Got to write a book or two?
For those who are wondering, think the musical Oliver and Ron Moody as Fagin. As Fagin noted ‘You’ve got to pick a pocket or two’. Ah, happy memories. I should clarify that. My late mother took me to see the musical in London when it first opened, we didn’t embark on a mother-son minor crime spree.
Anyway, I’m not contemplating picking a pocket or two but as I embark on the last one or possibly last two chapters of the latest Karno I realise that this is not the end of this particular story. Hmm. The Karno books I originally envisaged as novellas, which by my definition is a book of between fifty and sixty thousand words. My definition happens to be as good as any so as I approach the sixty thousand mark, what to do?
The end as it stands is, I have to admit, a little unsatisfactory in that it isn’t really ‘the end’, there are a couple of unanswered questions. It makes a great end to a chapter, or possibly to ‘Book One’. Do I extend the book slightly and answer those questions (and why not, it’s my book?) do I change the ending or do I type ‘To be continued’ instead of ‘The End’?
If I go for a two-book series, do I write the second book and publish books one and two together, do I publish the first book now and crack on with the second or do I blend the two books into one continuous story? What do you think?
A) Simply write a slightly longer book
B)Write two separate books and publish one a couple of months after the other.
C)Write two separate books and publish simultaneously.
Of course, there is no guarantee that this particular story will not turn into a full-length saga like the Lord of the Rings for example. It is possible to buy those books individually but more usually they are brought ‘in one lump’. And what a lump it is as well. Without giving the game away entirely Karno has possibly encountered this particular villain before, so in a sense three novels out of what, five? Six? have already been written. Perhaps I should just continue as I am. Or should I write the remainder of the ‘saga’ and publish all the components together as large tome. Tolkien of course envisaged the Lord of the Rings as a two volume set, the second set being the ‘Silmarillion’ but his publishers decided to put the books out as three volumes, two novels per volume. They were all published over the course of a year. Perhaps this is what in effect I have already done, except I only had the vaguest notion of one arch-villain when I wrote the first story. Maybe that is the answer, continue as I am and write ‘the end of book one’, then at some point in the future group the novels that feature this particular villain together in one ‘mega-volume’.
“Aha but in that case aging and arthritic scribbler you should type ‘end of book three’, not ‘end of book one’. And if you do decide to lump them all together will you put them in chronological order and not in the order that they were published? What about the elves eh? Haven’t written much about them yet have you? Glad to be of help and mines a large pint, cheers.”
Er, yes thanks for that Bill. You’ve certainly cleared up the confusion in my mind….not.
‘I think I’d better think it out again.’
I think I’d better do the same but in my case I can consult a friend or two as well.
In between eating, drinking and arguing with the relatives/kids/neighbours over the festive season mull it over and let me know what you think.