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I'll give another option: 8) Split a major (sub)plot in half, and move the 2nd half into to a later book. It will definitely take some re-writing, but your 1st book seems overloaded. The temptation is to drop the weakest subplot, but consider splitting one of your strongest storylines into a before and after, according to a main character's change arc. ...


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First, I would always presume if you "put a book aside" to work on another book, your book is dead. In my experience (with only myself and a few authors I have spoken with), putting a book in the drawer is a kiss of death. Work on until you think it is ready to publish, then try to publish it. It is far easier to come back to a book you think only needs to ...


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It seems to be a problem of packaging, and setting up expectations for readers. If I read the "high level" of your comments correctly, you have two sets of characters who come together in book 3. Book 1 is mainly about set 1, book 2 is mainly about set 2, and book is about set 1 plus set 2. If this is more-or-less true, could books 1 and 2 be presented as ...


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