Monday, March 14, 2011

Sorry, I'm seeing someone else: She's 1000 pages long

There are some days when you just love writing. You wish your characters, worlds, and scenes  could be real. Aside from how we usually base our stories upon reality, it’s quite amazing how well writing can craft our senses and dreams. It’s under this pretense that we discover how writing, like music, can inspire, terrify, and illuminate so much of the world. And, we find that it’s rarely self contained.

When Harry Potter was in its peak, about four to five years ago, most fans relished the opportunity to read a three-thousand page manuscript in four point font. The more of the story the better. And, that’s fantastic. The story was so engrossing, and we’d gotten to know the characters so well throughout all of the books, that it was almost blasphemous to consider a short book to be worthy of the world.

But, truth be told, many long books are boring; wizards aren’t everywhere, and lightening doesn’t usually strike twice. I would certainly love to write a tome, but I’m not sure that I have it in me quite yet. The longest manuscript I’ve ever written was just over 91,000 words. Since then, my stories, at least in the first draft, have been shorter. One reason for that is my perpetual improvements upon the art of succinctness. (I also shortened the previous sentence after realizing the original’s irony.) There’s less fluff and I have a better sense of direction. (I’m also great with my Cardinal Directions.) One day I’ll hit that mark of longevity, but until then, I’d rather write a quality story of five pages, than toilet paper that can cover a house on Halloween.

So, if you write I’d like to know what you think about long stories? Are you able to write that tome of a novel, or are you more apt for a novella? Or possibly short stories or even poetry?

And, for the readers, I assume it depends on the story, but what are you preferences?

Let us know and maybe we’ll get further into understanding just what makes a long or short story special.


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