You learn something new every day, they say.
In my case, I learned something that is significantly important regarding the post I wrote last week about “Agents & Principals & Fiduciary Duty“. There’s an important addendum if you scroll all the way to the bottom of that post, with some additional thoughts. The short version, if you don’t have the time? There is, in fact, a professional organization/association with a code of ethics for author’s agents. It’s probably worth learning more about this organization, if you’re in the market looking for an agent. I did a little digging through their by-laws and code of conduct to see if I could learn anything that fundamentally refuted the point I was trying to make in that post. I came up with a mixed bag.
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot, lately, as I’ve gotten deeper into writing the first draft of “Book of M”. It’s especially come to the fore the more I think about the background material that I’ve developed – and continue to develop – for this project.
I’d always conceived of “Book of M” as a “Stand-alone”. It has a self-contained plot with a clear beginning, middle, and end. I didn’t always know exactly where the story was going or how it was going to end, but I had a general vision for it. And now that I’ve got the thing outlined, I’m confident the story can be told in 250,000 words or less – even if I do go over my target length of 125,000 words, it will still be within the bounds of a typically-successful epic fantasy novel. From my outline, I don’t really see a satisfying way of splitting the book into a longer story. My plan for the novel does not make for the springboard to a traditional fantasy trilogy.
And yet, I’ve now committed nearly 50,000 words just to the backstory: the background details, the history, the worldbuilding. That’s a significant investment in detail for a one-and-done story. And naturally I’ve wondered: Should I make this the beginning of a series?
Well, I don’t know the answer to that, yet. Continue reading