1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Lengthening a Shorter work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by peachalulu, Jul 11, 2014.

    I'm thinking of lengthening my short story Not Pink into a novella to sell on Amazon and was just wondering if anyone has ever done this ( lengthened a story ) and had any tips?

    I had never wrote a short story before joining this site so I don't have any practice. I have lengthened novels before and am sort of going to try that technique - a read through, and inserting scenes where I find natural breaks. There are some actual natural scenes that can be easily inserted because they were actually supposed to be their but had to be ditched due to length but new scenes are a different story. I worry a bit about wrecking structure - even though NP doesn't have the greatest story structure in the world.
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I personally find a lot of my own stories lengthening when I do my edits and add scenes or dialogue that should have been there in the first place or rewrite parts for clarity and stuff. That usually adds a little here and there up to a few extra pages.

    A Novella is a larger story but not in terms of content, in my opinion. Unlike the novel, there should be few subplots and most of them pertaining to the same end but from different ideals or perspectives (If that makes sense). I generally read stuff with lots of internal growth and changes so maybe my idea of novella writing is a it skewed.

    As my preference in genre, I just dive deeper into my characters and flesh out their thoughts and reactions and add scenes or break them up with narrative and thoughts/monologues that reflect their change and conflicts,,

    Hope this gives you some idea.
     
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  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes a story (short story, novella or novel) is the length it's supposed to be. The time and effort spent in revising and trying to add quality words might be better spent on the next project.
     
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  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I agree with TWErvin2. You might actually end up making the piece worse. If you think you have a good enough short story, stick with that, and move on to another project.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If I were going to lengthen "Not Pink" I'd need to add more than filler. It had a good pace to it. I think if you just added more description or more detail it might not work.

    Have you thought of other elements you would add to the story and how they would fit in? Elements like other characters or events, not just lengthening what's already there.
     
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  6. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    I think AMP said it all.

    I also have a short, which I lengthened. I first took it from 5.5K down to 3K in order to make it eligible for a comp. Then, when I did not win, I spun it up to 17.5K.

    This was largely by showing, not telling.

    I did not really create any new scenes, I simply fleshed out existing. And where a whole scene was tossed out with a simple line, such as "they had met on a train heading to Cairo" I created the scene and showed the meeting as a flashback.

    I could probably flesh it out a little more, but it might be pushing it, without creating new scenes. Of course, I could do that too, but it is a neat little story as it stands, and does not need to be longer.

    My one thought about what to do with it, is to publish this as a novelette, and call it Part I. Then maybe sometime in the future, I will write what happened next. That can be Part II. All in all, I have a rough outline in my head for three parts to this story. I think of it as a triptych.

    Eventually, I can combine the three parts into a single novel.

    So, I am firmly in favour, so long as the story justifies being longer. I say, go for it!
     
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  7. BookLover
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    BookLover Contributing Member

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    I read Not Pink a while back and remember thinking, "Why did she waste this on a forum? Someone would have paid her for this! This should be published somewhere more significant!" So I'm happy to hear you want to turn it into a novella to sell on Amazon! It's a great idea!

    About how many words do you need to add before it's novella length?

    I like @GingerCoffee 's idea of adding more characters and events. It seemed like NP had a lot of side characters in it that you mentioned in passing, so maybe you could flesh them out a bit.

    If you really need to add way too much, and it doesn't seem like it's going to work, another possible idea is to package two or more short stories together and sell those on Amazon. Like if you had another science fiction short story about the same length you could sell them together in the same book as separate stories but with similar themes.
     
  8. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    I would say that if you were going for a collection, then you'd want at least 4 stories. Otherwise, I would agree with BookLover's suggestion.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Thanks everyone for the replies! -
    Thanks, A.M.P this does help!

    Totally agree with this. But I felt like I held back a bit on Not Pink in fact I actually didn't want to enter the story in the contest. I wanted to flesh it out a bit more but I thought if I didn't push to get it done for the contest I would've procrastinated and I had already done that twice with two other contests.

    I had two scenes that didn't make it in due to length and one small idea that was supposed to be fleshed out to explain why Hart Willoughby 'walks' Not Pink on a chain - and that's do to robot thefts on the rise.

    Thanks Booklover! I'm not sure on the length. Something to look into. I was thinking of eventually compiling short
    stories into a package but right now the ones I have are pretty scattered interest/genre wise. I'm working on posting The Parking Lot up on Amazon too, but that's a crime drama and really doesn't bare much in common with Not Pink. If I could finish a few sci-fi's I have on the back burner that actually might work.

    I'll probably have to get my butt in gear for a collection. I do probably have four stories to sell but they really don't have much in common with each other. I've seen others on other sites do it but I think they've developed a bit of a fan base or they're just trying stuff out.
     
  10. Chad Lutzke
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    Chad Lutzke Member

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    I guess you need to ask yourself if you have more worth telling that would strengthen what you already have or are you just trying to make it longer for the sake of making it longer?



    ~Chad Lutzke
     
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