1. Mocheo Timo

    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    How do you develop a story into a novel?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mocheo Timo, Jun 16, 2015.

    I've never written any novels or books before, but I have a couple of ideas and I'm planning to. My issue is that I feel like I should improve my short stories before taking a step into something longer.

    Now, I am already suspicious of this thought-processing style, and will most likely reject it when one of my ideas for novels grows so big, that I won't be able to say no to it. I haven't reached that stage yet, so my questions remain.

    How do you decide to write a novel? Is it the kind of idea for a story you know right away is reserved for a novel? Or do you start by simply writing a story and then decide whether it will be a short story or a novel?
     
  2. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    Here's a thoughtful wee article from Writers' Digest that might give you a few things to think about, when making the choice between writing a short story or a novel. There is a lot of difference (besides just length) between the two.

    What kind of a story you want to tell? Something that makes a pertinent point or contains a sudden twist that resolves the plot? Something that involves a lengthy journey? Something that takes place over a very short period of time, or something that develops over a long period of time? Something that involves only a few characters and maybe only a single point-of-view character? Something that extends to many characters, or focuses on just a couple of them?

    http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing/novel-or-short-story
     
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  3. Mocheo Timo

    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    The article was really helpful. Thank you! :)
     
  4. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Contributor Contributor

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    By writing it. Unless writing is your job - in which case this wouldn't be an issue - your story should take what you think is its natural course. Whether or not it ends up being a short story, a novella or a novel does not matter.

    A good exercise is to just write. Write a whole novel if you feel like your story has the depth. It doesn't have to be good, but by completing a novel you learn what it entails.
     
  5. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've never asked such a question. I just write and it finishes when it finishes. And since I'm terribly long-winded, as anyone on this forum can attest to judging by the length of some of my posts, these stories inevitably turn into novels.
     
  6. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Me? I get an idea, usually an incident or event, a 'what if' moment. Then I think about it for a while, and jot ideas, determining if it's got legs enough to be a good read. I also decide if the idea and the story around it is enough for a novel or short story (I've never written a novella yet). I jot notes and add to them over time and when I have the time, I organize the plot and begin to write that story.

    But that's me. What method works for me may not be effective or efficient for anyone else.

    That said, if you're going to write a novel, it should be an idea or story that you're very interested in, because you'll be immersed in it for a long time...through many drafts beyond the first draft. There will be revisions and editing and reading again and again...there will be beta reader suggestions and editor suggestions and fixes (whether you go with a publisher or self-publish and hire an editor). So, if you don't really enjoy the story, have a deep interest in it, slogging through to the end could become a major challenge.

    Note: There is a reason many authors don't just sit down and re-read one of their novels for the heck of it. They've read it probably a dozen times at least.
     
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  7. sprirj

    sprirj Senior Member

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    I never considered not writing a novel. I always knew that was the goal, then I worked on a story. If the story isn't long enough/good enough, then I start again, provided I've learnt from it.
     
  8. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

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    In my case it's never a conscious choice, I just happen to get novel-ideas easier than short stories. In fact I have only written three stories in my writing life, and several novel ms's.
     
  9. Nilfiry

    Nilfiry Senior Member

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    I start with an idea or a scene in my head, and then next thing you know, it explodes into its own universe! I know, it is just like the Big Bang! it just appears out of nowhere.

    I can listen to a song that inspires me, and then next second, I have the entire premise for a novel surrounding that song. I simply see too much possibility for everything to keep it small. No such thing as short stories or novellas for me even when I try really hard to keep it that way. My shortest work still manages to pass the SFWA's minimal word count standard for novels by a few thousand words.
     

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