Friday, August 17, 2012

"It's too short! It should be longer..."

 No, the heroine is NOT saying this to the hero in an erotic context, seeing he is pressing his hips against her lush backside~*snicker*

 But seriously, how many times as an author have you read this in any reviews you receive? I do. I have also been asked, 'when are you going to write a longer story?'

Here's my answer: probably never. I write for e-publishers. Most are not interested in longer stories. A couple I write for have put on cap on submissions at 45,000 or 50,000 words. Also, I find I like telling shorter stories, easier to write and edit.

One person on Goodreads said about The Riding Crop (a free read) "I would have given it 4 stars but I am giving 3 because it was too short."

*Headdesk* First off, it was a short story. Forgive us as writers if we get frustrated over this constant thread in reviews. I don't mind someone saying they enjoyed the story and wished it was longer, I take that as a compliment, but to penalize me? A NYT best-selling author just ranted about this subject on Facebook last week.

Chances are if you are only paying 2.99 or 3.99 for an ebook, it is a novella. The lower the price, the less words in the story. The majority of releases from e-pubs are novellas. To judge the structure of a novella, or a short story for that matter, the same way you do a release of 80,000 words is not a true comparison. The narrative is completely different.

I love how Robert Silverberg described a novella:

 [The novella] is one of the richest and most rewarding of literary allows for more extended development of theme and character than does the short story, without making the elaborate structural demands of the full-length book. Thus it provides an intense, detailed exploration of its subject, providing to some degree both the concentrated focus of the short story and the broad scope of the novel~

People are entitled to their opinion. Heck, I certainly give mine on Goodreads. I am not bashing reviewers or readers who kindly leave reviews. I'm just giving my own opinion on this.

I reviewed books for my own blog and for another well-known blog before I ever got published. So I  see both sides of the coin. In a novella it is not necessary to explore every nuance of the plot or voice every conversation. I hope in future writers will be judged more on substance and heft, than in length. Hmmm. This does sound vaguely erotic! ;D


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