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No. of Recommendations: 3
I finally had a chance to begin writing again, after most of the editing was done last week. I was able to write 4,000 words between Thursday and Sunday. I finished Chapter 9, with another major surprise for the crew (and hopefully the reader as well). More adventures in Chapter 10. To summarize:

Chapter 1 - The ship is badly damaged by space debris in an asteroid belt of a far star system, and the crew has to figure out a way to survive with no engine, little air and not much water. The odds aren't good.

Chapter 2 - They come up with a daring plan to manufacture some oxygen using their refinery equipment, but they have only three days in which to implement it before they run out of oxygen. One of the crewmen is almost killed during an EVA. They limp over to an asteroid using only their maneuvering thrusters.

Chapter 3 - They barely survive before their oxygen is replenished. They finally have time to begin repairs on their star drive and enlist the aid of nanobots to do the detail work deep inside the massive drive.

Chapter 4 - They continue exploring the asteroid belt and discover what appears to be an alien artifact. Two crewmen are nearly killed in another mishap on an asteroid, and the ship narrowly avoids damage. A daring rescue recovers the crewmen and most of the mining equipment.

Chapter 5 - Begin exploring the moons of the 5th planet; find valuable mineral they have been seeking; discover alien dome.

Chapter 6 - Find a way into the dome; discover access to a network of portals spanning the galaxy. End of Part I.

Chapter 7 - Almost suffocate; explore several hubs in the alien portal network; seeking the "first ones" who created the portal network.

Chapter 8 - Find the Progenitors' home planet; surprised by "Emerald City"; make first contact with an alien at last; learn the fate of the Progenitors.

Chapter 9 - Do more exploring via portals; find the Seat of Power; learn the rest of the story of the Progenitors; shocking surprise.

Chapter 10 (so far) - More exploring via portals; run into unfriendly alien species; (I plan to add some more danger later in the chapter).

Now that Chapter 1 has been dramatically improved -- literally (I improved the drama in the action sequence), I still need to add more tension to the "death scene" at the end of Chapter 2, but beyond that, I think the rest of the book is in pretty good shape at the moment.

Time to go back to work.

Mark.
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Thanks for the recs, although I'm not really sure what they're for. That I started writing again? The story line sounds interesting? The fact that I finally got around to letting everyone in on what the story's about? You all missed me after a week without progress reports? <g>

Anyway, thanks.

Mark.
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Thanks for the recs, although I'm not really sure what they're for.

*whispers* You reached the 50K mark ... according to NaNoWriMo, you're now a novelist. The recs are congratulatory ... at least mine was!

liss
has a theory for almost everything

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RE: "Thanks for the recs, although I'm not really sure what they're for"

Don't look a gift rec-horse in the mouth.

SB (you're welcome)
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>>>>*whispers* You reached the 50K mark ... according to NaNoWriMo, you're now a novelist.

liss: Really? Seems like an awfully short book to me. I'm thinking 70-80K would be a minimum length for a novel.

Thanks for the rec though. I can use all the virtual pats on the back I can get! <g>

Mark.
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>>>>Don't look a gift rec-horse in the mouth.

SB: Is a rec-horse anything like a hobby horse? (This thing's starting to seem more like a job than a hobby....)

Mark (sounds too much like rec-whore...).
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>>>>*whispers* You reached the 50K mark ... according to NaNoWriMo, you're now a novelist.

liss: Really? Seems like an awfully short book to me. I'm thinking 70-80K would be a minimum length for a novel.



NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month, so though 50K seems short to you, it's probably a reasonable length for a novel written between November 1 and November 30.

liss
not a novelist, but still working on her NaNoWriMo story
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>>>>NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month, so though 50K seems short to you, it's probably a reasonable length for a novel written between November 1 and November 30.

liss: I'm not saying that 50K words in 30 days isn't a lot. It certainly is. (I wrote 40K in 30 days and it seemed like a lot to me!) What I meant was that I don't think there are many published novels of only 50K words these days. (I'm going by 300 pages of 334 words per page equaling 100K words. The SF paperbacks I looked at mostly averaged between 330 and 400 words per page.) The books written by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, L. Frank Baum and Lewis Carroll may have successful despite being short, but they were written over a century ago.

By that measurement (100K), I'm only half done with my book, and I haven't a clue how I'm going to continue the story for another 50K.... (If I really try hard, I think I can get to 70-80K, but 100K?)

Mark. (Maybe I need a good old-fashioned space-time anomaly, or an ion storm, or an attack of the Borg to stretch the story out.)
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(Maybe I need a good old-fashioned space-time anomaly, or an ion storm, or an attack of the Borg to stretch the story out.)

If you're seriously considering stretching the story to make it the same length as other successful works in the genre, may I suggest a repeat viewing of Armageddon (the one with Bruce Willis)? And then contrast it with The Full Monty.

In short, let the story be the length it is. When your readers find you ;-), they will thank you for it.

- Kate

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>>>>If you're seriously considering stretching the story to make it the same length as other successful works in the genre, may I suggest a repeat viewing of Armageddon (the one with Bruce Willis)? And then contrast it with The Full Monty.

Kate: Okay, you've lost me with that comparison. (Never mind the fact that I haven't seen TFM.)

>>>>In short, let the story be the length it is. When your readers find you ;-), they will thank you for it.

Well, right now I have no idea how long it will be, but I suspect I'll have trouble getting to 100K words (which seems like a typical length for a SF novel these days). The way the book is structured, with a number of adventures along the way as the crew explores alien portals and various worlds, there is no reason I couldn't fit another planet or two in the middle somewhere if I need to, without hurting the overall story (maybe helping it if I do it right).

I just don't want to end up in the "no man's land" of a novella/novelette. Too short for it's own book, but too long for a short story anthology. How many novellas do you run across? Not many. A publisher isn't going to want to publish, say, a 180 page book these days. The cost of manufacturing, promoting, shipping, accounting for sales, etc., would make the cover price prohibitive. (Would you pay $5.99 for a 180-page novel from an unknown writer?) In other words, there is no point in staopping at 60K words if no one will buy a book shorter than 80K.

I'm shooting for about 300 (333-word) pages, but if I only make it to 250 and I'm happy with the story, I won't worry about it too much (unless an editor says "It's good, but a bit short."). Below that, though, and I think I'll have to do some beefing up.

Mark. (Of course, 60K words may be great for a screenplay.... <g>)
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I wonder whether putting in one or two sub-plots will help with the length and add even more depth to the story?

Just an errant thought.

CK
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>>>>If you're seriously considering stretching the story to make it the same length as other successful works in the genre, may I suggest a repeat viewing of Armageddon (the one with Bruce Willis)? And then contrast it with The Full Monty.

Kate: Okay, you've lost me with that comparison. (Never mind the fact that I haven't seen TFM.)


Armageddon was 3 hours, as many of the block-busters released in and around 1988 were. But it was clear from watching the plot that it was planned to be two hours. What they did to stretch the plot was add character development of the 6 main men so that we'd care about them.

The Full Monty is all about character development of 6 men, weighing in at a tidy 91 minutes.

Of the two, I'd far rather see The Full Monty again and again.

(Would you pay $5.99 for a 180-page novel from an unknown writer?)

Yep. I didn't know J.D. Salliger the first time I bought him. Or Madeliene L'Engle. Or Anne McCaffrey. Now, I did know George Lucas, and I regret spending the money and time to read 'Shadow Moon'.

I would buy it especially if it got good reviews from a reviewer I respected. Now, of course, you don't have to sell to me. You have to sell to a book publisher. And you probably aren't willing to promote it for young adults. So, yeah, you do have to write something that fits into what they expect to see right now. (Which *is not* the books that are coming out right now. There's about a 3 year lag time.)

Alternately, you can take the avenue of building your own audience and name recognition and putting yourself in the position of looking for a publisher who will partner with you in publishing your first novel. If you have more to say that's related but tangential, I'd suggest getting it on paper as a short story and getting it in print to start to build name recognition.

Your *BIGGEST* asset in publishing is being able to get great reviews. And as a former book reviewer, I'll let you know that books I felt were drawn out never made it into our paper.


- Kate
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as many of the block-busters released in and around 1988

Sorry. That was 1998.

- Kate
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>>>>I wonder whether putting in one or two sub-plots will help with the length and add even more depth to the story?

CK: That's an idea, if I can think of one to weave in somewhere.... Thanks.

Mark.
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>>>>Of the two, I'd far rather see The Full Monty again and again.

Kate: Gotcha.

<<<<(Would you pay $5.99 for a 180-page novel from an unknown writer?)
>>>>Yep. I didn't know J.D. Salliger the first time I bought him. Or Madeliene L'Engle. Or Anne McCaffrey. Now, I did know George Lucas, and I regret spending the money and time to read 'Shadow Moon'.

That's good to know, of course I don't know if your reaction is typical of other readers (i.e., how many people would spend that much for a skinny SF book?) More importantly, how many publishers will buy a book that short?

>>>>I would buy it especially if it got good reviews from a reviewer I respected.

I'm sure that's true of many books, but what percentage of SF books get reviewed at all? (I almost never see any, but maybe I'm not reading the right publications.) Sure, every King, Clancy and maybe McCaffrey book gets reviewed, but how many Joe-Blow-first-time-novelest works get reviewed--especially SF books?

>>>>You have to sell to a book publisher. And you probably aren't willing to promote it for young adults. So, yeah, you do have to write something that fits into what they expect to see right now.

I'm not opposed to this book being read by young adults, but it isn't being written specifically for that audience and I think it probably fits a general adult category better. (Most YA books involve young protagonists, and mine doesn't.)

>>>>If you have more to say that's related but tangential, I'd suggest getting it on paper as a short story and getting it in print to start to build name recognition.

Hmm. I hadn't thought of that. You're saying that if I have some published short stories "under my belt" it might improve my chances of selling the book? Interesting. Of course, at the moment I don't have any short stories written, and I probably won't have the time to think of any until I'm finished with the book (assuming I don't freeze up somewhere along the line). I suppose it's possible I could write and have published some stories while the book is circulating. There might be some fortuitous timing that way (someone reads a story right before the book lands on their desk...). Hey, i-i-t could happen! <g>

>>>>Your *BIGGEST* asset in publishing is being able to get great reviews. And as a former book reviewer, I'll let you know that books I felt were drawn out never made it into our paper.

Well, I'm not looking to stuff it with padding just to make an arbitrary word length, but if I can find interesting scenes that will add to the story I'll certainly consider adding them rather than fall below whatever semiarbitrary limits a publisher might be looking for.

If the publisher likes the story but thinks a few of those scenes should be trimmed, that's fine by me. At least I got a foot in the door.

Mark.
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>>>>I would buy it especially if it got good reviews from a reviewer I respected.

I'm sure that's true of many books, but what percentage of SF books get reviewed at all? (I almost never see any, but maybe I'm not reading the right publications.) Sure, every King, Clancy and maybe McCaffrey book gets reviewed, but how many Joe-Blow-first-time-novelest works get reviewed--especially SF books?


I'm sure every SF book out there has been reviewed numerous times on various .alt lists and discussion boards! Amazon posts reviews. And even if you self-publish, you can get listed on Amazon.

I'm not looking to stuff it with padding just to make an arbitrary word length, but if I can find interesting scenes that will add to the story I'll certainly consider adding them rather than fall below whatever semiarbitrary limits a publisher might be looking for.

Oh good. I was afraid of completely tangential chapters. Good scenes that make sense in the story or develop secondary characters we care about and as a bonus generate satisfying heft is a good thing.

Oh, my other part of this experience is just having been addicted to the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time novels. His readers are very close to writing him off because the last two 600 pg books haven't advanced the story. Even in just the 2nd story, I find him summarizing the 1st and it's irritating. The review I read on the last book was that the whole thing just summarized the story to day. I guess that's the 'event horizon' of an epic series.

(When the summary to date is bigger than the novel, you've created a black hole!)

Keep up the good work!

- Kate
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>>>>I'm sure every SF book out there has been reviewed numerous times on various .alt lists and discussion boards! Amazon posts reviews. And even if you self-publish, you can get listed on Amazon.

Kate: Really? Why would Amazon include a list of books it doesn't sell, or are you saying that Amazon sells books by self-published authors?

>>>>His readers are very close to writing him off because the last two 600 pg books haven't advanced the story. Even in just the 2nd story, I find him summarizing the 1st and it's irritating. The review I read on the last book was that the whole thing just summarized the story to day. I guess that's the 'event horizon' of an epic series.

Yeah, I can see how that would be annoying. To some extend, I feel the same way about "greatest hits" albums. If I have already bought an artist's previous albums, why would I want to buy them again on a "best of" compilation. By the same token, if I start out with just the "greatest hits" album, why would I want to buy the lesser albums with mostly also rans on it? <grin>

>>>>Keep up the good work!

Thanks, I'm trying! <g>

Mark.
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Kate: As an editor/reviewer, let me ask your opinion on something. If I send an agent or publisher "several chapters" of my book, is it better to send, say, the first three to show the story progression, or three representative chapters from throughout the book to show how the story has evolved -- maybe even different types of chapters (one with a lot of action, one with humorous dialog, one with more exposition) to show a range of writing skills? Or should I just go with what I consider my three best chapters, regardless of the type or location in the book?

Also, I'm having trouble figuring out how the book is going to end up, so I don't know if I'm going to be able to come up with an outline of the rest of the book until I'm just about done with it.

I can't seem to see the big picture of this story; it keeps changing. Originally, the big payoff was going to be finding the valuable mineral the crew was prospecting for. Well, they did that in Chapter 5. Then it was going to be meeting aliens. They did that in Chapter 8. Then it was going to be finding out the "big secret" of the Progenitors. They did that in Chapter 9. So right now I don't know how I'm going to end this. I have already thrown in three major surprises. I'm not sure how many more I can come up with. <sigh>

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Mark.
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Two! Two! Two posts in one!

Okay, first question. Does Amazon sell self-published books? It is my understanding that they do. I got a few offers for this last time I was subscribed to Writer's ...(I've forgotten the second name!)... You may have to do some poking to find that channel.

Second. What do you send to an editor? Best answer: Enough to convince them you've got a sellable story. The general guidelines are to send the first couple of chapters and a middle chapter and your outline.

Now, I'm not a novelist. My 1000 page books are specs for technology that's being invented. I have two friends who are novelists working on getting published. One has taken the route of sending the whole book to anyone who she things might be interested, the other found a local agent who knows people and won her over.

Watching them, the lesson I take away is: if you give a book publisher the power to validate your work by accepting/rejecting it, you will come to hate writing. If you look instead for people for whom publishing your book is a win/win situation, you will start building a team that over time can build success.

Oh, another secret to getting your first book looked at is to find an editor to work with you on it before you send it to that publisher. The *worst* books I ever read were obviously self-published because the writer didn't want to hear what an editor might have to say about his lack of distinct characterization and plot gaps. Not saying that's a problem for you, but suggesting that having someone help you wrestle through the problems will mean you are presenting a much more polished work.

- Kate
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Sorry, I noticed trailing questions.

I don't know how reasonable it is to outline a fictional work. The fiction writers on board will have to answer that.

As to where your story is going... Who is your compelling character and what kind of change is he/she going to go through in the course of the novel? What events is it going to take for him/her to come to that realization? Is he/she there yet? If so, what effect does that have on the world around them?

Think about Crystal Singer, Ender's Game, etc.

- Kate

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Just a quick note about Amazon and self-publishers.

Kate, I agree with you on writers who self publish. I do know one, however, that is actually doing okay and her work (sic-fi) is on Amazon. She's even won a few eppies (e-publishers awards). You can purchase by web to an ebook, or CD. She just recently started getting offers for paperback.

Apathy4All
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Kate, I agree with you on writers who self publish. I do know one, however, that is actually doing okay and her work (sic-fi) is on Amazon. She's even won a few eppies (e-publishers awards). You can purchase by web to an ebook, or CD. She just recently started getting offers for paperback.

You're completely right, Apathy4All, and I apologize for not making the positive point.

I believe in our current market, more and more writers are going to be forced into self-publishing or small press publishing. Like Hollywood, the big publishers are very close to not being able to dare anything new and so it's time for the pendulum to swing back to independents.

What this puts back in our laps is the responsibility to seek editing and to do our own promotion, which it sounds like your friend is doing.

Remember that the US population is 270 million people and you only need to sell something like 40,000 books to become a best-seller! All you'd need is for four out of every 100 people in the city of Denver to buy one!

We have a couple of local writers who self-published a small run and attracted national attention at local book promotions. The one book has now been reprinted with HBJ, and the other was featured on NPR a while back.

So, self-publishing is not a bad thing. I read several, recommended most, and the worst I read happened to be self-published.

- Kate
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>>>>Okay, first question. Does Amazon sell self-published books? It is my understanding that they do. I got a few offers for this last time I was subscribed to Writer's ...(I've forgotten the second name!)... You may have to do some poking to find that channel.

Kate: Thanks for the reply. I'm not really considering self-publishing, except possibly as a last resort. Part of the reason I dismissed the idea was the problem of order-taking and self-promoting. But if Amazon handles the ordering and has reviews and story capsules on their site, that's a big head start. So it's worth keeping in mind for the future.

>>>>Second. What do you send to an editor? Best answer: Enough to convince them you've got a sellable story. The general guidelines are to send the first couple of chapters and a middle chapter and your outline.

Okay. The guidelines I had seen basically just said "send a few chapters" or "send three chapters", but not whether it mattered which chapters they were.

>>>>Now, I'm not a novelist. My 1000 page books are specs for technology that's being invented. I have two friends who are novelists working on getting published. One has taken the route of sending the whole book to anyone who she things might be interested, the other found a local agent who knows people and won her over.

I guess it helps if you know an agent, rather than picking one at random.... It might have helped having already had a book published by McGraw-Hill, except that it was a non-fiction book, and the editor I worked with is no longer with M-H, so I don't really have an "in" with them anymore (if they even have an SF arm--I have no idea, but I guess they probably do under another label).

>>>>if you give a book publisher the power to validate your work by accepting/rejecting it, you will come to hate writing. If you look instead for people for whom publishing your book is a win/win situation, you will start building a team that over time can build success.

Well sure, if I can find someone for whom it's a win/win situation.... (It sounds like Steve Martin's old stand-up routine, How to Become a Millionaire: "First, you get a million dollars...." updated as How to Become a Published Novelist: "First, you find someone who wants to publish your novel...." <g>)

>>>>Oh, another secret to getting your first book looked at is to find an editor to work with you on it before you send it to that publisher. The *worst* books I ever read were obviously self-published because the writer didn't want to hear what an editor might have to say about his lack of distinct characterization and plot gaps. Not saying that's a problem for you, but suggesting that having someone help you wrestle through the problems will mean you are presenting a much more polished work.

I'm kind of doing that right now. My mother, who had 30+ years in the advertising industry as a copywriter and advertising director, is offering suggestions on how to increase the drama in the action sequences and to pep up the dialog where needed. A friend of mine in the UK, who's a fellow technical writer and SF fan is going to review it from a plot standpoint and for the science involved and to add more of a European flavor to the three European characters in the book. My wife, who's not a writer, but who is a big SF fan, is reading it for how well the dialog and plot flow and how well it reads in general. I figure that between two SF fans and two writers (three people in all, not counting myself), I ought to be able to clean up most of the flaws before I submit it to an agent or publisher. My biggest concern right now is still coming up with an outline--or, to be more precise, it's figuring out the rest of the book so I can write an outline. *Writing* an outline is easy, if I ever figure out the rest of the storyline.

Speaking of the outline, when someone says a "detailed" outline, are they talking about a paragraph or two per chapter, or what constitutes detailed?

Thanks again.

Mark.
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>>>>As to where your story is going... Who is your compelling character and what kind of change is he/she going to go through in the course of the novel? What events is it going to take for him/her to come to that realization? Is he/she there yet? If so, what effect does that have on the world around them?

Kate: Although it is written in first-person, the story is really more of an ensemble piece. All five of the characters are major. They're a crew abourd a small ship, so they all work together, live together, almost die together, etc. So the stroy revolves about this group of men, more so than about just the "narrator." I purposely wrote it so he isn't the only one who solves the problems or who saves everyone else. They all come up with clever ideas from time to time, they all have almost dies at least once and have been saved by one another, and so on.

>>>>Think about Crystal Singer, Ender's Game, etc.

Two of my favorites, although perhaps not directly applicable to this situation. I do have a large moral dilemma for the crew to solve and that will probably be the conclusion to the story, but I haven't yet figured out how to get there. They come across a billion-year-old alien artifact that can give them the complete stored knowledge of the aliens. Enough to solve all of Earth's problems (overpopulation, pollution, disease, etc).

The problem is that being intelligent people, they know that if they brought this back home, everyone would begin fighting over ownership of the artifact, perhaps ending in a world war. ( Sort of, "We found it, so we own it!" "Oh yeah, well if you don't share, we'll bomb you into the stone age!") They know that doling out bits of information piecemeal won't work either, because then they become the subject of hate and resentment for being so miserly about it. And so on. Human history is replete with examples of cultures being destroyed by gaining advanced technology before they are ready for it. So what do our heroes do? Ignore the technology? Broadcast it for everyone to know (but flood the Earth with too much information, which causes its own set of problems)?

That's ultimately what I have to resolve, and right now I haven't a clue how to handle it. I not only have to figure out what the answer is, I also have to figure out how they come to that answer. (Yeah, I know, "If writing a bestseller were easy, everyone could do it!" <g>)

Mark.
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I'll bet that if you ask, several members here would be willing to review your book, and maybe give you helpful hints!

justsayingRAD
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>>>>I'll bet that if you ask, several members here would be willing to review your book, and maybe give you helpful hints!

Radigast: I have had that thought, and I may yet go that route, once I finish the book and start sending out chapters. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I would hate to see my book published under someone else's name because they submitted my ms while I was busy having people reading it. 8^{

So far I have three friends and relatives reviewing it for me and offering feedback, so I figure that's a good start, and as safe as I'm going to get.

Mark. (Just out of curiousity, would anyone be interested if I decide to go that route?)
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would anyone be interested if I decide to go that route?
Me, of course.

I have felt the same way. Although I've only written shortstories so far (and a novellette) I can understand. My submission of my work on writing.com has really helped. I've learned a lot from others and gotten some good feedback. I've noticed that I can write, edit, submit, correct on feedback and get more corrections on my second/third/fourth/fifth time. New eyes seem to see new things. I guess you will just have to try and trust some of us, if you want to try this. (I'd send you some of my work as collateral, if it's worth anything! LOL)

writingandreviewingRAD
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Rad: Thanks for the offer. I'll give it some more consideration and see how the reviewing/editing goes with the three people I have now first. I agree that the more eyes the better (the white papers I write usually have anywhere from six to 40 reviewers) but I'm more concerned about idea theft with a novel than I am with a white paper. <g>

Thanks again.

Mark.
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Your welcome, hope it works out!

I'msurprisedthatnooneelsehasofferedRAD
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Really? Seems like an awfully short book to me. I'm thinking 70-80K would be a minimum length for a novel.

I found this article to be somewhat useful with regards to length of stories and how they "fit in".

How Long Should Your Story Be?
http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/wordcount.html
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>>>>Novel
>>>>50,000-110,000
>>>>Most print publishers prefer a minimum word count of around 70,000 words for a first novel, and some even hesitate for any work shorter than 80,000. Yet any piece of fiction climbing over the 110,000 word mark also tends to give editors some pause. They need to be sure they can produce a product that won't over-extend their budget, but still be enticing enough to readers to be saleable. ["Saleable"? Is there something wrong with the old-fashioned "sellable"?]

Scott: Thanks for the link! That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. My gut feel was that anything shorter than 70K-80K words would probably be a hard sell, but I didn't realize that over 110K might also be a problem.

I'm currently nearing 60K, so I'm already at novel length, but not yet up to the "sweet spot" they're looking for. Knowing that 100K is considered a longish novel makes me feel more comfortable shooting for, say, 80K. I'm sure I can get to 70K, but 80K seems like a stretch right now. I haven't a clue how I would reach 100K, which was my original target (picked from thin air, admittedly.)

I'm always puzled by the 250-words-per-page number I keep seeing, though. I guess they must be referring to hardback books, because every paperback I have checked has at least 300 wpp, and many of them exceed 400. (A quick calc tells me that most of those books are in excess of 120K words, but apparently that isn't a problem for established writers, only first-time novelists who have yet to develop a following.)

I had a chuckle at the description of "micro fiction" (<100-word "stories"). Other than the humorous stories in Reader's Digest (which presumably are true), does anyone actually publish 100-word stories? I can't even imagine how I could write a complete "story" in what amounts to one decent-sized paragraph. At least, not something that would be entertaining....

As a matter of fact, one reason I stopped reading SF short story compilations was that I was always being frustrated at how short some of the stories were. Just as I was really getting interested, they ended. That's why I only read novels now. I imagine that reading a series of micro fiction stories would be like eating one or two potato chips.... <g>

To each his own, I guess. Thanks again.

Mark.
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I had a chuckle at the description of "micro fiction" (<100-word "stories"). Other than the humorous stories in Reader's Digest (which presumably are true), does anyone actually publish 100-word stories? I can't even imagine how I could write a complete "story" in what amounts to one decent-sized paragraph. At least, not something that would be entertaining....

We used to run a micro-fiction contest at the 'zine. The winner would get $100 and get their story published. It was called "Flash Fiction".

And yes, it's a very short story, but you can tell a story in 100 words. You do it every time you tell a joke.

- Kate
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>>>>And yes, it's a very short story, but you can tell a story in 100 words. You do it every time you tell a joke.

Kate: I understand about jokes, but non-humor? How do you tell a story in 100 words? Just wondering. Do you have any examples that you can post of non-joke stories that won, or at least were considered good?

Thanks!

Mark.
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How do you tell a story in 100 words? Just wondering.

You create a person we care about, put them in a situation, and show a change.


Do you have any examples that you can post of non-joke stories that won, or at least were considered good?

I can't post anything because they're covered by copyright. We actually didn't publish jokes, but the one I remember best was a guy thinking about his relationship with his girlfriend and the conversation that followed.

- Kate
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I can't even imagine how I could write a complete "story" in what amounts to one decent-sized paragraph. At least, not something that would be entertaining....




Old Habits

Michael pulled out the cookies, turned off the oven and propped open its door.

“Keep the door closed,” said Amber, shutting it.

“You're supposed to keep it ajar,” he said, opening it again.

“Who says?”

“My mother always did.”

“It's hot in here!” She shut the door.

Michael swallowed rage. Married only three months, and he was having second and third thoughts.

“This is Texas,” she said. “Where did you grow up again?”

He thought. Northern Minnesota. Long winters. Lukewarm summers. Cold kitchens.

Always keep the door open...

Michael laughed and shut the door with a hip.



An original work, 99 words including the title, brought to you by JamesBrown (writing as J. Alan Brown)
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I liked it, I'll have to try that too.

Thanks for the story!

quickreadRAD
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James: Hey, not bad. Thanks!

Mark.
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Scott: Thanks for the link! That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

Your welcome. I had actually just run across it a few days before reading your post and thought you might find it useful.
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