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?