Give Me Stories That Aren’t Bogged Down
Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 4:06PM
Daniel Middleton, Co-Publisher in 711 Press, Daniel Middleton, Daniel Middleton, Jaime Vendera, Legends of the Dread Realm, Movies & TV in Book Form, Order of 5ive, The Crisis Trilogy, novellas, novels without fillers, short books, stories without fillers

I read a lot of feedback dished out in reviews for popular book series and sagas of the day; series and sagas written by big name authors, and put out by large, far-reaching publishers with deep pockets. What I tend to see time and again are complaints that are pretty much summed up in one reviewer’s title: “Good writing, but little forward momentum.” What this means is that, after spending ten years reading a series written by a big name author who takes years to produce one book, when said book comes out (which just happens to fall somewhere in the middle of a planned series), the reader fails to add checkmarks to their list of plot resolutions, character arcs, or basic movement in the overall storyline. Why? Because these big name authors are dragging out the story on purpose at the behest of greedy publishers. They essentially milk their saga for all its worth for the sake of making more boatloads of $$$.

I’ve been a victim of said milking, having attempted to read books that amounted to more than 700 pages, 300 pages of which was mostly “filler.” I cannot tell you how many books I’ve read that left me saying, “If half of this were cut out it would have resulted in a more enjoyable reading experience.” Sometimes, after cracking open one of these books, I’ll sit and read pages and pages of scenery that results in merely one line of dialogue adding to the story, or moving the plot along. And the truth is I’ve given up trying to read these books anymore. The fact remains that most publishers force authors to create “filler” by setting ridiculous standards, like saying that a novel must be submitted with a minimum of 85,000 words. Well, if the story an author wants to tell happens to take 40,000 words to accomplish, the book they’ll end up writing will be chock full of “filler,” by more than half!

You see, I don’t subscribe to the idea that it takes 85,000 words to develop compelling characters and engaging stories. My wife, daughter, and I spent an hour and a half watching a CGI film just last night that moved us (my wife in particular to tears). The characters were fully fleshed before we got halfway through, and near the end we were literally rooting for and against various characters and were totally swept in to the story, literally riveted.

It’s not about having a short attention span, or feeling like 700 pages is overkill. If a story can be compelling for 700 pages, or even 400, with each page adding something of worth to the tale I’m being fed, then so be it, but oftentimes, especially given the conventions of today’s publishing industry, 700-, even 300- and 400-page books usually force readers to read “filler,” which is essentially loads of narrative description and dialogue that is merely a device used to pad books (in an attempt to reach a desired length), and does nothing to move the story or plot along, or develop characters.

When I first sat down with my publishing partner Jaime Vendera, and began laying out the foundation for this company, one thing I strongly expressed was that our publications (or “productions”) must be free of “filler.” That meant that the books would have to have a feasible beginning, middle, and end, and everything in between would in fact flesh out the story and characters, with all of the working parts coming neatly together as a whole. Stories couldn’t be bogged down with extraneous details that add nothing to the whole. That was the foundation for our Movies & TV in Book Form™ concept. But that’s about all I’m giving you, as the rest amounts to a trade secret, lol, and my partner would shoot me in the foot if I revealed more than this. 

In short, you can rest assured that any MovieBook or TV Bookisode you purchase from us will deliver a story without the fat. You’ll spend 2 or 3 hours in one of our titles and be able to read it from cover to cover in one sitting, which is what is intended if you are to fully receive the “movie” experience we promise. Same goes for our TV Bookisodes.

So, having said all that, hop over to our Current Titles, browse around, pick a movie or TV show in a genre that moves you, and dig in! Our sagas won’t take years to put out, or 3,000+ pages to wrap up. Once you take a bite, the meal will be consumed in a reasonable time period, and you will come away fully satisfied.

Article originally appeared on Movies & TV in Book Form! (
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