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Old 24th August 2010, 11:04 PM   #1561 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

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Excellent point.
Correct. It's the mix of knowing the market and being aware of what you write and knowing that does not have to fit 100% with any one specific author, but within a Venn Diagram - it's a GENERAL point, not specific...
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Old 24th August 2010, 11:07 PM   #1562 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

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Good idea. I'll see what they say.
The advice I've been given in the past (which now seems to be a bit misguided) is that you shouldn't compare your novel to another one because it should be able to stand up on its own. Were they perhaps talking about comparing to obvious stereotypes like Harry Potter or Twilight?

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Yes, never say your book fits with huge bestsellers (it doesn't). Be more sophisticated and intelligent...but see the authors I have mentioned here - be aware of them and how your work compares to them.
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Old 25th August 2010, 06:21 PM   #1563 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

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Yes, never say your book fits with huge bestsellers (it doesn't). Be more sophisticated and intelligent...but see the authors I have mentioned here - be aware of them and how your work compares to them.
There's a fine line between self-confidence and hubris
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Old 25th August 2010, 07:18 PM   #1564 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

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Yep, I'll be there! Waiting to hear if they want me on panel/panels!
Well, I'll buy you a pint and machine-gun questions at you then! See you there.
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Old 26th August 2010, 08:16 AM   #1565 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

Cheers, Daniel!!!
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Old 26th August 2010, 08:17 AM   #1566 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

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There's a fine line between self-confidence and hubris
Too right!
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Old 26th August 2010, 11:45 AM   #1567 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

The art of self-editing turns a writer into an author...
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Old 26th August 2010, 01:45 PM   #1568 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

It's a long process, as you know, Stephen. And you're dead right, every writer has to learn to look at their work objectively, editorially...
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Old 26th August 2010, 07:12 PM   #1569 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

That's why it's good to let a piece rest between revisions. I can come back to a passage that I thought was perfect six months ago, and leave it covered in red ink (the manuscript, not me)
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Old 27th August 2010, 11:47 AM   #1570 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

Also, don't forget that there will come a time when you have done everything you can with the story (either because of the story itself or your own current writing ability). At that point, it's best to move on to something else.

You can always come back to it in later years. I believe Iain Banks did this with USE OF WEAPONS.
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Old 27th August 2010, 12:09 PM   #1571 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

Yes, Iain's first three published SF novels were COMPLETE rewrites of earlier books. And you can also cannibalise earlier books - one plotline or character might work in a later, better novel...
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Old 27th August 2010, 04:04 PM   #1572 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

I have a whole boxful of abortive early efforts that I'm planning to cannibalise for my sideline project - mainly worldbuilding, but a few characters may make it through the mill. Waste not, want not...
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Old 27th August 2010, 08:00 PM   #1573 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

I'll be taking CONSIDER PHLEBAS and USE OF WEAPONS to his signing in London in October. Hope he won't mind me asking him to sign four books(!)
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:40 AM   #1574 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

Sorry to bore you again with a word count question John. But say if I feel 100k is best to tell my story and it's a fantasy novel debut. I know I said I would compare it to Erikson but that was only in the fact that it had some military action in and multi POV
I really think it's more character driven. Now I am really worried, a friend told me that my 100k wordcount book will only come up to 250 pages. Is this true
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Old 17th September 2010, 09:29 AM   #1575 (permalink)
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Re: "Personal" question(s) to John Jarrold

I hope John doesn't mind me answering this, but it's something I've had to deal with recently...

Firstly, I wouldn't worry about page count, anthorn - it totally depends on the font and page size used for the finished book. Word count is king at the manuscript stage!

Secondly, have you shown it to anyone yet? It doesn't have to be a formal critique - what you want at this stage is reader response, not grammatical nitpicking. Because you are so close to the story, getting someone else to read your book can be a good way to find out if you have a tightly-written page-turner on your hands or just a rushed draft that needs a bit more depth and detail.

My previous draft was 105k, but knowing it was a bit short for the market I went back and fleshed out some of the conflicts, and expanded the ending which my beta-readers said was too rushed - and got it up to 126k without much trouble.

Anyway, good luck!
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