Friday, October 16, 2015

Ask Unca Mike


Science fiction and fantasy writers are a group are extraordinarily generous with advice to new writers. A moment's thought, however, reveals that this is just encouraging talented young people to occupy the publishing niches and win the awards that would otherwise go to to us Old Hands. Ask Unca Mike is an attempt to rectify this deplorable situation.

Three Characters In Search of a Paycheck
Hey Unca Mike!

Working on a story where three characters are each doing their own thing, and it all comes together in the end. How do you balance their page counts? It always seems like one is always dominating the story, or falling into the background. Any tips?

Future Trilogist

You bet! Remember that you're being paid by the word and write your story three times, with a different protagonist for each version. Michael Moorcock did this once for a trilogy in which Elic of Melnibone, the Eternal Champion, and I think it may have been Hawkmoon go questing together in order to save the universe. The beauty part of this scheme (as Hemingway would have put it) was that only the opening and closing sections were original to each book. The body of the adventure was word for word unchanged.

Moorcock is a genius. Go thou and do likewise.

If you have a question for Unca Mike you can post it below. Or write to AskUncaMike ("at" sign) I'll respond to those I have the best answers for.

Ask Unca Mike appears here on Fridays.


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