Author Topic: What to do if your work doesn't fit in?  (Read 1756 times)

Offline Dawn

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What to do if your work doesn't fit in?
« on: December 17, 2012, 05:23:36 AM »
I know I can't be the only one with this problem.

Simon, is now coming in at 16k. As many of you know, I am aiming at the MG reluctant reader market because of short scenes. Most middle grades are 20k - 50k. My book therefore is coming in too short, especially now I have tightened and rid the MS of redundant words. It's amazing how easy it is to go from 18k to 16k. If I expand the story I run the risk of spoiling it's integrity and ease. After all it is quite a fast paced story with a lot happening. I could change it and try for the Hi/Lo market but this would be 10k - 6k is a lot to lose.

So, do we try and 'fit' in or do we try and break the mould? Would an agent if they deemed it worth it, tell you to expand?
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Wolfe

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Re: What to do if your work doesn't fit in?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2012, 04:00:36 PM »
So, do we try and 'fit' in or do we try and break the mould? Would an agent if they deemed it worth it, tell you to expand?

Thank God. It means you're recognizing fluff, redundancies, and other baggage that can be cut from the work. Whenever I read someone who has a novel that's over 100K, I automatically know it's a lot of pointless filler.

And so do agents.

Yes, they'll tell you to expand if they like your work and if the word count is too low for a reasonable sale. But, some agents give a lot of leeway if they know the product will sell too. For fiction, the target range is 80,000 words for almost all genres give or take 20,000 words.

Believe me. It's easier to add more plotting and characterization than to delete it if you've already cut and polished like you should after the second or third draft. So, yes, add more. It might open a plot or scene that makes all the difference. And it's easier than you think.

Hey . . . wait a second. Are you working on those three sentences? Cheater! ;)
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 05:02:10 PM by Wolfe »

Offline Dawn

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Re: What to do if your work doesn't fit in?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2012, 04:29:20 PM »
Ha ha ha I'm working on it. I'm going back through and A) pulling out the bullying scenes more ;) ;) and B) adding depth to the characters and C) looking for other areas I can add layers. Oh and working on the three sentences - of course ;) ;)
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline ed

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Re: What to do if your work doesn't fit in?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2012, 08:26:47 PM »
I know I can't be the only one with this problem.

Simon, is now coming in at 16k. As many of you know, I am aiming at the MG reluctant reader market because of short scenes. Most middle grades are 20k - 50k. My book therefore is coming in too short, especially now I have tightened and rid the MS of redundant words. It's amazing how easy it is to go from 18k to 16k. If I expand the story I run the risk of spoiling it's integrity and ease. After all it is quite a fast paced story with a lot happening. I could change it and try for the Hi/Lo market but this would be 10k - 6k is a lot to lose.

So, do we try and 'fit' in or do we try and break the mould? Would an agent if they deemed it worth it, tell you to expand?

Is this going to be a novella?

I've yet to tackle a short story. I'm not sure I could do less than 20k :) My story right now is around 17k. I'm aiming for around 55,000 though I will let the story determine that.

Offline Dawn

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Re: What to do if your work doesn't fit in?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 03:25:49 AM »
Hi Ed, it's for children.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline tay-clem

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Re: What to do if your work doesn't fit in?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 01:48:40 AM »
Four thousand words is a lot of ground to cover. But I agree with Wolfe. If you want to go ahead and submit it for publication, an agent or editor will probably tell you where to expand. I would rather take that path than worry, fill things in myself, only to have to cut them out again.

I've never tried a MG story, but it sounds like you're on the right track. Even if you can only squeeze 18k back out of the narrative, I think you stand quite a good chance at a reasonable sale.

Offline Dawn

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Re: What to do if your work doesn't fit in?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 07:11:20 AM »
Aw thank you Tay,

I've been expanding the story, but now feel it is complicating the story. Going to go back to basics again.
Time to take it serious and get the job done