So, I just broke novel length (60,000 words) on a piece that was never intended to be a novel. The piece as it was envisioned is done, but it’s not novel-shaped. Now I’m left with quandary of whether I spend some time on it turning it into something novel-shaped, or whether I put it aside and let it be what it is.

On the one hand, this wouldn’t necessarily be the case of turning a sows ear into a silk purse. I have some pretty solid ideas for how to effect the transformation that will actually make this a fairly strong and interesting story in terms of structure. There’s some good writing in the current story, but there’s a lot there that would need to be heavily revised or re-written, in addition to the 30,000 or so additional words that I would need to reshape it into a novel.

On the other hand, there’s projects I’m working on in more larval stages of development that promise to be richer, more nuanced and more mature pieces of work. Given that my time is limited and precious, is it wise to spend it hammering something into a novel shape just for the experience of doing so when I could be concentrating on projects where I’m aiming a little higher.

On the tentacle that I keep hidden in my chest cavity, I’ve never written anything this long before, and I’ve got a chronic habit of not finishing projects that I start. The story as envisioned is done, but couldn’t it be good experience to take what I’ve got and turn it into a novel before tackling my larva projects?

I know I’ve got some writers out there, and writers always have lots of advice to give on writing that’s not their own. Any comments from the peanuts?

6 thoughts on “Quandaries”

    1. I am, in fact, talking about Olivia Durden-Robertson. She was very nice. She had purple hair and a wall-eye and looked like something out of a BBC series or a Harry Potter movie, and apparently they call her the White Witch throughout the county. She chatted with us for a little bit about her memories of Yeats and O’Casey and some of the others from that crew and then disappeared, which disappointed me because I was really rather interested in what she had to say, but then, I like the whole spiritual aspects of Yeat’s and Gregory’s interests.

      I take it she’s SOMEBODY?

      1. She is indeed somebody. A pretty obscure sombody, but then again the only thing involving Ireland that I know about (that dosen’t involve Shane McGowain or Garth Ennis) is Yeats and the Isis-Urania temple and whatnot. She’s got a great reputation and is said to be a pretty all around awesome person. Which is rare to hear about sombody in the witchy biz these days.

        That’s awesome.

  1. The peanuts recommend a second opinion, since perspective is a good thing.

    The peanuts would be interested in providing a second opinion, since they can’t offer good advice without seeing the thing, but they are also aware that said offer wouldn’t be feasible from their end for at least a week or two.

  2. I’d develop this story – if only for the experience in doing so. That way, when the other stories you are working on get going, you will probably have come across some hiccups from this story that you know how to bypass or fix …. if that makes sense.

    1. Ditto. If one of the issues you’ve run into with your writing is completing long stuff, this seems like it might be a good exercise. Plus, you’ll already have around two-thirds of it done, which is an excellent place to start.

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