Growing Into Novels

I can’t write a novel. Think what you want about that, but I can’t.
That’s not the same as saying I won’t though, because I probably will, eventually.

See, one of my biggest shortcomings in terms of writing a full length a book is, how the hell do I stick with one story that long, flesh it out that much, and keep on it ’till it’s finished. The answer is, I don’t. I write little snapshots of a story, bits and pieces, mostly for the fun of it (and don’t mistake that to mean I don’t take them seriously; I take pleasure very seriously). If I keep doing it…

It seems as though one of these stories will grow to the length of a book.

Unless something big changes in the way I tick, the way I do things, the way I grapple with life in general, which isn’t very likely. In my experience, people don’t truly change. Superficially, maybe, but not really. Given that, the only way I’m likely to produce a full length novel is if (or when) one of my stories grows long enough to deserve being called one.

I started thinking about this because the first few flash fiction parts of a story have, in a sense, evolved into an almost finished chapter. That is, if I look at it with the long view in mind, and factor in that I seem to keep returning to it with new ideas to add on. Few of them have been published so far, but I think the “fade to black” portion of the first part is starting to come together nicely.

So is the beginning of the next part.
Who knows… in time, maybe it will have grown into a novel.

Given my process, my approach to writing, a case could be made that it’s inevitable.


5 thoughts on “Growing Into Novels

  1. Maybe a way to think about it is not as one long story, but lots of short stories that intertwine and you keep returning to. Unless you’re enjoying writing flash fiction, then..stick with that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the vision of it I think I’ve been coming to over the last couple of years. Gradually, it’s begun to seem like that’s really the *only* way to tackle a novel…

      I do enjoy the flash fiction, but I just wish it added up faster.

      It can too, if I pick up the pace a bit. I’m fond of a little turn of phrase that popped into my head a while back: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work makes Jack a dead beat. Haha, so there’s that.

      In any case, I appreciate the comment 🙂 .

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah it’s definitely one of those things that inspires mixed emotions. I can go a few days, maybe even a few months if I’m feeling especially sick of it, but not longer. The need to lay all the words in my head out onto a page is like a pressure, building in the background until it’s not in the background anymore. It doesn’t have to be stories either… writing here is a relief from that pressure too, but since I started playing with fiction, since the first few little (arguably crappy) bits of them, I’ve found them to be satisfying in a pretty unfamiliar and pretty powerful way. Not necessarily in the process, the writing itself, although I find I write better when I’m just doing it purely for the satisfaction, and that the more contrived or cerebral or planned it gets, the less fun I have with it… but damn does it feel good to look back and know I wrote One Man Wasteland, or even Danny Boy or Hair of the Dog. I’m glad to have written them and… well, I don’t think I could stop if I tried at this point.

      I’m of the opinion though that if I get bored, I’m doing something wrong, so I’ve kind of branched out into more (separate) stories than I can really keep track of. The one set in hell (originally titled “After the End”, though that might just become the title of the first chapter) is my current favorite, and one of the more enduring over time. Some of them, I’ll probabl never revisit, but in hell there’s just so much you can do. The possibilities (the world building, the potential social dynamics, the fun of trying to figure out “if I believed in hell, what would my idea of it really look like, in action, in motion, as a world unto itself?”… It’s just fascinating to me I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

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