Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ten Thousand words to brush his teeth. Ten. Thousand.

I've been told that my story ideas are too big. I believe this. I'm working on a short story right now, and I'd like to keep it at 8k words. I'm at 4400, and I'm only just getting to the plot. The problem, you understand, is transitioning from the novel form back to the short. 4400? That's about one chapter. You line up twenty or so of those, and you have a book. That's the scale I've been working on. But 8k? Uh, that's two chapters. Two scenes, maybe three. I can't tell a *story* in that kind of space. I mean, obviously I can because I've done it over and over again, but my mind is no longer tuned to that particular scale. I can understand why writers who have made it to the novel stage, where people are paying them to pile up 80k or 90k worth of words on a consistent basis, why those writers stop doing short stories. Shorts pay more per word, but you can't produce enough to live. And once you've stretched out into the nice wide space of a novel, and you've got all that text to grow your world, and characters can develop over dozens of scenes, full scenes? And then those characters can go on to other books, and more scenes...it's pure luxury. Intimidating at first, sure, but once you've got it happening, it feels good. Hell, it feels great.

But for now? I've got this short story I have to write. I'm excited by it, too excited, since I keep typing and typing and the narrative is just bloating out. Only really it's not. It's just the story, happening in the natural progression of the story. We'll see. But it's fun.


At 5:05 PM , Blogger colin said...

Send it to me and I'll tell you what to cut out.

Ha. I'll probably tell you to leave it all in and write a novel, and wouldn't that be helpful.

At 8:21 PM , Blogger Splitcoil said...

Ha. I'd give advice but I haven't written a word in weeks.

Godspeed, sir.


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