Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Insecure Writers' Support Group



In case you're wondering, I'm aware that this doesn't start with C. ;-) The A to Z Challenge post will go live at 1:30 p.m. Central African time.

So. Back to my insecurities. 

In case you don't know, the Insecure Writers' Support Group is a monthly bloghop where writers get together to share insecurities and encouragement.

This month, I have a serious insecurity. 

See... Doorways was accepted for publishing on the condition that I split it into two novels. Great opportunity because I basically have two books in the series done. 

Not so great in that it means that I had to take an ax to the story I love. 

BUT! There was a point in the book, almost exactly halfway into the story, that acts sort of like a natural break. So that was easy. The difficult part came in when I actually have to separate Doorways not into two halves, but into two stories. 

Because now I have to take a story that worked (and worked well, even if I say so myself) and add to it. 

Suddenly, the word "revision" sounds ominous... 

Anyone else have to split one story into two? 

57 comments:

  1. I have never attempted splitting a novel, so I can't offer any advice. I'm sure you can do it though - having that natural break is half the challenge!

    Annalisa Crawford, One of April's IWSG Co-Hosts

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    1. Yeah I was so grateful when I found it. :-D

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  2. I split my fantasy novel into three parts a while back when I was considering turning one long novel into three shorter novels. I did all the work of finding the right places to split it, and adding more story to places that needed it, and so on and so forth. It was interesting. But I ultimately decided I didn't like the three shorter novel so I put it back together again.

    I agree with Annalisa...having a natural break is a huge part of the challenge. You'll do great with the rest.

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    1. Yeah it was a hard decision back then, but I followed my gut, knowing that I could probably make the story awesome either way.

      Still, I can understand why you might think the story is better as one story-line.

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  3. I might have to make Nevermore into two novels but I'm hoping to keep it as one when I'm finished. But no matter what you've been accepted for publishing and that's reason to celebrate.

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    1. I agree. I'm actually really excited about splitting the book. It actually makes a lot of sense, I think.

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  4. I haven't gotten that far where anyone has ever asked me to cut my novel into two books. I'd imagine that having two stories can possibly give you more opportunities to be creative.

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    1. Definitely. Just feels a bit daunting, you know?

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  5. I've never done this but like Cynthia I would look on it as an opportunity to expand, develop and enrich your universe. Good luck!

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    1. I'm definitely doing this as much as possible. Now's a chance to add even more depth.

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  6. Oh goodness. My insecurity this week is about editing and this sounds like my worst nightmare come true. It sounds so easy doesn't it? Just split your book in half. How difficult is that?? Blah. It means having to create two entirely complete stories that work instead of just one. Good luck. I'm sure you will work it all out and Doorways will end up better than ever.

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  7. If you feel that splitting the story into two separate stories will do it justice than by all means go for it. However, I'd caution you to make sure that's what YOU want and that it's what is best. Regardless of that...congrats on the offer!!

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    1. Yeah I did make the decision to sign after some prayer and consideration.

      If I had thought the book had to stay together, I would have self-published if I had to.

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  8. I cannot offer advice here but I can offer you my cheering and faith that you'll know what to do. :)

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  9. I love being an indie author! :)
    I have had slightly less drastic challenges like that though, from editor suggestions. We writers have an odd mixture of "It's perfect like it is/This sucks and can't see the light of day." No wonder we're such strange ducks.
    I'd echo SA Larsen - make sure it's what YOU want to do. Otherwise, you'll regret it.

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    1. Overall, I'm really pleased with my decision. In retrospect I know that, although my book has a blockbuster personality, none of the trad publishers would want to take the required risk.

      Etopia, on the other hand is, which makes it the perfect home for my story.

      It sounds odd, but the story is actually more important to me at this stage than what I want.

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  10. In half huh? Hmm...it may be for the better. I'm so excited for you.

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    1. I'm starting to think it is for the better. Exciting times.

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  11. Have never had to do that. If I did, I'd apply a beat sheet-style outline to each half and make sure all the plot elements are there. As you break it down and examine it, I'm sure the inspiration will come to you. Hang in there! :)

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    1. Never done a beat-sheet, but I did make sure the whole story will be shaped around an into-middle-climax and intro-conflict-stakes structure.

      Figuring I can't go wrong if I get those down.

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  12. Yes, I can see where the challenge would be. While it may be a logical break, the story structure or arc needs to be worked on for each of the now two books. And when changes are made, there's the ripple effects that need to be attended to.

    In the end, it'll be worth the effort!

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    1. Yeah. I'm definitely going to reread the first half once it's published. Just so I know what should be put into the sequels.

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  13. Yeah, what you're talking about is scary business. And it can be super hard. I've never done it but I've seen people do it all the time.

    As my blanket advice, I always point people to the beat sheets by Blake Snyder. They really do capture the essence of each story. And If you want to see a spectacular break down of it, check out Daisy's blog here about story structure for trilogies and series. I hope that helps.

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    1. Thanks for the link! Will check it out. :-)

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  14. Congrats on the contract! This is a great problem to have.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog today.

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    1. Hahaha yeah. Overall, I have nothing to complain about.

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  15. Oh, I've had to do this before. In fact, books 4 & 5 of my series were one really big story...but I have to split them up to make all the series more cohesive in length. I'm in the middle of revisions myself...so I'm right there with you.

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    1. Oh great! I'm thrilled to know I'm not alone. :-)

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  16. No, haven't written a book at all yet, but I am grateful to all your going through...sharing it with us, because I very well may be there one day!! www.sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

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  17. Mine are so short that will never happen.
    But you can do it! I always have to add to mine. It's easier than taking away, trust me.

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    1. Hahaha oh I add to mine too. Went overboard, in fact, which is why the split is necessary now. :-D

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  18. Oh wow... that would be a whole new challenge. How do you find time to do all this and your fantastic blogs? You are my hero.

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    1. Hahaha I prioritize. Revisions first, then blog posts, then blog visits. :-)

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  19. I wish I could offer some advice, but I've never had to split a story before. Though if there is a natural break in the book, then that should make things easier. You'll get through this and when you're done, it's going to be awesome X 2!

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  20. I haven't had to do that, but I can see how it could be daunting. Best of luck to you!

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  21. This does sound amazing although a daunting task.

    Don't think of it as revising think of it as more room for expression!

    Best of luck!
    HMG

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    1. Oh yes I'm definitely excited about the idea. Just hoping people like the story as much as I do. :-D

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  22. I'm excited for you, Misha. This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself. Plus--you'll have two books when you're finished. WooHoo!

    It'll be done in no time, and you'll feel fabulous for having survived.

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    1. Yeah the thought of having two books already written is amazing. :-D

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  23. You can do this, Misha! I have faith in you. :)

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  24. Bummer Misha, but at least it's your story and you will know where to take it AND make it work! You are a soon to be published writer... That us an AWESOME thing ,.. This is part of the journey you prepared a lifetime for...

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    1. Yes, it's an amazing opportunity and I want to make the most of it. :-D

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  25. Well, you know, Tolkien had to split Lord of the Rings into three books. He didn't like doing that either.

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    1. Hahaha and yet, it worked out so well. Let's hope my book sort of goes the same way. :-D

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  26. You can do it! Release the inner writer and let it all hang out! :)

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  27. I can see how it would be hard to divide one novel into two. You can do it though! Congrats on Doorways being accepted. That's wonderful news!

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  28. Oh that's tough. Revision can be painful, but it's worth it. I've never split something in two after I've finished writing it, but I discovered last NaNo that I couldn't finish my novel because it was really meant to be two books. Now, I know that sounds like a lame excuse, but I had two different sections of the MC's life I kept writing about in spurts - just a few years apart, and I couldn't see how they would fit together in the middle, so I stopped and got back to work revising Champion in the Darkness.

    I know you can jump that revision hurdle!!! Your book(s) are going to be awesome!

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