Tuesday, 4 May 2010

I broke my head part 3

I had a novel.  It was called the Guns of Pleasure and Death.


my novel.

It had the potential to be awesome.

But I got so hung up over formatting bullshit that I forgot the most important thing.

No, not me.  Yes, I am pretty important, but something more important than I am.

That's right. The story.  The story is the most important thing.  I took a story that was 50k words and I NY-ised it.  I added 9k words that I really shouldn't have.  I wrote a prologue that introduces an important item but otherwise has completely no relevance to the book.  It has none of the characters of my novel and, crucially, none of the voice.

I've never really understood people's pre-occupation with authorial voice.  My authorial voice changes depending on the needs of each story.  I write comic fantasy, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, cyberpunk, scripts, superhero romances, horrors and YA and children's fiction.  You can't expect them all to sound the same.

So, the prologue is out, gone, down, done with, finito.  It will never work in this town again.  Actually I might title it, take the item out, and have myself a nice little Victorian ghost story.  

I also took 15k of flashbacks and wove it into the story, and it took ages for me to get every transition to seem as if  something in the full story was kicking off a flashback.

"Where is your husband?"

Flashback of husband's death.

"My husband is long dead, sir." 

I know, I know, I am awesome, right?

I can't find a picture, but my novel looked like Frankenstein.  So that's that.  

I was enslaved to the formatting ideas set down my NY.

I was determined to stretch, break and re-form, destroy my m/s to fit it in the 80k to a 120k word mark.

Was I right to do so?

I don't think I was, to be honest.  That's why I've ripped my novel apart.  

Now I have 
  • a short story, a Victorian ghost story, needs only a little work
  • a 15 - 20k novella that I can pre-release as a freebie
  • a 50k novella that will sell for $1
  • I'm working on a sequel 
And I couldn't have down any of that without breaking my head.

It's not the format (e-book, print, audio, DVD, Blu-ray, holograph, telepathically implanted straight to your reader's mind) that's important.  It's not the size.

It's the story.

It's always the story.

Nothing else ever matters... 

(PS Blogger is being a tit.  I have no idea why the formatting is so aargh here)

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