Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Novel vs. The Short Story

Yesterday on my Author Page I posed the question:  Which do you prefer to read: novels, novellas, or short stories? I was expecting to have a smattering of answers but I noticed that most people said that they prefer the novel. There were different reasons given for liking the novel such as getting lost in a longer story and being emotionally involved with the characters. A couple of people said they don't have a preference and I would put myself in that group.

My good friend Pherin I think said it best: "A good story is a good story regardless of its length." That's exactly what I strive to produce when I write: a good story no matter the length. The fact is, when it comes to writing, I prefer short stories. When it comes to reading, I like reading pretty much anything if I can get sucked into it. The mark of a good writer is to suck the readers in no matter if the story is three pages long or five hundred pages long. 

Summer's Hollow is my first full length novel but I prefer writing shorter stories even if they are part of a larger series. Now that Summer's Hollow is published and set to be released September 13th, I have already started to work on the sequel (hey it's a horror story what did you expect?). What I am debating though is what length to make it? Do I spend years crafting another long novel (the first one took eight years) or do I treat it more like a novella or even a couple short stories put together? For the time being I'm leaning more towards another novel since I do have a lot of ideas; surely I'd be able to fill up a couple hundred pages.

I've joked since I was younger that I wanted to be the next Stephen King: to write novels and short stories. The feeling of having my full length novel in my hands is one of the highlights of my life; it's something I haven't felt when writing and publishing short stories as eBooks. Of course the biggest change is that it is print. Perhaps I'll feel different if I published a short story anthology in print? I've been musing the idea of adding a few more stories to "Deal with the Devil" and publishing it in print. 

Regardless of the questions going on in my brain you can bet that I'll be writing many more short stories and maybe even a few more novels. All I can hope is that my faithful readers are enjoying my stories no matter what length they usually prefer. In the end if one person likes my writing I can go to sleep happy. 

The photo above is of two of my favorite books: An anthology of Poe works and a Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell.


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