Does Length Matter?

Length matters to me.

Ahem…get your mind out of the gutter.

I’m talking about fiction here, the length of a good read. Novels appeal to me because there’s time to develop all that atmosphere, setting and intrigue.

Flash fiction is something I’ve learned to appreciate because it hones my  editing skills.

I’ve also discovered that micro-fiction is not my cup of tea.

For those of you who love it – social kisses and high-fives. I’ve done several pieces and am unhappy with the payoff for the amount of effort involved in the production. Like poetry, there’s a lot being produced but very little lingers in my mind.

For me there just isn’t enough space to convey what I want, in order to feel content with the finished product.

For a while I worried maybe I was just going about things ass-backwards, but nope…the words work best in one direction. It doesn’t much matter WHICH direction, as long as they all seem to follow along.

But for me, length does matter.

For those writers out there – what’s your favorite length? When you read, do you like it longer or shorter?

Stop thinking those things. Bonus amusement and soundless clapping if you answer in haiku.

  1. #1 by raelynbarclay on October 17, 2011 - 9:22 pm

    Me…haiku… ROFLI'm a full-length novel kind of person. Give me a 100K or more novel and I'm in heaven. That's not to say I haven't enjoyed shorter pieces but I read quickly and enjoy the longer works for keeping me entertained. I also aim for the 100K mark in most of my writing.

  2. #2 by Lesann Berry on October 18, 2011 - 12:12 am

    Hey Raelyn- I'm the same way…haiku should be longer. I need space and time to really get into a story (writing or reading). The shorter a piece of fiction, the harder I think it is to convey what I want. I know every word is supposed to always count, but in short works it REALLY does.Glad to know I'm not the only one in the club!

  3. #3 by Naomi Bulger on October 18, 2011 - 1:17 am

    Hmm, that's a good question. I think I'm actually in the "shorter" camp (which matches my stature, as my taller-than-me 13yo would quickly point out). Most of the time, although not all the time, I like to think there is more where a book has left off, that I can create in my mind. That's how I've always loved to read, even as a child, that bitter-sweet wanting of more is almost better than being given it ALL. I prefer tapas tasters or degustation to one big, hearty meal, too. On the downside, I think I struggle by saying too little in my own writing. I need to be a little more generous to my readers, something I'm grappling with in my next (longer) book.

  4. #4 by Lesann Berry on October 18, 2011 - 3:02 pm

    Hi Naomi!I do love a story that has a satisfying ending but also leaves room for me to continue in my head. Especially if the characters are rich and complex and I can see them easily becoming involved in a new tempest. That IS a good bittersweet flavor.My biggest downfall in writing is trying to convey every little thing in my head onto the paper. I try to convey nuances and images that the reader is perfectly capable of forming all by themselves. Well, that's probably not true, I've got lots of other problems too. lol

  5. #5 by Tammy on November 5, 2011 - 9:46 pm

    Satisfying booksare like good sex, breathtakingAnd just long enough.

  6. #6 by Lesann Berry on November 8, 2011 - 3:50 pm

    Aren't you the clever one…haiku and sexual innuendo all rolled together.+100 cleverness points

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