Saturday, September 02, 2006

Too much of a good thing

While struggling to finish the book that will not end I was commiserating with a writer friend over our projects.

"I think I'm shortchanging the romance in my haste to get the story done," I said.

"You've got too much plot," she said wisely.

"You're right," I said. I always tell her she's right because she usually is. She's got a law degree so that makes it an automatic where I'm concerned. But it still didn't tell me how to finish the darn book without taking another six months to do it.

The night following that conversation I wake up from a sound sleep and go. "Duh. She is right. I've got another entire story in this book."

So what makes too much plot? Does the fact that I"m covering a span of six years in 350 pages make a difference? How about a planetary rebellion, a missing brother, a missing lover, a political engagement, gladiator type battle scenes and the explanation for how and why my Circe women came into existence. Does that sound like too much plot?

Or it could just be the fact that I'm trying to compress two love stories into one book.

That was it. One would definitely suffer. So after struggling with this story for nine months the answer was right in front of me all along. Make it into two books. Talk about a relief. Of course now I have to change the title but that's okay. That's the easy part. And finishing it up is the best part.

1 comment:

  1. Lucky you! My usual problem is that my books have too little plot. I often have trouble filling in the middle. That is why novellas and category length come naturally to me. The exceptions among my vampire novels -- DARK CHANGELING, CHILD OF TWILIGHT, and SEALED IN BLOOD -- are longer, the first one very long (for me), because they "just came" to me with subplots already in place. Most of my novel ideas don't seem to lend themselves to subplots. With DARK CHANGELING, in particular, it's so long because it grew out of an attempt to combine several related vampire stories I'd been working on, at irregular intervals, since age 13. Needless to say, I had only one book of that type in me.