I have good news I've made a major breakthrough on my current novel project ME2S. Before saying more I feel some explanation is required. I have several book ideas, in order to differentiate between them and the legion of other documents I have I assign each of them a project name which saves me the trouble of referring to ME2S as the sci-fi space opera with the supersoldier story. Also by just giving them a moniker that will remind me which story it is I don't have to prematurely try and think about what the title will be. Project names are also helpful for organization every article, story, essay etc that I write I try and give a project name. Every document related to that project will have its file name and title begin with the project name.
Anyway I started ME2S back in January which for me is a new project. I really resolved I was going to try and push through and finish this one, even if it did turn out bad. I have too many unfinished books, most of which I fear I won't ever return to. Usually I cannot end these stories. So I have constantly kept an outlined end that is a logical conclusion to the story in mind as my first goal. I figure once I have the beginning, end, and a good idea of what goes in the middle finishing the novel will only be a matter of time, (if modsoldiers was any indication a long ass time full of hard work).
My attempts to establish myself as a freelance writer over the last moth however seemed to have torn the heart out of my gusto for this story. I've been working on it still but not my usual obssesiveness. For the last two months I felt I had been closing in on a definitive end to the story other than "and then the good guys blew everything up and won."
Today I was wondering how much I had typed in my project mindmap which contains all written passages, the outline(s) and my substantial notes and worldbuilding etc. So I copied the entire thing into word and did word count. It was over 90,000 words. That is a lot of words considering 2/3rds of it are mostly outline. I thought it may have just been the world building material throwing me off so I removed it. 71,000 words. That would make the finished story somewhere between 150 and 200k words; I already have enough trouble with the word limit guidelines publishers insist on, there is no way a modern publisher is going to pay a first time author for War and Peace redux.
This story is however a happy one. After glancing at the word count a third time I guess you could say I had a moment of clarity. I had written two books. There is an excellent ending point almost exactly halfway through my outline and another good ending point at the very end. Furthermore the first and second half are different in ways that would make a single novel likely to fail, but as a book and a sequel their differences couldn't have been planned better. The second book is bigger broader in scope, while the second details the struggle of a small group trying to alert man to a grave danger the second is the beginning of man's response. While the first book has a top of the line frigate the second places Raigin (character) in command of a massive fleet. While in the first they must seek out the aid of individuals in the second it is factions and nations who are the players though the main characters are still very much the driving forces of the story. In essence I accidentally set up an integrated escalating pair of novels. Yesterday I was worried I wouldn't be able to settle on a good ending for the novel. Today I have two solid endings for two novels. w00t!
P.S. As with all of my other stories/novels save 1 or 2 I feel bad because I don't think my novel will do the world I created for it justice. Many of the worlds I have built I am without a doubt proud of, whereas my stories quality gives me ulcers and keeps me up at night. Does this happen to anyone else?
PPS thanks for listening.
hmmm that reminds me I need to add tl;dr and teal deer to my internet jargon hub. sorry if it didn't make any sense.
Great stuff! I love it when things fall into place better then we could have planned for
One of a few mile stones to tick off the list then
I too write novels and have sent several manuscript to agents and publishers.
With all the competition from established writers, we new writers must give ourselves every chance of breaking through the barriers. All new writers must leap that obstacle.
So, I want to bring to your attention a point about word-count. You might create an additional hurdle if your novel blows-out to 200k words. The generally accepted length of a novel, irrespective of genre, falls between 80k-100k. The costs of creating a market for a new writer means agents and publishers look for tight writing.
I took to heart the following advice, 'Pay yourself $1 for every word you prune.'
Nevertheless, well bloody done mate!
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