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June 21, 2012
Posted at 11:27 am

Floating an Idea

Don't panic yet. I know that as soon as I start talking about finishing the current rendition of the "Model Studen" series, I'm going to get a flood of "don't quit now" email. So don't worry. I'm not quitting.

In order to accommodate the commercial publishing process, I need stories that have a definite beginning, middle, and end. When people buy a book, they don't want to reach the end of the book and be unhappy that they have to buy another in order to get the ending. And there are, surprisingly, limits as to how long a book the larger public will consume.

So, when I plotted "Triptych," I had in mind that there would be an end to one story about half-way through the serial and that I would begin the next story in the next chapter.

Here's what I'm looking at: I'm only about two chapters away from finishing the first part story from which "Triptych" takes its name. That will either be chapter 14 or 15. That's about three chapters longer than I anticipated taking to get there, but there's been so much fun stuff to deal with that I couldn't rush it. Which means that the total will probably be around 30 chapters instead of the originally planned 24. (Model Student was 19 chapters.) All my chapters are between 6,000 and 9,000 words in length, so we're talking a lot of words.

Because of my other publishing schedules, I'm going to have to take a break between the end of part one and the beginning of part two. Not too long, I hope, but easily six weeks or so. So, should I just take an intermission in "Triptych"--leave it active and to be continued--or should I end "Triptych" and make part two its own story ("Memorial Day") when I start up again?

My inclination is to take the intermission and continue the story with the next chapter as it will go through the remainder of the school year which seems to be the logical division that most authors of this kind of story use on SOL.

What's your preference?