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Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

The Scope

There are various ways a story can move or unfold. Depending on the genre, a story may need more speed or less. Some stories need to feel much more singular in nature. While others need to include a multi-faceted cast of characters for the story to be properly told. I think this can be tricky to gauge. How wide should your scope be? What should your story encompass? What is too much information or what isn’t quite enough? Some authors or writers will say that the story is finished when it’s finished. And you’ll know when you know. But what about the books that leave you feeling…well, eh. The ones that you kept saying, “Hang on a sec…” or “But what about..?” or “Really…?” Gauge is such a tricky thing. When I read books in my genre, sometimes I think, Is my book at this place? I honestly can’t answer that question. It depends on the day. But I can say that the scope, the feel, the whole encompassing world of a novel needs to be just right. And just right is a tough one. My just right could be completely different from some one elses. Just a thought. I know I don’t want to leave anyone saying, “Really…?” after they read my book.

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4 responses

  1. How will you ever stop that though? If you close off every thread, you stop your story from ever developing into something else. What if you want to twist the storyline, change how it works and create a follow-on piece? If you close all the loops, then you may shut off creative ideas because mentally you see the work as finished.

    April 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

    • The book I’m writing now is a series. The loops aren’t being closed in my head. I’m wondering about other people’s heads. The readers who read my books as well as other authors and the writers who are in the process of their own novels and having trouble with how far to throw the net out in their world.
      It can be too many details (like the adverbs in my other post), or the world isn’t broad enough or character development is quite right. It’s a fine line. You want to hit it on the head. I do want my readers to question certain things and find answers later. I don’t want them wondering “what the hell?” at the end of book one though. I do want them to feel like they are immersed in the story. The only way I can do that is to ‘show’ it to them and that’s not easy. The scope has to be wide enough to include the readers sensory responses but not so wide that they are drowning in them. Kind of like your sandwich comment/analogy from my “Do I really have to kill them all?” post. I’d rather the reader want a few extra toppings in book two than to pile them so high in book one, they don’t have an appetitie any more. Does that make sense?
      Great comment. Love your thought evoking questions:)

      April 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm

  2. Yes, if you pile the sandwich high with extras, then it will topple, causing an almightly mess. I guess one thing I want to do when I start writing a series (whenever that is) is to create different paths, that may be related to the continuing story, or are actually “red herrings”. Will keep them guessing and will change what they think will be the outcome. I have found that happens a lot in murder mysteries (eg Agatha Christie)

    April 29, 2011 at 10:46 am

  3. Yes. And the pathways, I think, are key to creating that mystery you want. Not only for you as a writer but also as the lasso that keeps your readers interested and engaged in your series.

    April 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm

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