…the ageless question for Authors…how long should yer book be?…

…as with most things to do with writing yer books, yeez’ll get as many different answers as the number of people yeez ask the question… what’s the ideal length of a novel?… for this ol’ Jurassic, it’s simple… yeez start the story… yeez tell the story… yeez finish the story… no more, no less… I’ve read reams of books, fiction and otherwise, over a few decades… from the mega-scribblers like Dostoevsky and Solzenhitzen, Michener and Steinbeck… to the barons of brevity, the pulp fiction producers, the novelette-ers, and compositers of poetry treasuries, such as Palgrave… each one of these is a superb read… on the distaff side, some literature has crossed my ken, of varying lengths, much of which left me as a reader underwhelmed (of course, that could be down to my innate literary Luddite-ism)…

red book

…so, yeez pay yer money and yeez take yer chances… very few authors write with an editor’s hovering red pen in mind, which as we know, is more likely to cut the size of yer masterpiece rather than add volumes to it… fr’example, when I’m belting away, one finger from each hand, on the laptop, I concentrate only on telling what’s in my head… often before the bluudy characters run away with the plot and carry it into dark corners that I hadn’t originally intended it to visit…


…a coupla things come out of that… on a purely selfish basis, I prefer terser minimalism in descriptive passages, coz my stuff is action and character based… I try to funnel the reader toward the personalities and the ‘explosive’ elements in my books… but that’s merely a matter of personal ‘style’… other authors’ styles will quite correctly call for more prosaic expression… the most wonderful piece of advice I ever picked up about ‘content versus length’ is, ‘ask yerself if whatever ye’re writing adds to the story–if it doesn’t, toss it’… see yeez later…LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

12 responses to “…the ageless question for Authors…how long should yer book be?…

  1. As long as you need to tell your story 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If you break a long book in two, you’ve got a sequel and you’ll get more sales.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As usual, short, to the point, and … a little bizarre! I can think of a few writers who should have asked the question of themselves! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. laurie27wsmith

    How long is a piece of string? I don’t know but I do like a good, thick book that I can escape into and also a quicker read too. you’re right though Seumas, if it adds nothing to the story then toss it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ..the thing is, I try to persevere with a book and finish it, even it underwhelms me… only one book I didn’t finish, because the stuff in the narrative was gratuitously sickening me… I actually tore it up and threw it in the bin…


    • …it was ‘American Pyscho’…an utterly vile piece of continuously repulsive stuff… i know some people like that kinda stuff…good luck to them… I was so sickened by it, some way into it I tore to in pieces and put it in the bin… it’s the only book i’ve ever read that I felt was actually evil…


      • laurie27wsmith

        I’ve never read it Seumas, so I went over to rotten tomatoes and took a look. with the movie many respondents felt a tad sick about it all. Sadly we have people in this world who are completely evil and like nothing more than proving it to as many other people as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

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