10 November 2014

When is a Setback Actually a Step Forward?

This is a question that I've been struggling with this week.

As many of you know, I earlier this year, had two novels published. The second in my trilogy is currently with my publisher, and I have another book-a totally unrelated novel-ready for beta readers.

Well, at least it was ready for beta readers. Until I decided to get some professional advice on the matter.

Novels are tricky things. You could give the exact same plot to five people, have them write a book on it and come up with five very different stories.

The problem with that is that I can re-write my own story ten times, end up with ten different stories, and have no idea what the best version actually is. I love them all. Like candy bars. (I'd say children, but I don't have any, and I'm allergic to cats and dogs.)

So I called an editor. We chatted for an hour regarding what my book is about and a few plot points that were either good or weak. He even came up with a fix for an aspect of the main character that I've been struggling with.

All that was good.

Then I asked him the question. The question that changed it all.

"Should I publish this as one book, or split it into two?"

The book is over 90,000 words. A bit thick for YA.

We talked about it. he encouraged me to add 30,000 words and split it into two books. Which I wasn't horribly upset with until the next day.

You see, I have an outline that is really good. It works, it's solid, it flows well and I've jammed every bit of story I could into it.

And now I have to change it.

Not only once, but twice. Now I have to figure out how to make the first part of the book-with some additions-a complete story with a satisfying but still slightly mysterious ending. Then I have to do it again for the second half.

It's like I've already painted my house once, and now I'm only using the original color on about 40% of the outside. The rest is brand, spanking new. 


But I keep telling myself that it will be fine. It will be a better story. Just as soon as I figure out what promise I'm making to the reader in the first chapter that I'm NOT following through on in the finale.

Right now it feels like a setback. Later it might feel like a step forward.

I'll keep you informed.

1 comment:

Kathryn R said...

*grin* What doesn't kill us right? Good luck!