Monday 22 September 2008

Monday Memo: I'm never going to be a short story writer.

Note to self: When ever single draft you write ends up longer than the last, it's time to stop worrying about the first draft being a bit too short.

I know it's not the most artistic and creative way to set about it, but I like to decide what length my story is going to be and make damn sure the story turns out to be that length. If I say it's going to be 16,000 words, it's going to end up 16,000 words. I'm actually sad enough that I'll got back and re-word certain sentences until it is exactly 16,000 words.
That worked out great when I was just writing first drafts and putting them in the back of a drawer, but since I've started editing it's a different story.

The stories keep growing.

I originally intended The Gift - my Christmas Anthology story to be 12,500 words. The requirements went up a bit. It now needed to be 20,000 words. Mine ended up just short of 25,000.

Turquoise and Leather started off as a lust bite length story and grew into a novella during edits.

You First, Silent Night and Whispers all grew 2-3,000 words each.

I've been trying to work out why they keep getting longer. The only thing I can think of is I just love writing too much. Or I like talking to much...
Maybe a bit of both. Because after all writing is all about a desire to communicate something to other people.
I think that's why I've never be able to write a short story writer, I like to communicate the whole story, and I've never managed to do that in less than 10,000 words.
Which brings me to the stories I'm working on at the moment.

I've finished writing Time Out. It's actually 5,000 words shorter than I originally intended it to be. By my calculations, that means it will be just about what I want it to be by the time I've finished editing because...

For the Duration is now 6,000 words longer than I intended it to be. Another couple of thousand and it might tip over into a novel rather than a novella. Although I still want it to be ready for submission by the end of the month, so I hope it doesn't grow into too much of an epic.

My new writing project starting from today is the last novel in the Perfect Timing series. It's called By the Hour - a m/f BDSM erotic romance. I've cut 5,000 words off my first draft target length, so fingers crossed my editing continue to keep adding.

By the Hour is actually another re-write. I originally started the story in November last year as a Nanowrimo novel. I wrote 7,000 words before I switched to a different project. This time around I've kinked up the plot a bit and thrown in a few more twists and turns, so I feel much more positive about it.

It would be a bit too ambitious to try and finish it by the end of the month, very nice, but too ambitious. I'll be carrying this one through until October.

And that's it. I'm off to get started on that editing.

I don't know how many people reading this blog are also writers, but I'd be interested to know how many other people find their stories grow or shrink significantly during edit?

Feel free to share :)

1 comment:

The Gerlings said...

Depends on which draft. Sometimes I add chapters, and then go around and hack out 10,000 words of fluff. I aim for 75,000-95,000 for the final draft. We shall see what I accomplish with that goal...