Thursday, August 30, 2012

There is no spoon

In the matrix, lack of a spoon was cool, good even.

In a book though, lack a plot is certainly not cool, and definitely not good.

So my editor gets back to me and basically tells me that 80,000/90,000 words in my first book is back-story. There is no plot. Even though my editor said the back-story was interesting, a series of interesting events in chronological order do not constitute a plot (though the second book in the best selling Kingkiller Chronicles would beg to differ).

Anyway, I am back to the drawing board. Looks like I am going to keep you all waiting for a little bit longer, but a much better book is going to come out of this process. No more eating with my hands.

Time to reach for that spoon again.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Shane,
    I'm sorry to hear that you have to rework your novel. I hope you do not have to compromise too much!
    I saw the map for your novel on cartographers guild and my interest was instantly awakened. Are there any excerpts anywhere? I read a lot of fantasy and i am always interested in new voices.

    Best,
    E.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the interest, Jared's map was amazing, eh?

      I actually already had book 2 of the series writen, so I am just going to start the new book 1 at the end of old book 1 and combine it with book 2. I am going to use about 25% of the rest of old book one as flashbacks / character backstory for new book 1 (another 30% will go into the next book, what was book 3, now book 2).

      Finished up the first act, which was essentially the end of old book 1. I will probably post it on my blog once I clean it up a little, though I am happy to send it to you if you don't mind a couple of typos ;)

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  2. Hi,

    Yes, it is amazing...and that is an understatement ;)

    Sounds like a tough process. To be honest, i really would have liked to read the book as you intended it (i read your comment about plot in another post of yours). Maybe you can someday reissue a director's cut of the book :)

    Whatever works better for you, Shane. I am sure i can wait until you publish the excerpt officially. If you want to send it to me right now, cool ;) Can i contact you in any way? I am not keen on posting my email in a public post on a blog...spammers and all that.

    Thanks!

    Best,
    E.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Eilathen,

      I now have an email, shanemurrayfiction(at mark)gmail.com.

      Feel free to drop me a line.

      Cheers,

      Shane

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  3. Hi Eilathen,

    I have posted some sample chapters for two different series I am writing at the moment. They are still a bit rough, but I hope you enjoy reading them :)

    Cheers,

    Shane

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  4. Shane -
    I too was enticed by the map. It's the sort of work that would cause me to buy a book, or heavily weight my decision :-).

    Anyway - the only-mildly-plotted material... I'm glad you've settled on a way to use it and at the same time advance the series. If you find yourself in that situation again, don't feel tied to publishing it on paper. One could use such bits as bonus content online, to prime and sustain a community... which would keep readers' appetites whetted for the next book to come. Maybe a periodic "learn more about _____" blog, or almanac, or the like. Authors generate all manner of detail that doesn't fit in a story, yet is so deliciously fun to create. A purist might say don't publish a single syllable that doesn't advance a story. A hungry author though might think of extra words as potential ore, to mine metal from. Or mettle :-).

    Or just archive it, and thirty years later write The Silmarillion :-).

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    Replies
    1. Yeah the map is awesome, can't wait to release it with an actual novel ;)

      I like that "learn about" idea, actually planning something similar with a string of short stories about a famous thief in the world, "The Adventures of Teppin Dashfingers". It is definitely nice not to waste material.

      Anyway, have a look at the sample chapters, they aren't professionally edited yet, but there shouldn't be too many typos I hope :)

      I also have an email if you would like to contact me or would like updates when I publish, shanemurrayfiction(at mark)gmail.com

      Cheers,

      Shane

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