the line between self-belief and self-delusion may appear thin to non-existent, and so when someone comes along asking for directions to the L of EE, everyone tends to assume they're deluded.

But for all we know, we may be talking to next great Exception.

Without having seen someone's work, it seems, at the very least, premature to make judgments about it, certainly not based on the style of their casual posts, which may or may not bear any resemblance to the style of their fictional work.

Terie
04-13-2012, 06:46 PM
Can I just point out that my YA fantasy series is pretty much one story in four volumes...and I've neither won any awards nor had any books published before this series.

The first book's story could stand alone, but there were plenty of unresolved threads.

The second book can sorta-kinda stand alone.

Book three ends on a cliff-hanger; therefore books three and four can't really stand alone, although it's conceivable they could stand as a pair.

This kind of thing is fairly common in the SF and F genres.

The key is that the first book needs to be able to stand alone. Once a publisher wants that, the rest of the series can be designed any way the author and editor decide to go.

FWIW, I pitched my series as a four-volume series from the outset because it was all one story arc. The synopsis that I sent in the submission packages was for the series, not just the first book. The publisher that picked it up contracted only book one at first, then once that was sorted, the editor asked to see book two and promptly offered a contract for the rest of the series.

quicklime
04-13-2012, 06:47 PM
so you're essentially encouraging them based on "lottery odds"?


you're right, I do suspect people are generally deluded, by simple statistics. On top of that, there is a serious "Pete and Repeat" pattern here that leaves me extra dubious about the editing.

As for the rest, the point was you were comparing apples to oranges. LOTR from a well-respected writer and what, close to 70 years ago, is not the same as debut unknown, in 2012. Any series from a guy who won an award or had four books under their belt by the time they pitched their series, also not the same as a debut unknown.

quicklime
04-13-2012, 06:50 PM
The key is that the first book needs to be able to stand alone. Once a publisher wants that, the rest of the series can be designed any way the author and editor decide to go.




If you want to try this approach, krazy, this is probably the single most important part. This way the publishers can minimize their risk, while still offering a solid product.


and if I didn't say already, fudging your count, well, are you hoping to pitch to the agent who is startingh his very first day on the job? Because any others have seen that trick, dozens of times.

Toothpaste
04-13-2012, 06:55 PM
BethS - No one is saying KrazyKat is deluded. No one is putting him/her down. Everyone is pointing out the challenges he/she faces, and KrazyKat is free to ignore or not.

But yes, his/her posting actually DOES matter. Because I have noticed that he/she uses a lot of words to say not that much. There are some posters here who write long posts, but I read every single word anyway because every single word matters. But I have skimmed KrazyKat's posts on this thread.

(And I speak ss an overwriter myself. I have noticed how I tend to write more than is always necessary, compared with some of my fellow AWers.)

In any event, it is not remotely unusual for a new author to think he/she is the exception to the rule, hence the desire to explain to said author that nine times out of ten, one isn't. KrazyKat is allowed to make whatever decisions he/she wants, and you are free to offer support in the face of the pragmatism of the rest of the posters here. Personally, I think facts are more important than boosting self confidence at this stage (not that anyone has been negative or tearing down KrazyKat in the first place - advice and sharing the reality of the industry isn't being mean, it's actually trying to be helpful).

BethS
04-13-2012, 06:55 PM
LOTR was a single book, split by publishers due to length rather than the author

Yes, and that was my point. It was a single book, split up because they thought it was too long to publish as one volume. So was Mordant's Need and The Kingkiller Chronicles. So was Connie Willis's award-winning Blackout and All Clear. None of those had complete arcs in the first volume(s).

They weren't all debuts, no, but the point of contention was whether each volume in a trilogy or any multiple-book series has to have a real ending and feel complete. And the answer is no.


I'm not sure how much relevance these things have to a debut author being able to do as he likes.

Who said a debut author could "do as he likes"? That isn't exactly what's under discussion here, I don't think.

The relevance is that there is precedent for long books being split into volumes for ease of publishing. The would-be author does not necessarily have to conform to the industry standard, not if what he or she has written is exceptional enough to become an exception.

And this is a topic near and dear to my heart, seeing as how I'm one of those who has written something longer than most publishers would want to issue in a single volume.

quicklime
04-13-2012, 07:09 PM
Yes, and that was my point. It was a single book, split up because they thought it was too long to publish as one volume. So was Mordant's Need and The Kingkiller Chronicles. So was Connie Willis's award-winning Blackout and All Clear. None of those had complete arcs in the first volume(s).

They weren't all debuts, no, but the point of contention was whether each volume in a trilogy or any multiple-book series has to have a real ending and feel complete. And the answer is no.

except you are picking outliers while completely ignoring mitigating factors the OP does NOT have to offer. So the fact they did it with LOTR ages ago, and the fact the other guys were established writers or had awards, it DOES matter. The point of contention was if the OP's book was likely too large to run with. Since the OP is a debut author, NOT publishing in the 1940s, NOT bringing awards to the table, these things matter....



Who said a debut author could "do as he likes"? That isn't exactly what's under discussion here, I don't think.

here was the original question: The big question now is: which is the lesser of two evils? Is it worse to say, “Here’s my 265,000 word novel,” or, “Here’s my 78,000 novel that’s the first part of a trilogy (and the sort that’s clearly part of a longer work, because you can tell there’s a lot more to come . . .)”??? No, not exactly "can I do as I like" but this has become a discussion of if he or she can pitch while hiding wordcount, split the book, edit, etc.--the discussion has become pretty broad. You suggested there was precedent, he could split it, and I pointed out you are comparing very different books and people, so that is a pretty big stretch.

The relevance is that there is precedent for long books being split into volumes for ease of publishing. The would-be author does not necessarily have to conform to the industry standard, not if what he or she has written is exceptional enough to become an exception. again, though, the industry is doing that EXTREMELY rarely......even less so if you try to find examples that aren't folks with a track record, or an award, or some other factor that helped them...

And this is a topic near and dear to my heart, seeing as how I'm one of those who has written something longer than most publishers would want to issue in a single volume. I can see that...which is why you're trying to hand-wave. yes, it can happen, but I doubt you are serving yourself or the op well if you're basing your entire argument on people who have succeeded without really looking at WHY they got to be the exception, because it wasn't just "they wrote the best book possible". There were other factors at play, that you seem insistent on ignoring.




I guess, at the end of the day, different people have different motivators. I'm an information guy. I may still say "what the hell, I'm gonna swing for the fences anyway," but I really, really want to know what's out there, and analyze it.

When you can only toss out examples from two decades before I was even born, or from folks who won highly prestigious awards, or from folks who did it after they have a fanbase, I see that as a serious analytical flaw for building an argument that you, minus any of these caveats, can clearly do the same.....

quicklime
04-13-2012, 07:10 PM
In any event, it is not remotely unusual for a new author to think he/she is the exception to the rule, hence the desire to explain to said author that nine times out of ten, one isn't. KrazyKat is allowed to make whatever decisions he/she wants, and you are free to offer support in the face of the pragmatism of the rest of the posters here. Personally, I think facts are more important than boosting self confidence at this stage (not that anyone has been negative or tearing down KrazyKat in the first place - advice and sharing the reality of the industry isn't being mean, it's actually trying to be helpful).


I think, regarding the part in bold, that you are an optimist, by several orders of magnitude.

BethS
04-13-2012, 07:12 PM
so you're essentially encouraging them based on "lottery odds"?

No, not at all.

I think that if a would-be author can write something wonderful that also conforms to industry standards for length and whatever else, then they are far, far better off doing that than trying to challenge the norm.

Sometimes, though, you end up with something that doesn't slot neatly into place, and can't be forced to fit. And that's where it gets difficult. If it's very, very good, then chances are greatly increased that an exception will be made. If it's not...well, you'll find that out, too.

I think this all started when someone claimed that Rothfuss's editor would never have offered him a contract if he hadn't won the award. And in one sense, that's true, because it was the award that got him his first break. But by the time his manuscript landed on the editor's desk, the award was history and it was the story and the writing that convinced her.

But awards are not the only way. You can simply shoot out queries and send out your manuscript and hope someone discovers it in the slushpile.

Which is exactly what happened to Terry Goodkind, whose manuscript was considered too long even then, but his agent got him a great deal and he debuted in hard cover, something unheard of for a new fantasy author at that time.

Quickbread
04-13-2012, 07:13 PM
Depending on the story, that may or may not be possible. You could not have done that with any of the stories I listed above.

Some stories just need a lot of room to tell.

Good points, all.

Krazykat
04-13-2012, 09:52 PM
Thanks, everyone. There's some enlightening info in these new posts. Such as this:


Can I just point out that my YA fantasy series is pretty much one story in four volumes...and I've neither won any awards nor had any books published before this series.

The first book's story could stand alone, but there were plenty of unresolved threads.

The second book can sorta-kinda stand alone.

Book three ends on a cliff-hanger; therefore books three and four can't really stand alone, although it's conceivable they could stand as a pair.

This kind of thing is fairly common in the SF and F genres.

The key is that the first book needs to be able to stand alone. Once a publisher wants that, the rest of the series can be designed any way the author and editor decide to go.

FWIW, I pitched my series as a four-volume series from the outset because it was all one story arc. The synopsis that I sent in the submission packages was for the series, not just the first book. The publisher that picked it up contracted only book one at first, then once that was sorted, the editor asked to see book two and promptly offered a contract for the rest of the series.

Terie, do you remember exactly how you queried this?

As is probably the case most of the time, if I split this book in three parts, the first part certainly comes the closest to being able to stand alone. It's a very significant turning point, where there is a kind of closure. (Though I would think that anyone who got caught up in the story would be dying to know what becomes of the protagonist afterwards--but that should be a good thing, right?)

Hey, I know this isn't really the place to ask this, but how does one put multiple quotes in one reply?

(And BTW, I probably shouldn't even touch this subject, but who the heck revises their posts here even a tiny fraction of the amount they would revise and edit a story before they let someone else read it? Gosh, wish I had that kind of time!)

quicklime
04-13-2012, 10:08 PM
some people consider their posts here their "storefront" and a reflection of their writing, so they edit a lot. Some just remember something they'd like to add. Some catch a typo they find particularly awkward; I just saw one this morning where someone put "pubic" instead of "public", for example.

as for the multiquote, just clicking the multiquote button on all but the one you actually reply to has worked for me, then hitting quote for the final one. The multiquote button turns yellow, if i recall correctly, to indicate the post was selected.

Toothpaste
04-13-2012, 10:21 PM
(And BTW, I probably shouldn't even touch this subject, but who the heck revises their posts here even a tiny fraction of the amount they would revise and edit a story before they let someone else read it? Gosh, wish I had that kind of time!)

We don't have evidence that your extremely long book is taughtly written. What we do have evidence of is that you write very long posts that aren't. I used myself as an example, I write long books, and heck, I tend to (not always) write long posts. There is a precedent that posts in a forum reflect the writing in the author's work.

There isn't necessarily a correlation, but it's not so far fetched to think there might be is there?

I understand why you might be a little sarcastic: "Gosh, wish I had that kind of time", as what I and some posters are implying is that maybe your book needn't be as long as it is and that might help solve your problem. I too would get a bit defensive at someone without having read my work making a judgement on it. But I'm not doing it to be mean. I'm seriously trying to relate to you, and maybe suggest that you could edit things down even more and make your book even more awesome. Just as others suggested to me, and just as when I did, it did make my book even more awesome.

If you disagree, and think that your book is the length it needs to be, dude, go for it. My first novel (even after a judicious edit suggested by an agent before she took me on) was twice as long as the accepted word count for the genre, and it got agented and published.

I'm just making an observation with the possibility it might help you out.

It might not though, and that's cool too.

Old Hack
04-13-2012, 10:33 PM
(And BTW, I probably shouldn't even touch this subject, but who the heck revises their posts here even a tiny fraction of the amount they would revise and edit a story before they let someone else read it? Gosh, wish I had that kind of time!)

It's not a question of revision, it's a question of writerly competence.

Speaking as an editor, comments here give me a really good idea of how publication-ready the various members are. I don't expect every comment to be pristine and intriguing (although it's nice when they are): but it's relatively easy to get an idea of a writer's voice, talent, and level of expertise from reading the comments they make in such a relaxed arena.

In my experience, people who are overly verbose or purple in their message-board comments will tend to show those same traits in their fiction; people who don't punctuate well here tend to have the same problems in their work; people who refuse to consider suggestions about their work here will probably be a nightmare to edit when it comes to publication; and so on. We all give away far more than we realise when we comment here, which is both a good and a bad thing.

kaitie
04-14-2012, 12:00 AM
Lol. I'm a post-editor, though usually for the long ones. If I just say two sentences about something, or if what I'm saying isn't particularly important, then I don't care so much, but anytime I write a paragraph or two I reread it once or twice. I guess I'm just a tad obsessive in that way. I have also been known to reread notes to myself, which just seems silly.

That being said, I'm like Toothpaste. I tend to be overly verbose here, and the same is true of my writing. I'm getting better, but it's something I actively contend with and part of the reason I reread posts--I know chances are something will be cut.

Terie
04-14-2012, 02:46 AM
Terie, do you remember exactly how you queried this?

Yes, of course I remember.

Oh, you mean you'd like me to tell you? :D

My queries tend to focus on character and conflict, so that's what the query was. I included a line to the effect that AutumnQuest was the first in a four-book series but could stand alone. (The story came to me as a four-book series, so there was never any intent on my part for it to be anything else.)

I included the series synopsis (which, incidentally, is 399 words for all four books) and whatever sample pages were asked for -- the first chapter, the first however many pages, the entire MS in one or two cases, including the publisher who contracted it.

Oh, and FWIW, I review and edit my posts before posting and often go back later to fix typos or clarify something that still didn't come out right. As a professional writer, I want my writing to be a reflection of my skills.

Jamiekswriter
04-14-2012, 04:03 AM
Y

I included the series synopsis (which, incidentally, is 399 words for all four books)

Wow. I'm in total awe. I can't get under 4 pages for one book synopsis.

Krazykat
04-14-2012, 05:34 AM
I too would get a bit defensive at someone without having read my work making a judgement on it. But I'm not doing it to be mean. I'm seriously trying to relate to you, and maybe suggest that you could edit things down even more and make your book even more awesome. Just as others suggested to me, and just as when I did, it did make my book even more awesome.I'm just making an observation with the possibility it might help you out.

Thanks, ToothpasteóI do appreciate that!

(And I do revise and edit my postsóI'm very picky about typosóI just meant nowhere near to the extent that you would with a manuscript!!)

Iíve always heard that revising is half of the writerís craft, and there are many brilliant writers whose first drafts are so horrific they would never let anyone else see them. I wrote everything by hand pretty much through college, and for obvious reasons I did a lot more editing in my head before putting anything on the paper.

After I started writing on a computer, my modus operandi changed. I switch off the editor entirely and free write, putting in absolutely everything that comes to me (which most writing instructors say you should do with a first draft). Then I set it aside. When I come back to it, I think of revising as being like a sculptor with a block of marble, cutting away everything that isnít part of the statue. But if the block isnít large enough to include the statueís outstretched arm or the horse's head, youíre in big trouble. Iíve learned that the hard way too many times; itís a thousand times harder to go back and add something than it is to cut.

FWIW, when I quickly read through the synopsis of the manuscript Iíve been talking about here, itís clear that the book is long because a lot happens in it.

But when it comes to how many words it takes to tell a story, you also canít ignore the fact that many diverse styles are equally correct. One of the books I most admire is Gene Wolfeís Book of the Long Sun. And I bet you anything that if I posted a passage from that book here, and didnít tell anyone who wrote it, a lot of you would want to cut half of it out!;)

Wolfe is considered by many to be one of the finest writers in the genre, but I know very well that many people prefer sci fióand commercial fiction in generalóto be written in simple, direct prose that focuses on the action. And of course thereís a place for that, tooóitís just a matter of taste.



Yes, of course I remember.

Oh, you mean you'd like me to tell you? :D

My queries tend to focus on character and conflict, so that's what the query was. I included a line to the effect that AutumnQuest was the first in a four-book series but could stand alone. (The story came to me as a four-book series, so there was never any intent on my part for it to be anything else.)

I included the series synopsis (which, incidentally, is 399 words for all four books) and whatever sample pages were asked for -- the first chapter, the first however many pages, the entire MS in one or two cases, including the publisher who contracted it.


Thank you, Terie!!!:)

RKLipman
04-14-2012, 06:38 AM
I don't think adding is inherently more difficult than cutting; revisions are hellish any way you slice them. I added 25,000 words to my last project between drafts. It sucked donkey balls. But I'm pretty sure I'd have been every bit as miserable if I'd had to cut 25K, as well.

Toothpaste
04-14-2012, 07:10 AM
No one is debating that a long book can work. You don't need to convince us of this. I've read many a long book, even literary long books (believe it or not, I read and enjoy pretty much any genre - so long as it's well handled). People are questioning whether YOUR long book works. And the only one who can answer that is you. And I think you've made your answer.

So instead of trying to sneak around the word count or trick agents or what have you, I think you have to just own it, and trust that you are that exception to the rule. You still have a tough journey ahead of you, because you will be rejected on word count alone. But hopefully you'll find that one agent/publisher who looks past that and gets to know the work itself. Heck, there might even be more than one. But you just need to know that you are facing a tougher road ahead than others.

Krazykat
04-14-2012, 08:19 AM
You still have a tough journey ahead of you, because you will be rejected on word count alone.

Um . . . please don't take offense or anything, Toothpaste, but I'm puzzled why you wanted to add this. Knowing this all too well was the reason I started this post, remember?:chair

In any case, thanks to some of the folks who posted on here, there is at least a possibility that I may have found a solution.

Hey, I just wanted to say I really do appreciate everyone who gets on here and tries so hard to help. It takes a lot of time and effortóyou guys are terrific for doing this.:hooray:

Old Hack
04-14-2012, 10:29 AM
Um . . . please don't take offense or anything, Toothpaste, but I'm puzzled why you wanted to add this. Knowing this all too well was the reason I started this post, remember?:chair

My guess is that Toothpaste included that warning because it's true, and because she was summarising where you are now and the work you have ahead of you.



In any case, thanks to some of the folks who posted on here, there is at least a possibility that I may have found a solution.

"Thanks to some of the folks"? You might not like all the advice you've received in this thread, but everyone who has posted here has freely given their time to help you. It seems churlish to only thank some of them.


Hey, I just wanted to say I really do appreciate everyone who gets on here and tries so hard to help. It takes a lot of time and effortóyou guys are terrific for doing this.:hooray:

Yes, it does take a lot of time and effort. Just as it took a lot of time and effort for the people who took part in the thread you started about a very similar thing in January (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6933162), where you received pretty much the same advice: that you tend to verbosity, that splitting a book up into three might or might not work, and that such a long word-count is going to give you problems.

In future, do not start multiple threads on the same subject; it wastes our members' time and won't get you any better, or any different, advice.

Locking this now.