Author Topic: Oh knowledgable ones...  (Read 18275 times)

Offline justwrite

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2007, 10:51:26 PM »
Hmmm...I've read on many a website that too long a word count for a first time author is a no-no. Whatever. Too bad Miss Snark is out of business. We can ask my two favorite rejectors who blog..Vater and Nelson.

I'm too tired to do it.It may be early out west but it's late in Mooville. I expect a well researched answer in the morning.  ;D
Wow. I actually got some writing done in between posting.

Offline Lynne

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2007, 11:57:09 PM »
Hmmm...I've read on many a website that too long a word count for a first time author is a no-no. Whatever. Too bad Miss Snark is out of business. We can ask my two favorite rejectors who blog..Vater and Nelson.


To get your Snarky fix, you could check out the blog of Editorial Anonymous. I'm sure many of you have found her already, but in case you're not familiar with her, EA is an editor of children's books who recently started a blogspot. Lately she's had some hilarious "Slush and Punishment" postings (great examples of what not to do as a writer, and hard to believe people send in manuscripts that are that bad). She's also offered a few "How to Speak Editor" lessons, in which she translated exerpts from rejection letters. 
www.editorialanonymous.blogspot.com

Offline justwrite

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2007, 08:48:22 AM »
Thanks for the blog, Lynne.

Offline JeffCrook

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2007, 11:34:43 AM »
I consider the screenplay min/max standards shallow because the screenplay is going to be rewritten - no matter what.  Some producer is going to want her boyfriend written into it. The director is going to ask if you can include a giant spider in the scene with the psychologist. So why not just go ahead and read it? It might be brilliant, but a tad too long - that can be fixed.

I'm bitter because I once wrote a screenplay 180 pages long, only to learn that to even enter it into consideration, I had to edit an entire third of the story out. I did it, but it wasn't easy.

Of course, now I'm turning it into a novel, with the other 60 pages put back.

Offline Diowe

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2007, 11:36:10 AM »
Most cut offs I've read about are in the 75,000 to 80,000 range.  YA is no exception, but they might accept less for middle grade.  I'm not sure.

Yep, much less for middle grade - 30,000 - 50,000 actually. Chelc, most of the stuff I've seen on YA is just about any length goes. Standard though is 40,000 to 60,000 and not much ever over 80K, especially for a first-time author (those agents really surprise me - are they well-known, respected? Did you check them out on AAR and Preditors/Editors?) MG and YA are different than adult fiction. Lean and mean, as someone else pointed out, does count. For a lot. Someone said people don't buy thin books because they don't feel like they're getting enough for their money. Well, kids don't care about that for obvious reasons. They see a thick book and they think, wow, do I really want to devote that much time to one story? (Unless of course JK Rowling wrote it!)

Hope this helps!

Diowe

Lotheus

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2007, 11:47:22 AM »
It's frustrating because my current WIP is at 115,000, completely on its own momentum.  This is a first draft, so there will be WC casualties, but come on!  The story has a life, and writers should net be forced to cram that living thing into a tiny, pre-ordained WC box!  It needs to be able to breathe to be vibrant and realistic.  Patrick's gonna love this "Oh, I'm an artist and will not compromise my work" post.   :bash:

Offline Diowe

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2007, 11:51:56 AM »
It's a good thing you're not writing for the kiddies, Lotheus!  ;D

Diowe

Lotheus

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2007, 11:55:02 AM »
Unfortunately I am...   :'(

Offline justwrite

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2007, 12:11:55 PM »
In those words of Stephen King: "All first drafts are sh**ty"

And "You are going to have to kill some darlings."

Words I live by and quote as often as I quote Spiderman (primarily because those are the only quotes i can remember.)  :yes:

Offline JeffCrook

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2007, 02:04:46 PM »
Unfortunately I am...   :'(

Have you considered splitting the story into two books? Is there a natural break point?

I have a long unfinished fantasy novel, currently set aside, that is already 131,000 words. I expect to write another 80-90K before it is finished. But there is a logical break point - where the young mage runs away from home - about half-way through. I will break the story there and call it a duology (or something).

Offline Cole Gibsen

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2007, 04:27:41 PM »
This is by far the most entertaining thread on this forum! :popcorn:
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may no spiders fall on your head.

website: www.colegibsen.com
blog: www.colegibsen.blogspot.com

Offline Chelc

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2007, 05:18:10 PM »
Jeez, there's too many replies on this that I can't remember who said what!
so, whoever advised me to not bulk it up just for the sake of a higher word count, it's all good. I'm writing a four part series, so there are plenty of ideas for me to work with. I took a back story plot line thing that wasn't supposed to come into play until book 2, but I realized it actually was better to put it in the first manuscript, instead of leaving the first book in such ambiguity as it was.
And yeah, one of my ex-character, after thinking through what could be done with him, really added some interest...not to mention a nice long three chapter sequence   :dance: :dance:

Okay, next thing. Patrick you brought up the subject of that readability thing on word...I tried it, but what on earth do those three things mean?
This is what I got:
Passive Sentences: 3%
Flesch Reading Ease: 83.6
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 8.9

Good or bad? ???

Last thing, I find it funny that I started this long forum :wink:
Okay, now I'm babbling :blah: and having too much fun with smileys

Offline JeffCrook

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2007, 10:15:53 PM »
Congratulations. If you can go back and look at your darling criticially and say, hey, this part would be better here and this character could work there, you've got a big leg up. Self-editing is one of the most difficult things to do.

Your readability index seems pretty good to me. Right on target for your market, I should think. It is YA, right? And relatively low passive tense. Still, 3% of 50,000 words is 1,500 words, or 150 or more passive tense sentences.

At the same time, be aware that Word is not all knowing. It assumes you are writing a scholarly essay, rather than fiction.

Offline justwrite

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2007, 10:59:05 PM »
I tried to find that function in Word. Is it only in the newest version? I'm on a Mac..do you think might not work on a Mac?

Offline Lynne

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Re: Oh knowledgable ones...
« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2007, 11:19:38 PM »
I tried to find that function in Word. Is it only in the newest version? I'm on a Mac..do you think might not work on a Mac?
I don't know much about Mac, but I have Word 2003 on my PC and it works. You should be able to click on "Spelling and Grammar", then in that window click "options", and check the box that says "show readability statistics."  Then after you do a spell check a window should pop up that gives you the stats.