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.