The accepted length of Fantasy books

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JayLee

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The accepted length of Fantasy books
« on: December 31, 2017, 11:06:24 AM »
I hath return-ed! I feel I've somewhat fallen off the face of the earth this last month (but eh, apathy does have this way of making one not care). But I now find myself missing worldsmyths, and the discussions, so here is something I don't understand and would love to hear some opinions on.

I don't understand why there is a preferred/acceptable/marketable length to first time fantasy novels. 80k is generally considered average and good. 120k is not out of the realm of reason. Past that.... oh, you better cut some stuff out.

But seriously.... when's the last time you read a stand-alone fantasy novel (especially these days). Don't all the words in a trilogy count towards the word count of a story? People manage to get through all of it (often even one of the seriously subpar subsequent books written just to fill up space). Would it not be better to read a 200k single book with a streamlined plot than to be expected to read a 300k series with 100k of surpluss? It seems to me, the readers have the patience for large word counts (I mean... we all read seven books of Harry Potter).... so why is this so taboo?
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Tyrannohotep

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 11:38:03 AM »
But seriously.... when's the last time you read a stand-alone fantasy novel (especially these days).
I. Feel. The. Same. Damn. Way. You. Do.

There are simply too many trilogies and series out there. As a reader, I find those can be daunting because you have so much to read before you get to the story's resolution. We need more stand-alone books where the story is actually wrapped up by the time you get to the end of the book.

Personally, I blame all the people setting out to be the next Tolkien, as well as publishers who want to publish said next Tolkien. I can't really fault Tolkien himself since I haven't bothered to read his books (I've only seen the Peter Jackson movies), and all he really did was write something that everyone wanted to imitate. But the way he's been marketed as the great fantasy author must be responsible for a lot of the genre's more annoying trends, including this publishing bias towards trilogies and series.
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 01:02:55 PM »
Hm. This is a really good question. Maybe some part of it is that people just don't spend as much time reading as they used to, so publishers think that if a book is "too long," they won't sell because of that? I mean, think about it. These days, people are usually staring at their phone reading Facebook more often than they're actually reading a book (I'm generalizing. There are obviously exceptions, such as those of us who actually WANT to take the time to read (and write). It's nearly impossible to get kids these days to read at all (my stepbrothers are two very unfortunate prime examples of this. The twelve year old is usually slightly better about reading, the fifteen year old is terrible), but if they do, they're probably far more likely to read a book that's, like, 20-30 chapters long than they are a 50-80 chapter book (depending on their reading level, too).

So maybe it just comes down to the mindset of "shorter is better," because it has a better chance of selling and being read. Does that make sense?

I can't even think of the last time I read a standalone book, honestly. I'm not sure if I ever really have.
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JayLee

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 05:44:27 PM »
I. Feel. The. Same. Damn. Way. You. Do.

There are simply too many trilogies and series out there. As a reader, I find those can be daunting because you have so much to read before you get to the story's resolution. We need more stand-alone books where the story is actually wrapped up by the time you get to the end of the book.
I'm so glad I'm not the only one! More resolution! Yeah!

Maybe some part of it is that people just don't spend as much time reading as they used to, so publishers think that if a book is "too long," they won't sell because of that? I mean, think about it. These days, people are usually staring at their phone reading Facebook more often than they're actually reading a book
This could definitely be part of it. Too many other pastimes readily available. More free time in the average person's life, but more distracting, and frankly addictive, things to do than read (for some).
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True Neutral

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 05:56:20 PM »
I think there's a need for both short and long novels within the genre, although there's a rather annoying tendency for urban fantasy to get most of the short novels... It's something I kind-of mentioned in "Favorite Fantasy Books of 2017," but people read books in different places, and people read both hardcopy and ebook formats. A book that might be perfectly appropriate for a long, dull commute on public transit might be too much for some light poolside reading on vacation. Also, depending which device you're using to read an ebook and under what conditions, some people find it quite difficult to stare at a screen for long periods of time. Shorter probably does lend itself better to the ebook market. And, with the notable exception of Harry Potter, YA books typically average shorter than books aimed at adult audiences. (Even though some YA series do also have adult readership, their target audience is kind of what defines them. One, they're a transition from the "learn to read" and "my first chapter book" type of books to adult fiction, so they tend to be between the two in word count as well as reading level and allowed content. Two, the age range, while not as bad as toddlers, isn't really known for sitting still and having long attention spans. Especially after having been forced to sit still and be lectured at for 8 hours a day and then forced to sit and read and write a bunch of things after that as well, many would like to get out and run around or just nap instead of sit and read a whole bunch more. A stereotype, I know, but it does exist for a reason.) But overall, there's a market for both short and long novels, especially if the intended audience is adult.


In regards to series vs. standalone novels... From a writer's point of view, I totally get why series appeal so much, and from a reader's point of view, I totally get why they don't, at least when it comes to fantasy. Yes, a huge series can be rather daunting, especially one that was published in non-chronological order (Like Redwall. Do you read it in the order it was published? Or do you read it in timeline order?) or one with multiple series-within-a-series (Discworld.) When you've spent likely a few hundred hours (or more) worldbuilding (especially with something like a huge fantasy world built from scratch...maps/geography/geology, nations and governments, magic systems, flora and fauna, language families...), it's appealing to use the same world again, rather than have to start from scratch and worldbuild again, knowing how much time it took last time and knowing that the new one will just be compared to the old one. (There's a discussion... The delicate balancing act between "this world is too similar to your other stuff...it's not its own thing...this is boring" and "this isn't why I read your stuff...it's just not the same...the old stuff was better.") And then you get this other idea for a different story...but...hold on...it would totally work in the world you've already got... Or that other minor character or that other nation has a story to tell...

And then there are standalone novels (narrative-wise and sometimes also character-wise) within the world of a larger series...

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katfireblade

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 09:05:20 PM »
Personally, I blame all the people setting out to be the next Tolkien, as well as publishers who want to publish said next Tolkien. I can't really fault Tolkien himself since I haven't bothered to read his books (I've only seen the Peter Jackson movies), and all he really did was write something that everyone wanted to imitate. But the way he's been marketed as the great fantasy author must be responsible for a lot of the genre's more annoying trends, including this publishing bias towards trilogies and series.

Nope!  :D

So, one of the reason that Tolkien's first two books seem to have such strange and arbitrary endings was because his work was never meant to be three books. He wrote a single, stand-alone novel. His publisher took one look at the sheer volume of papers on his desk, decided people were never going to read all that, and made Tolkien break it into three books. In all honesty, the way it was written, it should have been at least five since Frodo's tale is so sharply cut from what everyone else is doing.

That said, even with Tolkien touted as a master storyteller the stand-alone book thrived. It was a staple all the way up to the 1980s and only really started petering out in the 1990s. The change you're seeing isn't a result of people trying to emulate Tolkien but a change in the publishing world.

See, as publishing has become more consolidated and fallen under the wing of larger and more diverse corporate entities (people as likely to sell diapers and real estate as books), so has their business model and marketing departments. This has led to a lot of changes, most not really for the better.

  • Author pay on contracts is basically the same now as it was forty years ago, meaning that authors are now actually paid less than they once were for the same or more work.
  • What books to purchase are decided by a committee instead of a single editor (and think about that, when have 10 people ever truly agreed on anything), and the marketing department has the final say.
  • Actual editing is seen as unnecessary, as is helping new authors succeed. Many services they once offered new authors are now gone, reserved for only top sellers (and even then they may not utilize them).

And so on. That's just for starters.

Along with the big business mindset came to desire for series, because series require audience investment. Not attention, but actual monetary investment. The idea is that if you hook a reader on a series, they'll keep buying so long as the writer keeps writing in said series. Boom, automatic cash cow.

So what's being purchased by publishing houses right now are series. Even big name authors are having to fight to get stand-alone novels published because no one wants to invest in them. Most stand alones are, in fact, being released in ebook because there's no one to tell self-pubbed authors no. On the flip side, the quality of ebooks vary so much and there are so few "gatekeepers" to sort the wheat from the chaff that most people don't want to invest the time and effort it takes to stumble across the really good ones.

So writers of stand-alones aren't wanted by mainstream publishing and get lost in the signal-to-noise ratio of self-pub. It just kinda sucks right now to be a stand-alone author. Which is sad, because yeah, a ton of readers want those books.

Hm. This is a really good question. Maybe some part of it is that people just don't spend as much time reading as they used to, so publishers think that if a book is "too long," they won't sell because of that?

I take you again to the example of Tolkien and his balking editor, all the way back in 1937. Even really long novels like Great Expectations were once sold in serial form in a newspaper. That's a novel of approximately 544 pages, but originally sold in bite-sized chunks all the way back in 1860. And they definitely had longer attention spans then for reading than we do now (those who were readers).

I honestly think it's a visual thing. Arguably, between the Iliad and Great Expectations, the denser read will be the Iliad. But you lay those two novels in front of most people and what do you think they'll reach for?

I think if a book is too thick, we become intimidated by it. All we can see--especially today in our hurry-hurry-hurry society--is lost time and all the work it'll take to read and if we'll even be able to finish it with the 5000 other things we have to do. But a series, we can do a series because it's broken up for us. If it takes us a decade to complete, we're okay with that.

And that's another thing--you ever notice there's an unspoken time limit on reading? If it takes you a year to read a book, welp, you've failed. Somehow. At what or why, I bet no one you ask will really know. Ask them why it's bad to take more time and no one will know that either. But we all feel it. People apologize for reading too slow, and think less of their intelligence, like fast reading and truly understanding the material are somehow one and the same. And I think book size keys into that too--shorter books even slow readers can get through in the "proper" time span, and so reading doesn't make them feel like failures.

Shorter probably does lend itself better to the ebook market.

Nope. Ebooks have no distinguishable variance of length from regular books, even when not written by mainstream authors. And entire series will often come digitally packed together, even if that series has twelve books in it. If anything, longer is easier in ebooks because you don't have the visual intimidation factor. However, mainstream publishing has set the standard for at least a couple centuries now (give or take a decade or three), so ebook writers do stick to "expected" book lengths and other traditional dos and don'ts. These days that also includes the creation of series for a lot of new authors because it's all they've ever known.

And, with the notable exception of Harry Potter, YA books typically average shorter than books aimed at adult audiences.

Again, nope. I think maybe this used to be true? I can't honestly say since I pretty much skipped right over YA, going from child to adult books at an insanely early age. But these days most YA books are pretty much the length of adult novels. They also use cuss words, graphic violence, sexual situations, and a lot of other material that used to be taboo for those books. It's still more toned down, but it's there. The biggest thing that sets these apart these days is the age of the protagonist, and not much else.

The books you're describing are actually not YA books, but ones generally termed "Juvenile," "Children's" or "For Ages/Grades X-Y." I've seen all three of these used. They're a distinct category from YA, though previously they did tend to run together due to YA having many of the same rules of Juvenile literature (no sex, graphic violence, etc., etc., etc.). These days the two categories are quite distinct.

Oh, and now we have a new category called "New Adult," aimed at ages 18-late 20s. I wish I was kidding. *sigh*

Someone please shoot the freakin marketing departments.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 11:30:57 PM by katfireblade »

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Tyrannohotep

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 09:50:19 PM »
I stand corrected on the Tolkien thing, then.
So what's being purchased by publishing houses right now are series. Even big name authors are having to fight to get stand-alone novels published because no one wants to invest in them.
That's actually a very disturbing trend. Besides the obvious issue of disregarding what the readers want, it must be horrible for newbie writers like us. As a rule, I believe writing stand-alones would be better for less experienced authors since doing a whole series would be biting more than they could chew. In the scenario you've described, beginning writers couldn't get off the ground in the publishing world unless they crushed themselves with a burden of a series. And we all know getting one's first novel written is enough of a challenge as it is.

You have to love that corporate greed.
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katfireblade

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 11:43:43 PM »
I stand corrected on the Tolkien thing, then.

Hee! Sorry, I might be one of those Tolkien fans. I mean...maybe....  :P

I tend to pick up trivia on him, and I always though that one was particularly funny. I can just see Tolkien walking up to his editor and plopping this towering stack of papers on his desk and the poor man just melting in overwhelmed despair. I try to imagine those books pre-edits and words just fail me.

That's actually a very disturbing trend. Besides the obvious issue of disregarding what the readers want, it must be horrible for newbie writers like us. As a rule, I believe writing stand-alones would be better for less experienced authors since doing a whole series would be biting more than they could chew. In the scenario you've described, beginning writers couldn't get off the ground in the publishing world unless they crushed themselves with a burden of a series. And we all know getting one's first novel written is enough of a challenge as it is.

What I think is the suck is what they still tell beginning writers. Oh yes, you have to have a series in your back pocket in order to sell your stuff, but your first novel also has to stand on it's own. So set up your first book for a series and lay all the groundwork for the next books, but make sure to neatly tie off all the threads in your first book, too, or we won't take it. Because every first book must be a stand-alone while still being a setup for a lengthy series.

Because if your book doesn't do well, they want to still be able to milk every penny they can from that stand alone book.

I sometimes wonder if this is why we've got so much more urban fantasy than epic fantasy these days (or we seem to), because the mystery-a-week novel (solve a murder) lends itself better to that stand-alone-but-don't dynamic.

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Tyrannohotep

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 11:52:24 PM »
I sometimes wonder if this is why we've got so much more urban fantasy than epic fantasy these days (or we seem to), because the mystery-a-week novel (solve a murder) lends itself better to that stand-alone-but-don't dynamic.
Couldn't you have a story about solving murders in fantasy subgenres other than urban though? I don't see why such a story couldn't take place in the sort of secondary world that traditional fantasies tend to use.

If there is an increased prevalence of urban fantasy, I would've guessed it had something to do with the popularity of recent franchises like Twilight and Percy Jackson. Popular works "inspiring" whole shelves of knockoffs has been a trend for quite some time now.
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katfireblade

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 02:22:29 AM »
I sometimes wonder if this is why we've got so much more urban fantasy than epic fantasy these days (or we seem to), because the mystery-a-week novel (solve a murder) lends itself better to that stand-alone-but-don't dynamic.
Couldn't you have a story about solving murders in fantasy subgenres other than urban though? I don't see why such a story couldn't take place in the sort of secondary world that traditional fantasies tend to use.

Let me introduce you to Ghosts in the Snow, the first book of the Dubric Bryerly series. :D The books are a combination of forensics, fantasy, and suspense, and they are one of the more amazing series that never got the attention they deserved. Also the Hawk and Fisher series mostly followed a mystery format, and they did have a bigger audience, but mainly because the fans were dead certain the main characters were actually secretly MCs from a separate series by the same author (they were right).

I mean, it's been done, but it's never seemed to garner much of a following. And I've noticed that if your fantasy skews too much into mystery territory you get yourself reclassified, as seems to have happened with the Witch P.I. series, which is just lousy with witches and weres and an evil nemesis and talking animals and spells gone horribly wrong, but sits squarely in the Mystery aisles in a bookstore.

If there is an increased prevalence of urban fantasy, I would've guessed it had something to do with the popularity of recent franchises like Twilight and Percy Jackson. Popular works "inspiring" whole shelves of knockoffs has been a trend for quite some time now.

Yeah, that too, though I find it amusing that you're citing Twilight as what kicked it off. You can actually thank Laurell K Hamilton and her Anita Blake series, all the way back in the 90s. Twilight--and even Percy Jackson--were all riding the wave of series-mania. They came way later. In fact, I'm not sure Twilight could even exist without the kabillion vampire novels that drove the genre into the dirt so much people were desperate for any fresh voice, even a bad one.  :-\

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JayLee

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 03:35:20 AM »
Ah, fellow Tolkien nerds :) Now, the way he broke his book into a "series" however is an excellent example of how it can be done well. The excess there isn't plot excess, if anything it's simply what modern readers would consider an excess of words. I consider it his voice :)

I always liked seeing a big book on my shelf. 1000 pages, no problem. Big books are pretty. I never understood why people were so daunted by the size of something, but then again, I know I'm not many people. I don't mind reading slow, I don't mind reading fast. It depends on the book. Some books will take me a couple years to finish just due to how I go about it. (It took me 8 months to read the 7th HP book and a year and a half to read the 5th, cause I hated them). I kinda wish there wasn't so much of a culture which pushed towards "faster is more intelligent reading". Slow readers are no less literate than fast ones, and sometimes get more out of the book anyway. I think that would be a nice thing to encourage for readers.

I have also noticed that ebooks can be almost infinitely long, and I'll never notice. Unless I get bored and look to see when I'll be done. In that case you just keep reading til you're done. Especially since page sizes can vary by device, you can change the font size, so on and so forth. E-books lend themselves very, very well to long works. Especially if you have a general understanding of the app's navigation. Not only that, it makes a large book very portable, and sometimes much more comfortable to read. There's nothing like holding a 1000 page hardback up for hours on end to keep it in your reading range.

Readers do seem to like standalone books. I think the biggest thing they like is they don't have to wait. Movies though, are starting to do the same thing with ever-increasing frequency. Series. Get them to come back and pay for it again. And again. And again. Because now they have to know how it ends, or they have to tell their friends they've read/seen all of them.

It's horrible. I feel like some good literature is caught, but so much of the best must be being lost in this storm of the modern age. Then again.. I can't bring myself to believe that's anything new in particular. I think another thing that's starting from this though, is the assumption writers have that they must start right in with series the minute they first pick up a pen. They've been bombarded with so many series, new authors don't even seem to consider the idea they could write one book. I work with a lot of first time self-publishers who say "This will be a five book series, or a seven book maybe" and I read it and respond "Why? You don't have enough plot for that," and they respond, "Because it's a fantasy series."

Hehe, on that note, if you're self-publishing, you have nothing to lose doing a standalone. It's what the readers are seeking, very often. If they don't like your first book, they're not going to read the rest anyway. And best of all, there's no publisher to tell you otherwise. Write the story in the format best suited to it.
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True Neutral

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2018, 06:09:55 AM »
And that's another thing--you ever notice there's an unspoken time limit on reading? If it takes you a year to read a book, welp, you've failed. Somehow.
I would say that it's entirely possible to lose track of what's going on in the book if it's put down for too long, that unless the book is particularly huge, there's some implication that the person put it down for long periods of time, possibly resulting in them "missing bits of the narrative," so to speak...that could be part of why there's a certain amount of judgment.

This also kind of brings to mind library rental/renewal limits. My hometown allows you a maximum of six weeks (three week term with one renewal), and my current city offers you nine (three week term with two renewals) with the caveat that you can't renew if another patron has put the book on hold. I know my hometown also, at one point, had a "no renewals" policy in place for recently released bestsellers. This is obviously out of courtesy for other patrons who would like to read the same book, rather than judgment about someone's reading speed, but it does, in effect, limit the amount of time you have to read something.

And, with the notable exception of Harry Potter, YA books typically average shorter than books aimed at adult audiences.

Again, nope. I think maybe this used to be true? I can't honestly say since I pretty much skipped right over YA, going from child to adult books at an insanely early age. But these days most YA books are pretty much the length of adult novels. They also use cuss words, graphic violence, sexual situations, and a lot of other material that used to be taboo for those books. It's still more toned down, but it's there. The biggest thing that sets these apart these days is the age of the protagonist, and not much else.

The books you're describing are actually not YA books, but ones generally termed "Juvenile," "Children's" or "For Ages/Grades X-Y." I've seen all three of these used. They're a distinct category from YA, though previously they did tend to run together due to YA having many of the same rules of Juvenile literature (no sex, graphic violence, etc., etc., etc.). These days the two categories are quite distinct.

Oh, and now we have a new category called "New Adult," aimed at ages 18-late 20s. I wish I was kidding. *sigh*

Someone please shoot the freakin marketing departments.

I stand corrected. My definition is probably around 10-12 years old and came from either an editor's or publisher's website at the time. (Although probably one of the least toned-down books I've ever read, America by E.R. Frank, is non-fantasy YA and predates the criteria I saw about length and explicit-ness.)

I...kind of skipped straight to Sherlock Holmes, to be honest. I read the occasional YA, but most of my teen years was classics, whatever fantasy I could sneak (family didn't approve), and whatever mysteries I was allowed to read (family had a content limit regarding sex in my earlier teen years...Sherlock Holmes was notably blanket OK). At least until I got to a few years in high school when my extremely busy schedule prevented pleasure reading during the school year because I had to sneak in a couple hours of sleep at some point between school and homework.

And...yeah...I wish you were kidding too... "New Adult" seems just...weird. And no. Just...no.


However...I'm one of those people who will look at the length of a book and go "nope...can't do this as an ebook...too long." (Which kind of sucks... If I get it in e-book, my husband and I can share it no matter where he is, since both Kindles are on the same account. Also, ebooks are usually cheaper than hardcopy...usually. I would much rather do hardcopy, but it's not always feasible.) Granted, I have a VERY old Kindle and medically diagnosed eye strain, but for me, the Kindle is more painful than a physical book after a certain number of hours. I tend to want to binge-read, especially when it's a longer book. Oh...and binge-reading the series-compilation for ASOIAF caused a ghosting issue that rendered my original Kindle unreadable. (From what I can tell from troubleshooting threads, it was a not entirely uncommon problem at the time. They may or may not have fixed it in newer editions, although I've seen that and too-light text cited for the Paperwhite...not sure which Paperwhite edition, though.)


Couldn't you have a story about solving murders in fantasy subgenres other than urban though? I don't see why such a story couldn't take place in the sort of secondary world that traditional fantasies tend to use.
Please please please please please please please.

I've said this elsewhere, but I'm not huge on urban fantasy because I'm trying to use fantasy for escapism, and I live in an urban area. I'd love to be in the countryside, but my options are limited to "urban" because of my husband's job, so I use non-urban fantasy to get away from that for a few hours at a time. But one of my favorite characters of all time is Sherlock Holmes...

Some years ago, I was on a trip to Canada. I needed a relatively short book because it was only three or four days long, and we had an itinerary. I mostly needed something for the bus trip between cities and hotel room evenings. I knew I'd have mandatory reading as soon as I got back, so a longer book was out of the question, but I didn't want to bring someone else's property on a long trip in case something happened to it. I picked up the first book in an urban fantasy detective series because it seemed moderately interesting. I no longer have it, but I really wish I knew which one it was...* Anyway...ever since I read it, I've though "this is nice...but what if..." I'm not that drawn to urban settings anyway, so what if...detective series in, say, pseudo-Siberia or pseudo-Lappland with a talking wolf as a witness or whatever.



*Just in case anyone can tell me... I don't remember names or anything because it's been more than ten years, but it was an urban portal fantasy mystery, essentially, set in the UK. Male detective on a kidnapping case. The reason he was asked is that she was taken to the other side of whatever the portal was...public transit, possibly...and he's the only detective on this side who knows how to get across because he grew up on the other side. The victim's mother begs him, even though he's "out of that place" and "out of that life." He caves. He goes and finds her daughter. Being the first book in a series, it was mostly an "intro to [world]" novel. Relatively little of it was the actual act of finding the girl because it was meant to show the monsters and the portal and give him the character motivation to go back into that world. IIRC the kidnapping itself was just a ploy to drag him back into a world he'd left behind, that it was somehow not as threatening as it had seemed because it was faked in some way just to act as bait for him because someone who knew him knew he'd take that case. Other than that, really the only thing I remember about it is that there was graffiti somewhere, and the guy sees it and comments that someone spelled "Cthulhu" incorrectly. And it was on the shorter end, perhaps 40-60k range. Not much to go on, I know, but if anyone knows, please tell me.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 06:26:52 AM by True Neutral »

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Manu

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2018, 01:55:05 PM »
Oh, and now we have a new category called "New Adult," aimed at ages 18-late 20s. I wish I was kidding. *sigh*

Someone please shoot the freakin marketing departments.
I thought that was due to self-publishing? Traditional publishers had YA and adult novels for ages, and self-publishers were the ones who discovered the NA niche and wrote books to fill it, the traditional publishers just copied it once it was a more or less established genre in the ebook market. That's what I thought so far, can't remember where I read it though.
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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2018, 09:56:51 AM »
I'm writing a standalone piece, aiming to get it around 70-80k because apparently first time published pieces should be in that area? Apparently most wont take the chance of a 120k novel.

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Re: The accepted length of Fantasy books
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2018, 02:17:30 PM »
I found this a while back (not sure how accurate it is, but I figure some people might be interested): https://thewritepractice.com/word-count/

Also, I do know from slightly obsessive reading of everything Brandon Sanderson has ever written, there's also cost reasons why publishers prefer shorter books. The longer the book, the more it costs to print. Also, the printers can only print books up to a certain size. Oathbringer (one of Sanderson's longest books), clocks in at almost 450k, which I believe he said was about the maximum size Tor Publishing could print. Obviously, we're talking about much smaller wordcounts than 450k. I'm just using it as an example of the logistical difficulties of printing large books.

Plus, can you imagine being the editor on something that size?
For glory lit and life alive,
For goals unreached and dreams to strive:
All men must try, the wind did see,
It is the test, it is the dream.

-Wit, from Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson