Plottiness and The Precious

It’s not a check-in day, but I just had to report that last night I finally finished Act 1 of Red. I’ve been stuck on this chapter for about two months between all the crazy, so I am muoy relieved.  I moved on from there to start sketching out the scene I need to write today, and then realized that there was another scene that I needed to plug in after THAT scene.  Looking forward in my outline, I can see that there will be a lot of those because everything I have in the outline is the big, broad stroke action.  But there will be smaller scenes, reactions and such that must be inserted.  I’m not clear on a lot of them until I am nearly there.

It is a continual surprise to me what a total 180 I’ve done.  I used to be a consummate pantser.  Oh noes!  I couldn’t possibly plan out everything that happens!  That limits the joy of discovery.  I’m sure Pot did a fair amount of eye rolling.  She’s doing a lot of self-satisfied smirking since I’ve made my conversion because I’ve learned that plotting–at least in the sense of making sure there’s a solid story structure–a la Larry Brooks’ and his Story Engineering (which I shall be reviewing at some point)–is not limiting.  There are still discoveries to be made, twists and small details you didn’t expect.

In other news, I’m about halfway through The Precious (aka City of Fallen Angels), which is, of course, awesome.  I hopped over to Goodreads to add it, did a mini-squee when I saw that there are two MORE books in the series after this one.  And then I saw Because It Is Bitter (The Mortal Instruments #2.5). !!!!!!!!!  WHAT?   Did I MISS a middle of the series novella?  How can this be?  But no.  No it isn’t a novella.  It’s a 4 page scene from City of Ashes written from Jace’s POV instead of Clary’s (which is what’s actually in the book). There’s a link to it on Cassie’s website.

While the fangirl in me goes SQUEE at anything extra for this series because I’m totally in love with these characters and this world, I’m still a little Huh? about the fact that it’s listed on Goodreads with nomenclature that makes it look like a novella.  Probably one of the fans listed it, as the verbiage is the same as what’s on the website.  But man, you KNOW you’ve made it as an author when you can have something that short listed on Goodreads and not get crucified for it.

I have to wonder, if you get big enough, do people stop caring about the length of your stuff because they just want MOAR or do they finally pay attention to all the notations you have “this is a novella”, “this is a short story” so that they recognize what they’re getting and don’t penalize you because you didn’t write something longer?  Yeah, little bit bitter about some of the comments I’ve gotten about things that I clearly labeled and was penalized for in ratings.  It’s a mixed bag.  Most of those folks criticize the length, rate lower because of it, and then still say they liked it enough to check out the other stuff or keep an eye out for new, so I guess I’ve done something right.  Sometimes publishing is weird.

12 thoughts on “Plottiness and The Precious

  1. There really should be a way to remove reviews that don’t review the content. It’d be one thing if they thought the story was incomplete, but if they were satisfied with the story, why be bothered by the length? One has nothing to do with the other. It’s like the one star reviews on amazon because they messed up the shipping. Huh??

  2. Well a big fan base sure helps a lot. I remember CC from HP-fanfic days, and she was the biggest hit out there. I’m not surprised she made it that big, since she was really good even then and she had a huge sea of fans just waiting for her to get published.

    I haven’t read her published work yet (though I will, when I get that damn Kindle).

    But yes, being known is tremendous help, and if they love you, they’re not going to crucify you for your mistakes, since they want more and be on the authors good side.

    This won’t be going forever though. You can’t screw up too badly. Remember the new Star Wars movies. (Ok, they made an insane amount of money, but the fans weren’t that happy, if you get what I mean.)

  3. Hi Kait. I haven’t read City of Fallen Angels, but my daughter (13) counted the days until it came out. She is severely disappointed with it. She says there is no antagonist, and it’s like an angsty “wash, rinse, repeat” of Twilight with no real conflict, just drama. She thinks it’s proof the meat of the series ended with book three, and that this is a contractual afterthought. With two people whose opinions I respect disagreeing this way, I’m going to have to check it out for myself. Thanks for your post.

    1. I’m not done with it yet, but there definitely isn’t (yet) a clear cut antagonist. There are antagonistic threads and conflict that seem to be trying to set up bigger stuff for this second trilogy…not sure how it will resolve, but I’m a total Jace fangirl, so possibly I would read a grocery list if it was somehow about him…

  4. Yay for finishing Act 1.

    I’ve never been able to get into a Cassandra Clare book. Same with the Fever series. It’s like I’m incapable of enjoying anything the majority of people love. :/

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the comments and ratings – it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Just keep writing the stories you have to write and know that there will never be a story that everyone is happy with. It’s all you can do.

    1. I couldn’t get past the first of the Fever series either.

      You know, I actually don’t mind if someone doesn’t like my work. My voice, subject matter, etc. won’t be for everyone. It’s just getting penalized for length, as if I somehow cheated them because they wanted a novel and didn’t bother to read the description that it was something else, that really ticks me off. I feel the same way about people who don’t read instructions or prologues or notes from the author. People, these things would not EXIST if they were not intended to impart important information to you…

    1. There was definitely a component of DOH! Of COURSE she’d get to that mythology eventually! Hate that I have to wait a YEAR for the next installment!

  5. Fwiw, this seems common across the board, even for bestsellers. People leave reviews on Diana Gabaldon’s novellas and short stories in anthologies all the time, saying they expected this that and the other. Heck, some people even left reviews on the graphic novel saying they expected a full length novel. Don’t these people read anything on the actual Amazon page or on the back cover? They’re supposed to be readers! 🙂

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