A term I hadn't heard before... "Mega Novels" - Page 2


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Thread: A term I hadn't heard before... "Mega Novels"

  1. #11
    What is being called a meganovel now I've long considered a 'series'. A series encompasses a larger story, while each book tells only a section of it. Each book moves the series plot forward the way chapters or sections within a book do.

    I'm currently writing a series about the extinction and evolution of the human species. In many ways, it's a similar tale to Arthur C. Clarke's Childhoods End.

    That's my definition though - and does not seem to be shared by many series authors.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Embassy of Time View Post
    Sorry I'm a bit late to the discussion (only found this forum yesterday...), but this is frightfully on the nose for me! To be perfectly honest, I thought I coined the term meganovel not long ago, but it seems I just heard the distant voices of my ancestors call it to me!

    Last year (2019), I did my second major draft for a novel, one I've been working on for a while now. It suddenly just clicked and I finished the thing in under four months. 300K word count, almost exactly. But when rereading it, I noticed how cramped and at times outright shallow it felt, skipping over things and compressing others insanely! So I am doing it as a smallish (50-75K words) book per chapter. I am outlining everything now, based on the draft, though I'll stay quiet on the number of chapters. It is one story (technically two intertwining stories, skipping back and forth each chapter), from start to finish, although I try to make each book a fairly individual read. Chapters pick up where the story left off.

    Not gonna speculate why others do such things, but I haaaate books that skip interesting things just for brevity. I rarely read anymore, and part of the reason is that. Give me the juice, the intricate details, the feel of the world at every step! I'd rather the story be longer than ever feel rushed. And the story I want to tell, well, I feel it deserves that I put my money (time) where my mouth is.

    Not sure if this sounds crazy, but if anyone has questions about it, feel free to ask!
    Welcome to the forum! I agree with you. If I'm hooked on a story, I want all the details. I'd rather three books and know the whole story than one book with light details that I can't get hooked on. I like your idea breaking it up.

    What is the story about? Would love to hear some details and how you are splitting it up into separate books.
    Blogging, writing, and more writing at Hidden Content . Book coming soon!

  3. #13
    Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    I just find it incredibly difficult to find that balance between a series book and a standalone. Ya know, what information needs to be retold in a back-story type of way, without losing the reader and a reference to the overall story thread in any previous books. I'm probably more guilty of repeat information, only I strive to change up the information that seems fresh without losing any accuracy. Since my trilogy books are separated by about nine months, release wise, I find myself having to recap vital information, rather than unzip the main plot and theme. Catch 22--I want something old and recognizable, but also something different that explores new ground and thrusts things forward. It bugs me so much, I'm having trouble explaining exactly what I mean. I'm waiting for those cursed words in the second book, "Why did you have to mention that again? You don't have to hash over this. Why did you include that? Why are you introducing a new character? You've got way too much backstory here--we get it. You explained that before. Why did you change this?"

    Talk about paranoia. Anybody else get the jitters in making that seamless transition from one book to another? How do you keep the demons at bay?
    Blog: Guerilla Warfare For Writers:Hidden Content

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  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson View Post
    I just find it incredibly difficult to find that balance between a series book and a standalone. Ya know, what information needs to be retold in a back-story type of way, without losing the reader and a reference to the overall story thread in any previous books. I'm probably more guilty of repeat information, only I strive to change up the information that seems fresh without losing any accuracy. Since my trilogy books are separated by about nine months, release wise, I find myself having to recap vital information, rather than unzip the main plot and theme. Catch 22--I want something old and recognizable, but also something different that explores new ground and thrusts things forward. It bugs me so much, I'm having trouble explaining exactly what I mean. I'm waiting for those cursed words in the second book, "Why did you have to mention that again? You don't have to hash over this. Why did you include that? Why are you introducing a new character? You've got way too much backstory here--we get it. You explained that before. Why did you change this?"

    Talk about paranoia. Anybody else get the jitters in making that seamless transition from one book to another? How do you keep the demons at bay?
    After my first novel was out there (The Dark Side of Joy) I got a lot of messages/feedback from readers asking, 'what happened next?' My next book (The Last Dragon) was a sequel - albeit unintended - and I had to scramble to accommodate readers that had not read the first book. I chose to NOT do a core dump or a prequel, but rather weave relevant things from the first book into the early chapters of the second. I had no experience with such things, so it was a struggle.

    My current WIP is book 4 in a series of 5. This time though, I planned it all in advance. Each book is a separate story with very little back story needed for it to fit into the series. The books are intended to be like pieces to a puzzle, interesting to look at separately, but when put together the provide a broader and hopefully more interesting picture.
    Books 1, 3, & 5 feature the same MC, but they require very little information about the character to understand what's going on. Books 2 & 4 have different MC's. Each episode in the series is separated either by distance of time.

  5. #15
    I disagree with a meganovel being synonymous with a series.

    I find series work best when the individual books function as standalones in some way. In practice, this doesn't completely happen (you can't usually pick up book 5/9 of a series and know where you are if you didn't read the books before) but I find good series tend towards having books that have both a completed 'micro arc' as well as leave enough open to continuance -- other than the final book which should resolve everything.

    For example, in Harry Potter the first book involves the discovery and destruction of the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's stone and a return to an improved version of the status quo at the end where Harry returns home. It is possible to read that book, enjoy it, and not need to read on. Except that there are also things introduced in that book that are unresolved, of course. It's a good balance.

    When writers come out with extremely long 'meganovels' and think a quick fix is to simply cut them into multiple books, that doesn't always work. It doesn't work because it often ends in the first book of the series just being essentially one big prologue with absolutely no resolution to anything, the subsequent books just being prolonged mid-sections of wavering climax, and the final book being absolutely vital to read for any of the preceding ones to make sense. That isn't a series, in my opinion. What it is, is cynical marketing - the hacking of a doll.

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