Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Is my NOVEL too short?
Is my novel too short, officer?
Yes, it jolly well is! Much too short, in fact! 12,000 words too short! And I’m arresting you for claiming you’ve written a novel, when in fact you haven’t. It’s a novella.
A novella is a short novel.
Oh, okay. But I want it to be a novel. Trouble is I’ve edited it for the final time, and it’s ready to go. Oh yes, indeed!
Except it’s not, is it? Because it’s too blinking short! *do police officers say blinking?*
No wait – but it is a novel. Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan is under 60,000 words.
But you’re not Ian McEwan, are you?
Well no, but Wikipedia told me a novel is anything from 40,000 words upwards.
Ah, but I’m a member of the writing police and I know everything. Now what exactly are you going to do about your sadly lacking word count?
Well I guess I could look at my cast and add a little more characterization, a little more depth here and there. I've noticed, too, at the very end of my novel, I’ve summed up some of the lesser known characters with too much telling – so I could show those bits with new scenes.
Yes, but the thing you don’t want to do is fill your story with too many unnecessary words and sentences that do nothing to move the plot forward.
Righty ho, then - off to make my story a little longer - back soon!
Okay, so that’s the novel news! What else have I been up to?
Well, I’ve had a fistful of short story rejections. In fact I’m *this* close to giving up on Take A Break! But then something drives me on. Perhaps it’s the lovely paper they write their rejections on!
On a POSITIVE, I SOLD my FIFTH story to Thats Life! Australia – I so love that magazine! I also had a wonderful email from Jill Finley at The Weekly News, who is back after maternity leave (many congratulations to her!) giving reasons why she didn’t buy my story but saying she would love to read more of my stuff - YAY! And I received a similar letter from Woman’s Weekly with the same kind of comments. So I’m getting there – slowly – slowly - slowly - quick - quick - actually no, just slowly!