Thursday, November 20, 2008

Short fiction vs. novels

One final, final comment.

I think it's possible to write short fiction that is close to perfect. But a novel is too long -- there are going to be slow spots and places where you don't get the writing just right. Why? It's too much hard work to polish every word of a manuscript that is 100,000 words +; and inspiration -- if it exists -- can't be sustained for that long.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice may be almost perfect. Many great novels are not.

There is a pleasure in writing something that is compact and does everything it intends to in a brief space.

It's the difference between netsuke and some giant piece of public art. Both work, but in different ways.

I like small works of art, including short fiction; and the stories of mine I like the best are less than novel length.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

See, I'm the other way around. I have a hell of a time writing short stories. I think in novels.