Raven’s Thursday thought on… book lengths.
And asks, well how long is a piece of string…
It’s one of those old chestnuts isn’t it?
Something people ask about and worry over.
How long should I make this story? How long should a book be?
When do I type the end…
And my answer? See above. How long is a piece of string?
Seriously there is no answer.
A story is as long as it takes to tell it.
Okay that’s a bit simplistic, and as time goes by you can often have a rough idea before you start. Even plot it out a bit. And sometimes, on occasion take heed. Know your publisher wants an 80k work from you and get within a couple of thousand words of that target.
Conversely, you can also be several or lots of thousands words short and not by any means be able to extend it. Or passed 110k and going strong. That is how long that story needs to be told.
Then again, picture this scenario. This time, you’re nigh on certain it’s a short story and it will be a perfect Romance on the Go, or whatever, and it goes all right. It goes on…and on… and several thousand words more on.
See? A story is as long as it needs to be. No more no less.
Padding a short out will show. It will read as if you had to add how they made Paprika chicken or did the washing up, because really you wanted it to get to a certain wordage. Not because it adds anything to the story.
Or your readers wonder how the hell the hero got from ‘a’ to ‘b’, because you cut that bit out to get a certain book length.
Nope sorry, cutting the sting, knotting two bits together or whatever will bot work
Tell it as it needs to be told.
You know you want to. And it is worth it.
love R x