Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors

Continuing from last week with my fantasy romance WIP. This jumps ahead just a bit. Janek is speaking with Seril, the man in charge of the outpost. Oh! And at this point Janek still thinks Lorel's name is Denra.

“Let the magi chase down the children and convince their parents that they mean no harm.” Janek remembered the way Denra had stiffened against his side when he’d mentioned the touchstone. “The people here already view it as a sacrifice. They think we’re stealing their children.” 

Seril idly swung his jewel-studded staff. “Only because it’s so difficult to imagine the glory of the city from this pigsty. If they understood what an honor it was to be chosen, they’d push their children on us.”

Janek wasn’t as certain of that.

Question for you guys. I'm struggling with structure. This story breaks into three acts with plot resolution at the end of each act and a year or so separating the sections. It's epic fantasy with the romance arc developing over the course of the entire (3 act) story. Each part is about 40-50K words. I can't decide whether to combine all three acts into one full length novel (and cut length) or leave them as separate novellas. Would you read a romance that ends with the couple apart if you knew there was another story coming? Any thoughts or opinions are welcome.

And as always, thanks for stopping by! If you'd like to join the weekend writing warriors, the main site is here. You sign up, post eight sentences from any work published or unpublished and then check out the offerings from the other participants.


  1. First off: great dialogue, and another terrific sample. Nicely detailed and intriguing.

    On structure: That's really up to you. I think you may find three short novellas more manageable, and it would be easier to make the time jumps clear. If you like you can always offer up a "collected edition" once you have all three published that combines them into one big work. Whatever works for you! =D

  2. I hear dark music playing in the background... :-) Good excerpt, Eleri.

    Regards your question. I agree with Steven on all counts. I'd only add two things. My personal opinion that I would read a book that has the MCs apart at the end as long as I knew there was another book coming. I read everything, though. Not just heas. The other consideration is financial, and I freely admit that I'd be more likely to pay a somewhat lesser amount for a smaller book--first in a series-- if I'm unfamiliar with the author. An omnibus edition is a good idea, like Steven mentioned.

    I'm a fan of your writing, Eleri, and I think it's a loss for the readers if you shorten the story for the sake of meeting a longer book's target word count. :-)

  3. I'm with Janek, I have doubts about the "honor" for parents of children chosen.

  4. Very nice snippet. The mystery and menace of "the sacrifice" is very intriguing. Regarding structure, novellas certainly seem easier to sell. I have no problem with the main couple staying apart as it keeps the tension going. Like Teresa, I don't insist on the HEA to enjoy a book.

  5. First, congratulations on the RITA nomination for WITCH BOUND, very well deserved! Second, one of the big things nowadays is publishing a story as a serial, or in episodes (like Scalzi has done) so maybe try that. You might have to break it into six pieces vs three...and then later gather it up into one book. Enjoyed the excerpt!

    1. Thanks! I'm kind of leery of serials. I keep hearing complaints about that format. Vocal minority? I don't know.

  6. Congratulations on your RITA nomination! As for your questions, I think I would be okay with the H/h apart as long as I knew there was more. (Makes me think of Diana Gabaldon's Dragonfly in Amber) Great excerpt!

  7. I'm doing well with long/short stories and novellas in series. Highly recommended by my publisher.
    Scary concepts going on in your snippet.

  8. While I like to read and have read epic length books, I prefer picking up a shorter story to relax over so I could see three separate novellas with teasers at the end of the first two.
    Seril certainly seems very snooty.

  9. I would read the shorter stories if I knew they were coming and if I knew I didn't have to wait more than a month for the next instalment.
    Great snippet. Dark undertones that make me curious about what will happen next.

  10. I'm with other folks, shorter stories are just fine, with more coming : ) Makes me wonder what the magi are doing with the children...

  11. Thanks everyone for the feedback. It makes me feel like I have a little more flexibility than I thought I might:)

  12. I enjoyed the snippet and would read more!

    I think three novellas would work well as long as the readers know it is a romantic trilogy resolved in book three.