1. A.L.Mitchell
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    A.L.Mitchell Active Member

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    When you know that one of your short stories should be a novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by A.L.Mitchell, Jul 26, 2012.

    Hello everyone, I've been thinking about this for the last hour, when you read your old short story and started to think it should be a novel. How do you go about it? It's going to be about a young man(in the short stories he's older), how he becomes an hit-man and how and why he does it. How he deals with the death of his parents and how he finds peace.
     
  2. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Can you explain it well? In under 20 words? Without feeling like you've left out important information? Really, that's up to you to decide. Is 15-30 pages (roughly 3k-7k words) enough to really show the character(s) arcs without leaving the reader asking questions?

    If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then it's alright for a short.

    Does the short seem too deux es machina? Miraculous? Are there major gaps in time in between the transition from scene to scene? Are there multiple conflicts? More than one character struggling? More than one relationship to describe?

    If you have answered yes to any of those questions, then it's probably much more suited for a novel.
     
  3. inkyliddlefingers
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    inkyliddlefingers Member

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    You could use the short story as reference, then have him looking back over the past (perhaps from a condemned cell?) trying to figure out how he got to this point. I always use a storyline chart to help me. I look at the peaks and troughs in the story and try to make sure the peaks are evenly spaced out so as to hold the reader's interest. I also try to leave around fifty percent of the chapters with a hook so that they will immediately want to read on. It could go something like this:

    CH 1 - Introduce main character, set scene, hook
    CH 2 - build tension, in comes protag's main enemy, explain their history, how they came to loathe each other (first peak)

    I would do this for every chapter. Once you have done this you'll see straight away if you have enough material for a story, or not. I once tried to work up a short story in this manner and get as far as chapter four, realising I'd hit the end and would only have about 10,000 words.

    I also like to write in detail a personality description and brief life history of the main characters. This helps me get inside their heads, into their world. But that's just me..

    Hope this helps
    ILF
     
  4. A.L.Mitchell
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    A.L.Mitchell Active Member

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    Yeah there are some gaps, so I think I'll be turning it into a novel.
    It does help and I will be trying to plot it again, so I can make it a big novel.
     
  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    My philosophy is that you need to write the story that's in you, so write it and however long it turns out to be is how long it is -- whether that categorizes it as a short story, novella or novel. In this case, since you've already written the ss, I'd use the ss a a guide for what I wanted to do, but basically start over, writing the novel almost from scratch. You could use the ss as a basis for an outline, if you use outlines.
     
  6. A.L.Mitchell
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    A.L.Mitchell Active Member

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    I agree with you there and I will be starting from scratch, and yes, I am going outline it.
     

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