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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Short or Long?

I have conversations about this pretty often.  I write a lot of short stories, some of them are linked.  I just finished a four story series for my publisher.  I don’t write many novels.  I guess that makes me an oddity. 

My friends often point to the novel I sold and say, “Look that proves you can write a novel.”

I’ve known I can write a novel for a long time, I just don’t like writing them.  I don’t write very quickly and to write a whole novel I have to set aside everything else I want to do.  I know that sounds selfish.

I take my writing very seriously; I may spend months researching for a short story.  I’ve spent a lot of time reading about the last few years of the NHA and the transfer to the NHL, and the shift in goalie styles (until 1918 goalies were not allowed to leave their feet to make a save) and I can tell you how ice was resurfaced before the Zamboni.  So it’s not a lack of seriousness that keeps me from writing novels. 

Like every writer I know, I am compelled to write.  I don’t feel like I have a choice in it, but at this point I don’t see myself making a living at writing.  So writing is just a very important hobby of mine.  That isn’t to say I don’t get paid for my shorts, I do, and I will be paid for my upcoming novel as well.   

But will I write another novel soon?

Probably not. 

Since this is a hobby what I do should be fun.  I don’t find novels fun.  Maybe someday I will change my mind.  Maybe not.  I can’t know the future.

Do you like to write long pieces, or short pieces? 


  1. I prefer the short story format when I write (or even Flash Fiction). I have yet to have a over published and that became an over-riding goal for a while. I that somehow I wasn't a 'real' writer until I had one in print but now I am following my gut (or heart, if you prefer) and writing stories that feel right. If those stories are long so be it but if they are short or flash then that's fine too. An author is at the best when they are writing to please the story rather than attain a specific word count. Just my two cents....

    M. Leon Smith

  2. I hate that feeling of “I’m not a real writer because I don’t like writing novels”, I really don’t like that we authors do it to ourselves and other authors. We should be producing art that makes us happy.