The joy of novels

Tree of booksHaving read a lot of short stories recently – and worked on my own – I’ve also been reading up on advice on the short story form, and just today attended a workshop on writing a ‘killer first page’.

Suffice it to say, I think I’ve reached my saturation point and, while I still intend to work on my stories and still like reading short stories, I’m ready for a novel now. Much as I appreciate the short story form and the intensity this brings, I’m missing the indulgence of the novel – having the chance to get to know characters more deeply; to follow them in a longer story and to immerse oneself in descriptions which are so often lacking in short fiction.

There seems to be a trend towards overtly stripped-back stories these days and yes, I know, Flying letters1,500-2,000 words just doesn’t give you the luxury of lots of descriptive prose but still… I want some.  I’ve said before that I loved To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and I also enjoy James Joyce. What can I say – I love flowery poetic writing, and short, punchy prose tends to cut it out. I appreciate flash fiction and the like, but right now, it’s back to novels for me.

Meanwhile, however, I will have my editing hat firmly on as I continue to refine my own short stories, and I hope to put all that advice I’ve soaked up recently to good use 🙂

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