Question about what to do once you finish your book?


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  1. #1

    Question about what to do once you finish your book?

    Hey, it's been a few months since I have been on this site. Been working mostly on the book my brother and I are writing together. We had a few family issues that happened this year and that really impacted how much we were able to write. We had a hard time finding Beta Readers and the ones we found would have costed a few thousand dollars after everything was said and done. That would have just been one beta reader :-/ Anyway I forget about this site and I didn't think to ask for beta readers on here.


    I didn't know where to post this so I posted it here.


    We finished our first book back in May but we took a long break from the book. We kinda worked on the second book by coming up with the outline but we took another a 3 month break after that.


    It's our fourth draft and we are looking for advice on what to do next. We have had a few chapters read by beta readers.


    Any advice on what to do next?

  2. #2
    Member Fiender's Avatar
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    Well, if you haven't had the whole thing read by beta readers, you should absolutely do that. Consider their feedback when making changes, probably while beta reading something of their in return, then rinse and repeat until you feel comfortable enough to submit this to agents or whatever your publishing plan is.

  3. #3
    Another question I have is we have 141k words over 360 pages and 42 chapters. I know must Sc-Fi books have an accepted word count so we want to reduce that. All of our chapters have between 3,000 and 5,000 words each. Right now we are reading our book out loud to help cut some of the words down. Are we thinking too much into this? YouTube has been helpful but the topic of word count has been difficult. We didn't start out to have a high word count but as our story progressed we just ended up with 141K words. We wrote each chapter following a bullet point plot and I don't know if we can tell our story. Every chapter we had pushes our story forward. We did our best to not write unnecessary fluff and we still ended with a high word count.

  4. #4
    I usually start with a bottle or five of my favorite scotch.
    Sometimes, I wrestle with my demons. Other times, we just snuggle.

  5. #5
    Member River Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amnesiac View Post
    I usually start with a bottle or five of my favorite scotch.
    I will drink to that!!!!
    Some girls are made of Supernova’s,Moonbeam dances ,Stardust sprinkles,Forest Witches and Crows Kisses ~ RR

  6. #6
    I'm brand new and a nonfiction writer, so take my advice for what it's worth. I use one of the grammar/spelling software programs to point out where I need to change things. This might help you tighten up your story. Also, if the story is too big, why not turn it into 2 volumes?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TheStory99 View Post
    Another question I have is we have 141k words over 360 pages and 42 chapters. I know must Sc-Fi books have an accepted word count so we want to reduce that. All of our chapters have between 3,000 and 5,000 words each. Right now we are reading our book out loud to help cut some of the words down. Are we thinking too much into this? YouTube has been helpful but the topic of word count has been difficult. We didn't start out to have a high word count but as our story progressed we just ended up with 141K words. We wrote each chapter following a bullet point plot and I don't know if we can tell our story. Every chapter we had pushes our story forward. We did our best to not write unnecessary fluff and we still ended with a high word count.
    You don't necessarily *need* to cut it down if it's all necessary - I mean, have you seen Brandon Sanderson's books? It'll just make it more intimidating and harder to market to people (especially if it's a first book).
    My advice would be to give it to some beta readers - there's a whole section of this site just for that, if you weren't sure where to look - and ask them at the end if there's anything that dragged or that felt unnecessary in the story. I don't really have much experience in this area, but hopefully that's helpful.

  8. #8
    I recently finished some research on a novel written by Robert Heinlein in 1957. Understand this was the top guy in the sci-fi field writing in his prime. In those days, publishers did not consider science fiction novels as candidates for longer books, although by the 60s he was writing much longer books and everything he wrote was eagerly published.

    I'm referencing Citizen of the Galaxy. The first draft was 100K words. The published novel is 73k. He didn't eliminate a single scene. So if a top-notch writer in his prime can cut more than a quarter of his length and IMPROVE the work (which he did, I've seen the first draft), it's something to think about.

    You mention this was your first book. More often than not, beginning writers are wordy. Once you know what to look for, you'll find extraneous words EVERYWHERE. I'll give you one exercise to start with. Open your book in software and do a search for the word "that". Start looking at each occurence. Read the sentence WITHOUT "that" included. You'll discover you can delete it 75% of the time and improve the sentence. "That" is just one of many words this works for.

    You can find more pages like this with variations of their list:
    https://www.grammarcheck.net/filler-words/
    Last edited by vranger; November 13th, 2020 at 06:48 PM.

  9. #9
    Member Fiender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheStory99 View Post
    Another question I have is we have 141k words over 360 pages and 42 chapters. I know must Sc-Fi books have an accepted word count so we want to reduce that. All of our chapters have between 3,000 and 5,000 words each. Right now we are reading our book out loud to help cut some of the words down. Are we thinking too much into this? YouTube has been helpful but the topic of word count has been difficult. We didn't start out to have a high word count but as our story progressed we just ended up with 141K words. We wrote each chapter following a bullet point plot and I don't know if we can tell our story. Every chapter we had pushes our story forward. We did our best to not write unnecessary fluff and we still ended with a high word count.
    I also want to chime in on the subject of word count. Sci-fi and Fantasy books can get away with larger word counts than other genres. 141k does not immediately strike me as "omg, that's crazy, good luck publishing that LOL", but it is a bit heftier than normal, and that might be an obstacle. It's important to remember, coming out of earlier drafts, your book likely has some extra marbling that needs trimming: excess words, or repetition that is unnecessary, or points where your prose goes into unnecessary explanations. For the sake of improving your novel, these are definitely things you should keep in mind while you revise, but I wouldn't stress tooooo much about getting that word count down. Like I said, 141k isn't that crazy.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiender View Post
    I also want to chime in on the subject of word count. Sci-fi and Fantasy books can get away with larger word counts than other genres.
    That's true, but the general rule of thumb for a debut author is less is more when going the traditional route.

    It's hard, but anyone can cut down the word count of their story and still tell the whole thing. In my second draft, I trimmed 7,000 words from a 120k word book. For the final draft, I'm finding paragraphs that are either repetitive or unnecessary. Even wordy descriptions and modifiers can be cut in a lot of cases, replaced by stronger verbs. I've already trimmed over 1000 unnecessary words from the first and second chapter of my final draft. That's the whole point of editing. You gotta keep combing through your manuscript and refining it until you reach the limits of what you can do. Then you either send it to query, or for professional editing (if self publishing).

    My biggest question is: who in the world costs thousands of dollars to beta read? Even professional beta readers cost around $100 on average.

    HOWEVER, you do not need to pay a cent for this. There are tons of places to find beta readers. I found them on goodreads, twitter, reddit, writing forums, niche communities in my genre, and through past writing connections. I managed to get around 81 readers. 16 for the alpha phase (rough draft, this included critique partners which you NEED), 40 for the rewritten and revised version, and 25 for this last round after the last two revisions. You have to be persistent and accept readers wherever you can. Even if you only get 5 really good beta readers, it will help your story immensely. Just gotta scour google. But yeah, 100% find those beta readers before you go any further. And trust me, you will need to revise or possibly rewrite most or all of your book after getting them. I mean, unless you are the exception to the rule, and write an almost perfect draft your first go-around.

    But, I'm gonna guess you did not do this, because most of us mere mortals cannot.

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