Lengthy Sci-fi novel.
by Dominik P. Offermann
Question: I finished writing my first book and reviewed and edited my draft around the 7th time now (lol lost count I guess). I verified the guidelines you give on this site, yet I find myself worried about something.
My story requires quite a lot of explanations and background information which I progressively bring forth during the novel. Backstory regarding the world's history is also introduced progressively. The problem is there is a lot of information I can't seem to cut without my whole plot breaking apart or removing flavor from the characters / descriptions of the places in the story. Still I end up with a draft of over 230000 words.
A friend said I could try and break the story apart but I don't see this being possible, given everything weaves so well together and supports each other. It feels like I have build a house of cards and can't remove any without it collapsing upon itself.
As this is my debut work I am already considering publishing it as an E-book, as I read publishers frown on very large stories...Answer:
One possible solution is that, if a publishing house is interested in your book, it would assign you a good editor who could help you trim the book without sacrificing the story.
As writers, we are often too close to a story to see what could or should be cut. It takes an objective eye. Often, a good editor can suggest cuts that can actually make the story stronger.
You could always try querying a few publishers and see if they find the length a problem.
If you are considering publishing your book yourself, you should probably still hire an editor to perform the same service. (One of the biggest problems with self-published books is that people skimp on editorial services, not realizing how important they can be.)
A third option might be to join a writer's group and solicit opinions from other writers about how you might revise the story.