Science Fiction Fantasy  
Go Back   Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums > Books and Writing > Aspiring Writers > General Writing Discussion

General Writing Discussion For aspiring writers of science fiction and fantasy to discuss issues of writing.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 13th March 2012, 04:33 PM   #31 (permalink)
Former Comment Giver
 
Perpetual Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Devon
Posts: 4,553
Blog Entries: 27
Re: Books like your wip?

There is a funny thing about fitting a novel or a story into the market.

Many (many) years ago I completed my second novel, a massive story coming in at over 1000 pages. I did a second, then third draft and left it for a while. (This is about 20 years ago now) and submitted to a publisher.

I had a very nice letter back saying it was well written, was a lot of fun, but they did not think it was marketable. Y'see one of the main story lines was a romance between a human in his late teens/early twenties and a 300 year old vampire.

Apparently that kind of thing would never work.

Ever.
Perpetual Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2012, 04:55 PM   #32 (permalink)
Fantastical historian
 
Anne Lyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,455
Re: Books like your wip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
In my opinion I think we, as aspiring writers, should aim to write the story as we need to tell it; to do otherwise is going to feel forced and won't be as good.
Yes, that's true when you're writing the book - but we're talking about the stage when you've finished the book and are submitting it to agents and/or publishers. At that point you need to have your business hat on, not your artist one.

@Hex - I didn't query mine, as I pitched in person to an editor and it got picked up from there, but I described it as similar in flavour to Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie but less testosterone-soaked

To find books similar to yours, Google for book review blogs - there are loads of them, covering many of the upcoming SFF releases. And there are still a few of those old-fashioned things called book shops, where I believe you can look at new books for free and read their back cover copy...
Anne Lyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2012, 05:09 PM   #33 (permalink)
Brian G. Turner
 
I, Brian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: UK: SCOTLAND:
Posts: 11,063
Blog Entries: 17
Re: Books like your wip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hex View Post
Hi everyone (I know -- I'm failing to be on holiday -- don't mock me too mercilessly)

I am aware that it's useful to be able to situate one's work in the context of recent books that have come out so that it's clear what market you're aiming at (or something along those lines)

How do you do that?
You look what's on the book shelves, buy a few examples; check Amazon charts for bestsellers in your genre; see what books in your genre people on chrons are posting about that are relatively recent.
I, Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2012, 11:29 PM   #34 (permalink)
Voir le heureux visage
 
David Evil Overlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Australia, Victoria
Posts: 2,150
Blog Entries: 58
Re: Books like your wip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perpetual Man View Post
There is a funny thing about fitting a novel or a story into the market.

Many (many) years ago I completed my second novel, a massive story coming in at over 1000 pages. I did a second, then third draft and left it for a while. (This is about 20 years ago now) and submitted to a publisher.

I had a very nice letter back saying it was well written, was a lot of fun, but they did not think it was marketable. Y'see one of the main story lines was a romance between a human in his late teens/early twenties and a 300 year old vampire.

Apparently that kind of thing would never work.

Ever.
Read a story written by Steve Uttley (IIRC). His character spoke at length about the questionable ethics of those who cloned dinosaurs. Steve was told no story about cloned dinosaurs would ever be successful. Apparently that kind of thing would never work.

Ever.

Several years later, a writer named Michael Crichton...
David Evil Overlord is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2012, 02:23 AM   #35 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Venusian Broon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Greater London
Posts: 1,267
Re: Books like your wip?

Jules Verne in the 1860's got told by his editor:

"In this piece, there is not a single issue concerning the real future that is properly resolved, no critique that hasnít already been made and remade before. I am surprised at you ... [it is] lacklustre and lifeless."

In this work ("Paris in the Twentieth Century) he predicted:
-Mutal assured destruction
-Skyscrapers
-Petrol-powered automobiles
-High-speed trains
-Calculators & Computers
-A worldwide "telegraphic" communications networks (Internet-ish)
-Electric chairs (criminals "executed by electric charge")

Also, I believe it predicted the soul-numbing boredom of modern work as well.

So he put it in a safe and forgot about it
.
.
.
It eventually got published in 1994 when it became fact, more or less..
Venusian Broon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2012, 03:43 AM   #36 (permalink)
Voir le heureux visage
 
David Evil Overlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Australia, Victoria
Posts: 2,150
Blog Entries: 58
Re: Books like your wip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venusian Broon View Post
Jules Verne in the 1860's got told by his editor:

"In this piece, there is not a single issue concerning the real future that is properly resolved, no critique that hasnít already been made and remade before. I am surprised at you ... [it is] lacklustre and lifeless."

In this work ("Paris in the Twentieth Century) he predicted:
-Mutal assured destruction
-Skyscrapers
-Petrol-powered automobiles
-High-speed trains
-Calculators & Computers
-A worldwide "telegraphic" communications networks (Internet-ish)
-Electric chairs (criminals "executed by electric charge")

Also, I believe it predicted the soul-numbing boredom of modern work as well.

So he put it in a safe and forgot about it
.
.
.
It eventually got published in 1994 when it became fact, more or less..
So, it was published as a prediction of the past? Well, I guess anyone can predict the future.
David Evil Overlord is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2012, 04:30 AM   #37 (permalink)
Banishment this world!
 
Warren_Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Posts: 2,589
Blog Entries: 10
Re: Books like your wip?

We see so many cases of where opinions overrule sound judgement. I have to wonder if those people who turned the books down kick themselves afterwards?
Warren_Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2012, 08:54 AM   #38 (permalink)
Hex
Nice and splicey
 
Hex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: City of Edinburgh
Posts: 3,319
Blog Entries: 38
Re: Books like your wip?

@Anne Lyle -- thank you. That's exactly what I was looking for. Hearing the comparison makes me look forward to April 5th even more.
@I, Brian too -- I can't believe I didn't think (and I really really didn't think) of proper book shops.

@WP -- What's the difference between an opinion and sound judgement? (You have an opinion, I have sound judgement, he has a prejudice? )

Last edited by Hex; 14th March 2012 at 09:07 AM.
Hex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2012, 09:38 AM   #39 (permalink)
Banishment this world!
 
Warren_Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Posts: 2,589
Blog Entries: 10
Re: Books like your wip?

Yes, maybe prejudice is more the word.

What I was meaning was: being able to tell what's good, regardless of what you personally like. I think sometimes people let their own personal tastes get in the way, and say something is terrible, just because they personally didn't like it.

Just because you don't like something, doesn't make it bad.


For instance: I don't like sci-fi, but I'm not about to go saying all sci-fi is rubbish, because I know there are some very good sci-fi writers out there, just not what I want to read. If I was to say that, I'd get half a dozen people jumping up in arms at me.

says the person who is writing a sci-fi novel on the side...
Warren_Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st March 2012, 02:06 AM   #40 (permalink)
Triceratops
 
Triceratops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Alabama
Posts: 303
Blog Entries: 38
Re: Books like your wip?

I have a werewolf book coming out in May that is very much like the movie Splash (substitute characters, of course). It also has a Beauty and the Beast theme, with the genders reversed.

Chris
Triceratops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2012, 08:02 AM   #41 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Dante's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 59
Re: Books like your wip?

Publisher's Marketplace

Also, ask your readers what books your work reminds them of.
Dante is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2012, 08:09 AM   #42 (permalink)
Hex
Nice and splicey
 
Hex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: City of Edinburgh
Posts: 3,319
Blog Entries: 38
Re: Books like your wip?

Perfect, Dante. Thank you.
Hex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2012, 08:17 AM   #43 (permalink)
Fantastical historian
 
Anne Lyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,455
Re: Books like your wip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante View Post
Also, ask your readers what books your work reminds them of.
Which is great, until they say "I've never read anything like it before". Sigh.

Then you have to go and find readers with a wider experience of your genre...
Anne Lyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2012, 08:23 AM   #44 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Dante's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 59
Re: Books like your wip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne Lyle View Post
Which is great, until they say "I've never read anything like it before". Sigh.

Then you have to go and find readers with a wider experience of your genre...
It's not perfect but it's a good source of feedback if they can offer it. If you look for avid readers specifically in your genre(s), the chances of them relating it to a current work on the market is higher than if you ask a friend who normally doesn't read your genre to critique.
Dante is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2012, 08:37 AM   #45 (permalink)
Fantastical historian
 
Anne Lyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridgeshire
Posts: 1,455
Re: Books like your wip?

This was someone who reads fantasy, but evidently not the kind I write! I think she's more into Anne Rice than GRRM...
Anne Lyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.