Thursday, 24 April 2014

Are you writing a novel?

During my teaching of authors, I often hear new writers say that they’d rather try a short story rather than a novel.

I heard it again the other day and I can understand the reason - it takes a shorter time to write and is less complicated when it comes to structure.

However, it is worth remembering that most new prose writers have the beginnings of at least one novel in them. They’ll have an idea which is so much bigger than a short story.

The trouble is that many new writers will get to chapter four or five and give up because they don’t have the confidence or stamina to keep going.

So, yes, short stories can be the best place for new writers to hone their craft but don’t discount the idea of a novel if it keeps calling you.

So how do you know which form you are drawn to? Well, if it takes you five minutes to tell someone the plot of your story, you’ve got a short story; if it takes 20 minutes and you’re still talking, you’ve got a novel!

John Dean

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