Part 3: The Novel
“Give the people what they want!”
I don’t know who said that ( some rocker I think) but I do take those words to heart.
The Novel is the longest genre of narrative prose.
Most of you want novels.
The Novel, for me, with the best efforts I can muster, takes a minimum of a year to write. And that is with a solid outline—-yes I outline. A short story can be finished in 2 weeks, and a novella in that time as well if the words flow. Why? Because I can read them in one or two sittings and see the whole picture in one smooth narrative flow. If I set the shorter piece aside long enough for it become strange, the resulting objectivity may eliminate the need for a editor. That speeds things up a lot.
A Novel on the other hand, can take weeks to read for editing purposes. Unless I read it at least twenty times, I will not get the flow. (One successful author I know reads her’s about fifty times.) I need an outside editor to pick up things I miss, details and sentences that don’t make sense, and give me the general impression of characters and build up of suspense—Did it keep you riveted to the page? type stuff. Otherwise it is easy to get lost in my own verbiage, hypnotized by my own words and lose the plot entirely. That happens much less now than it did in my amateur days, skills honed by the school of humiliation.
How I Write a Novel and Probably How Others Do It Too
And Why it Takes so Long!
Story Beats– A loose outine, more of a road map. leading from beginning, middle to end.
A first draft of 50,000 words can take a month. That is if I’m writing hot and can go non-stop even when I’m not actually putting words on the page. This process is messy but it has to be done.
This first draft is the foundation for a detailed outline that can take weeks to put together.
Revisions. This takes the rest of the year. Manuscript is written then put away to ferment and get strange while I work on another book. It gets taken out again and revised, put away again and the other book takes over. This goes on until I feel ready to show my editor who may, because she is a good freind, see it two or three times. During this process another 50,000 words may be added for a 100,000 word book—about 500 pages.
As you can see, this is a slow process. Its because my imagination puts too much in, and I have to cut things out and carve a road along the story line. Novels, being long, take time to get right, to produce the best reading experience for you.
Why I Love Short Fiction
I love long fiction too, but I have a special place in my heart for short stories and novellas. Mainly I am very (damn!—Mark Twain) busy and I like to pick something up and read it and get the intense experience and move on. I find authors often write their most beautiful, poetic or daringly experimental prose in short works. The pace and detail of a novel can’t sustain that. I also get tired of being in the same world for long and will sometimes stop to read a short story to break up immersion in a book that is worth reading but a bit too long (red pens anyone?) for my taste.
Therefore do I, as a writer in my small Gothic chamber, range across all sub genres: Horror, Fantasy, Faery Tale retellings, Romance, Mysteries, Occult Thrillers—oh there is much you haven’t seen yet! Variety is the spice of life!
Novels Coming Out in Soon!
The Lady in Yellow— post Chritsmas
Memento Mori — post Christmas
(With Roses of the Moon, published December 2012, that wil be three full-legnth novels.)
Both of the above were published as novellas, got some great reviews, the most constant comment being:
“They should be longer!”
So, in the spirit of giving the people what they want. I made them longer—a lot longer.
Both are full length novels!
I’m glad I expanded these stories. They certainly had much more in them than I thought.
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