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  1. #226
    Quote Originally Posted by Bastard View Post
    I'm cool with your opinion, just saying that what you're complaining about (book length) is something that is evitable
    "Evitable"......oooooo, vocabulary.......me likeee

  2. #227
    Jack Bauer Bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrarius View Post
    "Evitable"......oooooo, vocabulary.......me likeee
    It's on dictionary.com, so screw it I say.

  3. #228
    Quote Originally Posted by Bastard View Post
    It's on dictionary.com, so screw it I say.
    Hey, it's a perfectly good word. A coool word. An unexpected word. Nothing bad, nothing bad.....appreciation all around.....

  4. #229
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silvercue View Post
    Fantasy has an annoying habit of producing trilogies. This is fine for me when we have a vast worlds and huge story to tell. This however, is not part of a trilogy; it is more like a novel cut into three. How can the series justify a trilogy, when the first book is one of the shortest I have read for years? Triple it in size and we still have a normal size book. This means 3 times the charge to the customer. I will certainly not be buying the next hard back for sure, and will think twice about the paperback now.

    Mark, maybe you can comment. I hope you don't think I am being rude, but it doesn't feel right to me.
    Hey Silvercue! You've certainly got me to think about the subject in unfamiliar terms - which is always an interesting/healthy exercise. Traditionally I've not used length as an independent variable in considering a book's worth to me. I'm getting shades of that Dead Poets' Society scene I'm also reminded that I've seen literature sold 'per pound' before, but that was in house furnishing and it was actually 'per shelf inch' for people who had empty shelves they wanted filled with expensive looking books that reflected well upon them.

    I've had occasion to think that a book is too short for the story it's telling, or too long, and it has either bored me stiff with padding (the usual) or skipped too briefly through something deserving more time (rarely) - but that's a critique in the context of the story, not in isolation.

    As to the mechanics: Prince of Thorns was written as a stand alone book. The next two volumes were written after the first book had gone into production but before it was published.

    As a teen & student I read dozens of books shorter than Prince of Thorns (probably 20 of them by Michael Moorcock, others in the Conan series, probably Douglas Adam's work etc) and never felt short changed. If you do feel that way though I can only say I'm sorry to hear it and that your course of action is clear.

    What I will say is that a particular page count will never be a goal of mine when writing a story.

    In any event, I'm glad you've enjoyed what you've read.

  5. #230
    Registered User JustaStaffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    Hey Silvercue! You've certainly got me to think about the subject in unfamiliar terms - which is always an interesting/healthy exercise. Traditionally I've not used length as an independent variable in considering a book's worth to me. I'm getting shades of that Dead Poets' Society scene I'm also reminded that I've seen literature sold 'per pound' before, but that was in house furnishing and it was actually 'per shelf inch' for people who had empty shelves they wanted filled with expensive looking books that reflected well upon them.

    I've had occasion to think that a book is too short for the story it's telling, or too long, and it has either bored me stiff with padding (the usual) or skipped too briefly through something deserving more time (rarely) - but that's a critique in the context of the story, not in isolation.

    As to the mechanics: Prince of Thorns was written as a stand alone book. The next two volumes were written after the first book had gone into production but before it was published.

    As a teen & student I read dozens of books shorter than Prince of Thorns (probably 20 of them by Michael Moorcock, others in the Conan series, probably Douglas Adam's work etc) and never felt short changed. If you do feel that way though I can only say I'm sorry to hear it and that your course of action is clear.

    What I will say is that a particular page count will never be a goal of mine when writing a story.

    In any event, I'm glad you've enjoyed what you've read.
    What a reasonable response. Thumbs up. In other news, who cares how long a book is?

  6. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    Hey Silvercue! You've certainly got me to think about the subject in unfamiliar terms - which is always an interesting/healthy exercise. Traditionally I've not used length as an independent variable in considering a book's worth to me. I'm getting shades of that Dead Poets' Society scene I'm also reminded that I've seen literature sold 'per pound' before, but that was in house furnishing and it was actually 'per shelf inch' for people who had empty shelves they wanted filled with expensive looking books that reflected well upon them.

    I've had occasion to think that a book is too short for the story it's telling, or too long, and it has either bored me stiff with padding (the usual) or skipped too briefly through something deserving more time (rarely) - but that's a critique in the context of the story, not in isolation.

    As to the mechanics: Prince of Thorns was written as a stand alone book. The next two volumes were written after the first book had gone into production but before it was published.

    As a teen & student I read dozens of books shorter than Prince of Thorns (probably 20 of them by Michael Moorcock, others in the Conan series, probably Douglas Adam's work etc) and never felt short changed. If you do feel that way though I can only say I'm sorry to hear it and that your course of action is clear.

    What I will say is that a particular page count will never be a goal of mine when writing a story.

    In any event, I'm glad you've enjoyed what you've read.
    Thanks for the explanation - I expected you would provide one. Not entirely sure people fully understand my point, but as you say my course of action is clear.
    Last edited by silvercue; December 19th, 2011 at 12:21 PM.

  7. #232
    Quote Originally Posted by JustaStaffer View Post
    In other news, who cares how long a book is?
    A lot of people do care. Heck, even I care at times. For instance, I generally prefer audiobooks in the 10-20 hour range. Shorter than that, and I feel they don't have enough time to adequately develop character and world. Longer than that, and I have a higher chance of getting bored.

    IMHO many of the doorstoppers out there could be greatly improved by judicious editing. But that's just me.

  8. #233
    Registered User ImpKnight's Avatar
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    I thought the book was a little on the thin side, but the price I found for the hardcover was quite a bit less than what I usually pay. Better yet, I was pleasantly surprised with an awesome book and I can't wait for the sequel.

  9. #234
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImpKnight View Post
    I thought the book was a little on the thin side, but the price I found for the hardcover was quite a bit less than what I usually pay. Better yet, I was pleasantly surprised with an awesome book and I can't wait for the sequel.
    Give me a slim awesome book than a fat dull one any day!

    Glad you enjoyed it & welcome to SFF World!

  10. #235
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    I quite enjoyed the book.

    Nice fast read.

  11. #236
    Registered User Snowy's Avatar
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    Well I was the friend who recommended the book to Silvercue, but I have to agree with him that it was over too quickly.

    I had been anticipating the release of the book keenly but as I progressed realised that what was a highly enjoyable story was not going to be overly protracted, and I was disappointed by this. I enjoyed what I got, but had been looking forward to the book for a long time and to demolish it in a couple of sittings made it all over too soon.

    I don't really understand the viewpoint of those virtually casting blame at Silvercue, he has only asked a question and expressed a viewpoint when all is said and done.

    Anyhow, my couple of pence worth. And to Mark, if you are still reading this thread, thanks for the story, was a good one (if short).

  12. #237
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowy View Post
    Well I was the friend who recommended the book to Silvercue, but I have to agree with him that it was over too quickly.

    I had been anticipating the release of the book keenly but as I progressed realised that what was a highly enjoyable story was not going to be overly protracted, and I was disappointed by this. I enjoyed what I got, but had been looking forward to the book for a long time and to demolish it in a couple of sittings made it all over too soon.

    I don't really understand the viewpoint of those virtually casting blame at Silvercue, he has only asked a question and expressed a viewpoint when all is said and done.

    Anyhow, my couple of pence worth. And to Mark, if you are still reading this thread, thanks for the story, was a good one (if short).
    Hey Snowy, glad you enjoyed the story!

    I note Silvercue said he got the book from a source that didn't give the page count ... that's something I've never seen before. Were you also not aware of the page count? I've said upthread that book length is irrelevant to me - last year I enjoyed A Dance With Dragons (at ~1000 pages) and was captivated by Engine Summer (209 pages), but it should be possible to select only fat books if that's your bag. There are a lot of them out there! Orullian's The Unremembered and Syke's The Tome of the Undergates are recent debuts with hefty page counts, but it is generally true that debuts are slimmer than works from established authors.

    As chance would have it, this week I finished the proof read of King of Thorns, which comes in at 594 pages.

  13. #238
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
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    PS - Last month I re-read Conrad's Heart of Darkness, a book which has stood the test of 100+ years. I felt it went on slightly too long. Clocks in at 51,000 words! A Dance With Dragons is 422,000 words.

  14. #239
    Songs of the Earth author Elliecat's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. I'm of the opinion that each story takes as long as it takes, and only the writer knows how long that will be.

    Many debut authors fear overwriting - I know I did. Hang around on crit forums or in fiction writers' groups and you are assailed with well-meant advice that 80-90k's the absolute max for a debut, that anything over 120k is impossible to place (in which case you wonder how some honking great series ever got started). So we tend towards brevity. Towards making every word count.

    I wonder if Silvercue feels short-changed because he was enjoying the book so much he didn't want it to end? I hope that's the case, because raw page count alone seems like a rather poor metric for determining value for money, IMO.

    I also find the assumption that because Prince of Thorns is on the lean side, it must have been a longer work cut into three extremely cynical. It's also not how publishing works. With a debut author, no publisher is going to cut up a long script purely as an exercise to make money because they don't know if that debut author is going to sell. They could take an absolute bath on it - and if they're intending to sell a trilogy, the writer will be contracted for all three books which means the publisher is down for the whole advance *whether the books make money or not*.

    Mark's already said up there that he wrote PoT as a standalone, and it's turned out to have the legs to go further. It's also turned out to be ridiculously successful. Why can't we just applaud that, instead of moaning about the size? Cos, y'know, size isn't everything. It's what you do with it that counts.

  15. #240
    @Mark kindle books do not give page counts.

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