A Quickie vs. a Long (Writing) Affair

I read almost constantly, and I like to change things up from time to time. Full-length novels can be wonderful when they’re well done, and you don’t even want them to end when they’re especially great. Once in awhile, though, you don’t want to invest that kind of time and devotion in a single story, so you turn to something fast and fun

Shorter works, which you can find as both stand-alones and contained within anthologies, can be a nice change of pace. You can devour these in one or two sittings, which is perfect when you don’t have more than twenty minutes here or there to read. Thanks to their length, shorter works often have tighter, clearer plot lines and fewer characters to keep track of — another benefit if you already have nine hundred other things on your mind.

Authors can easily become slaves to word count because of the restrictions some houses have on the length of their works. Not every idea is a novel-length concept, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make a good story. On the other hand, sometimes a story or novella doesn’t give a writer enough room to really develop the characters and plotline. Full-length novels contain more layers and nuances, a greater depth of characterization, and room to fully explore conflict and resolution.

The trick is to find the stories that end exactly when they’re meant to end and not a page before or after. Personally, I say mix it up and just have fun.

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