Saturday, December 24, 2005

Editing update and a question

This morning, I shuffled chapters and came up with a 20-chapter first-book-of-the-trilogy consisting of 104K words. A bit big for a first book, but it's not a deal-breaker (like, um, a 304K-word novel). Only one problem: the first book will end with one hell of a cliffhanger. I don't think this is a problem, but remember, I have NOVICE tattooed on my forehead. I can't imagine a publisher buying the first book without buying the second and third, too. They're similar in style, humor, and quality. If anything, the second two books will be better than the first. So, here's my thinking: if they buy the first, they'll buy all three, and they'll follow up on the first book's publication with publication of the second and third in the coming year. Readers will know this, and they'll forgive me for the cliffhanger. Won't they? D.


Anonymous PBW said...

I love cliffhangers, but I've only written one novel (my second) with a true cliffhanger ending. About a hundred readers protested or grumbled about it, but the next book came out six months later, so not a huge thing.

Can you make book one more of a standalone if the editor asks you to? Depending on the editor, a first book with a cliffhanger could be a sale breaker.

And before I forget -- Happy Holidays, Doc. :)

12/24/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Thanks, Sheila. If that were the deal breaker, my best bet would be to get my NaNoWriMo novel into shape, since it will be (A) short, and (B) truly stand-alone.

My NaNoWriMo wasn't crap, but it will need considerably more buffing than my main NiP before I'll be happy with it.

12/24/2005 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger kybruno said...

Seems to me that everyone writes with the sequel in mind these days. If it's a good read, why wouldn't they want more of the same? Of course, cranking out the second in a hurry wouldn't hurt.

12/25/2005 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Hey Ky,

Thanks for commenting. I checked out your blog, and your gallery. Cool stuff!

Good luck with your novel edit.

12/25/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Moi said...

Cliffhanger endings aren't unheard of in Fantasy trilogies, but it does kinda demand that the next book is coming out on a regular schedule. As a teen, I read a series where a single volume ended in a cliffhanger--and the series ended, never to continue. Still irks me after 30 years.

The advice I've heard from several authors is that if you're selling a trilogy and you're unpublished, it'll be easier to sell if you have the entire thing finished before you market it. That way one problem a publisher might have (sure, he finished one book--can he finish the others? And on deadline!) doesn't come into play.

I don't know if that's a big deal to publishers, honestly (being unpub'd myself), but I can see where having 2 more books finished and turned in would be great breathing space for getting other books written for the future. Breathing room on deadlines is a sweet and precious thing. ;)

Good luck with it, whatever you decide to do.

12/25/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

It would be awfully tempting to send out the first book once I'd finished this first round of editing. (In which case, that editing bar would read over 60% complete!) But I think I'll wait until all three books feel ready to go. Thanks, Moi.

12/25/2005 05:04:00 PM  

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