Sunday, July 31, 2016

On Trying to Write Short(er) Again

I'm on my way to New York City today, to read at Lady Jane's Salon, hang with Ron Hogan and Megan Hart, and have lunch with my editor.

As one does.

All of this means that my post is going up a little late. Airplanes and blogging don't always play nicely together.

Our topic this week is why we prefer to write long or short.

I actually like both, which should come as a surprise to no one, since I'm always the fence-sitter in all things. I started out writing short - essays and short stories  - and these days I write long. Sometimes I write *really* long. The Talon of the Hawk came in at over 130,000 words. All of my Twelve Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms books are at least 110,000 words.

Writing short was great for me, especially to begin with. I'm not capable of pre-plotting, so writing short let me write and entire story in one sitting, while I held it and all its threads in my head. I also had little time to fit in writing back in those days, so shorter was better.


So, as I sat typing this in the Dallas airport, I got the announcement that my flight to La Guardia was cancelled. Worse, they can't get me there for two days, so I'm just going home again. Nothing like a day jaunt to Dallas for lunch!

What was to be a long trip has become a short one. Sometimes it works out that way.

At any rate, in writing those fantasy novels, I discovered the great joy of writing long. I even think of it as VERY long, because it's a long wending tale across the series at this point.

Conversely, with my new Sorcerous Moons series, I've been trying to write shorter again. The first book, Lonen's War, is about 65,000 words and it's looking like the next two in the series will come out about the same. The thing is, part of why I wanted those to be shorter is that I really wanted to write a long-term, slow-burn romance. In some ways that series of three will be like one 200K book.

Or longer. I might not be able to tell it in three books. We'll see.

I try to be flexible.

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