Wednesday, September 25, 2019

How long is long enough?

Find all my books here on my BWL author page

What prompted this question was a comment made by a reviewer recently about my Mystic Mountains. This reviewer gave the book a much-appreciated five star rating but said, “I felt it was a bit over drawn in length.” This surprised me, as at 304 pages it is not overly long for a historical.

Asking a writer how long their book is going to be, or should be, is like asking the age-old conundrum, “How long is a piece of string?”

I envisioned a very different ending for Challenging Mountains, my recent release, where Tim’s family would have a get-together, but then as I drew near the final scene it told me that was enough and that is where I should sensibly leave my characters. Publishers have certain rules about the length expected for each genre and most contemporary stories are termed as ‘quick reads’ I guess, and Historicals and Time-Travels are expected to be longer.

One benefit of writing a series, especially one containing members of one family or clan, is that you can always catch up in the next book with characters you have taken a fancy to or hope those you disliked would have a not so happy ending. I fully intended Challenging Mountains to be the final book in my Settlers series, but as happens often with us writers, one of the characters started to play with my mind and insist I write her story next. Because Tiger and Bella (Book 1, Mystic Mountains) ended up with eight offspring I could be stuck with this family heckling me until I am in my dotage (which I fear is not too far away).
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4 comments:

  1. bOOK LENGTH. i'VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD WHY CERTAIN BOOKS SHOULD BE CERTAIN LENGTHS. eACH STORY HAS ITS OWN LENGTH.

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  2. Perhaps it could have been tweeted. ;) No--I've had that too, but as Janet says, a story is as long as the characters say it is.

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  3. That's in in a nutshell, we know when our stories should end.

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  4. Don't ebookd and brick-and-mortar books have different preferred lengths?

    ReplyDelete

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