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 Post subject: Yay! Happy! But.....
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 4:16 am 
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I'm halfway through with my novel - and that's good reason for me to be excited, since I've been told it's good by a couple of already published authors, and one of them isn't even a fantasy writer.

The neat part about being halfway through is that I now know where it's trying to go completely. However, I had no idea it would be this difficult.

When I started writing this novel, I had several short stories under my belt, but it had not prepared me for this. I even had a plan for the book itself, what I wanted to do and show people. But now, now there's no need to do the things the characters had been originally slated to do. In fact, it turned from a milieu/event story into a dark-yet-uplifting character story so gradually I hadn't even noticed.

Now, to show off all these cool places, I need at least two more plotlines and thus two more novels. This is simple, however - the stories needn’t all be about the same group of heroes, though I would like to explore Nick and Lisa’s relationship a bit more, and Bea’s reactions to an amnesiac Ann, and how she discovers herself in Annabelle, and all the characterization after the whole Gaia incident.

I guess the difficulty I'm having is just that there's this way cool world out there, and I want to show it off, but I'm a bit worried about losing the character and the heart along the way. Eh. I dunno what to do about that. What do I do? Write a world guide, or something? Work those places into the myriad stories that await the dwellers of this world? Just show off a couple of places somewhere on the net?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:30 pm 
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Hmm... tough questions! I've never written a novel, but I've written some pretty long pieces of fiction (novellas) which start to approach the same scale. If I were you, I'd focus the novel squarely on the characters and plot. Keep the world as what it really is: background. I just read Jean Auel's books last year and they're a perfect example of where unfocused novels can go wrong. The first book, Clan of the Cave Bear, was great. It was all about the character and plot. But starting with book #2, she started spending more and more time on irrelevant world details until I finally got disgusted with #4 and through it down. A good editor could (should) have reduced #4 to half its size and made it a much better book.

I'd write a world guide on the side, for your own use (and possibly for publication as an RPG?), then focus the novel on the characters and plot. After all, that's what a NOVEL primarily is (don't forget your medium!). If people are taken by the novel, they'll happily pursue other publications.

Besides, the best way to keep people interested is to leave them hanging. If you give up too much of the world in the novel, there'll be no "salivation effect."

That's my 2 cents...

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Goodman Games
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:18 pm
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Location: Oviedo
*fishes Joe's 2 cents from the bottom of the fountain*

Heh...I've started writing a world guide, and even keeping a "cheat sheet" for what the readers know. My roomate saw it (the world guide) on my computer the other day while I was out and read the whole thing. He's begging me to run a game in it. I then showed him the novel, and it floored him. I feel really good about this whole thing. Espceially since I've had at least pulished SF/Fantasy novelist say "Wow." All those short stories help out!

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