Monday, March 25, 2013
It's Too Short-It Should be Longer...
"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 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 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 a little 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? I have noticed some best-selling print authors who have just taken the plunge into novella ebooks sigh with exasperation over this subject on social media more than once.
Chances are if you are only paying 1.99 or 2.99 or even 3.99 for an ebook, it most likely is a novella or short story. 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 90,000 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 forms...it 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. I am not bashing reviewers or readers who kindly leave reviews. I appreciate each and every one. I'm just giving my own opinion on this. I believe stories should be judged first on plot and characters, not the length.
I reviewed books for blogs 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