The Story of a Story

Many of you who visit sfsite are writers or want to be writers. This forum is to share tips about open markets, links to stories you would like critiqued, and any other posts on the subject of writing and selling science fiction.

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Re: The Story of a Story

Postby Third Foundationer » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:04 am

Best of luck with "Money"!

As far as your novel is concerned, you didn't ask for the advice, but still--

I find that trying to keep to a word count for chapters is not as necessary as you'd think. For me, chapters have a tendency to sort of naturally work themselves out. Now, I do have a rough plan for chapters (or sections, if you prefer) but I find that the length of my chapters falls into whatever range is appropriate, and the chapters tend to be more or less the same length (very roughly) without my paying attention.

Now, I have only written two novels, and am well into my third now (somewhere around 65,00 words in the first draft) so I don't have a huge amount of experience, but that's what I've found: not to be overly worried about chapter length.

Anyway, keep us posted on your novel!

--3rdF

P.S. My one published novel is on my website, along with an anthology I self-published electronically. The second novel is searching for a publisher.
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Re: The Story of a Story

Postby admin » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:50 am

I'm always glad of advice (though I don't always take it). Because of my tendency to write terse prose (maybe due to my training as a mathematician) I find I need to pay attention to the wordcount, because publishers require a minimum number of words, and I think it is deadly to go back and pad. I remember a David Brin book that had a lot of padding to bring it up to the required length, and it was deadly. I quit reading Brin after reading that one.

How did you sell your first novel?
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Re: The Story of a Story

Postby Third Foundationer » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:11 pm

I see what you mean about not padding a novel: Elie Weisel said, "There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them."

I am reading David Brin right now, actually: Startide Rising, which I like very much. It is a tiny bit waterlogged (in more ways than one) but no more so than, say, Dune.

My first novel, A Muse of Fire (shameless plug) was published by Writers' Exchange Publishing. It's a combination print/e-book house, and nothing whatsoever to brag about. I seem to remember shopping it around forever, starting at the top of the publishing food chain and working my way down to Writers' Exchange (I mean no disrespect for my first publisher, but...they are not Del Rey.) Since then, I have made a little vow to move steadily upward in the publishing world with each new novel I complete. My second novel, Vale of Stars, has been going through the same process recently, being bounced by some of the bigger houses, and I am about to submit it again to a new house: Twilight Times Books.

I'm closing in on being done with the first draft of my third novel, tentatively titled Belt. Based on my work schedule, I need to finish the first draft in the next three weeks or risk shelving it for a long time.

Apologies for the self-centeredness of the previous post (though not quite enough apology to delete it :wink: )

--3rdF
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Re: The Story of a Story

Postby admin » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:11 am

If a writer does not toot his (or her) own horn, nobody else will. I'm glad to hear about your experiences. I will mention something that I've heard from other writers, that it is very common for a writer to have to move from a better publisher to a lesser, almost unheard of (unless you're Stephen King or Dan Brown) to move from a lesser publisher to a better. If you've been published by a lesser publisher, don't tell the major publishers about it when you submit your latest novel. It's the kiss of death.
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Re: The Story of a Story

Postby admin » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:24 am

Asimov's rejected "Money" with what is their standard "nice" rejection, "The story is very well done, but I’m afraid it's not quite right for me. I look forward to your next one, though." So, off to Analog it goes.
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Re: The Story of a Story

Postby Third Foundationer » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:09 pm

Best of luck with "Money!"

--3rdF
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