I am curious…How long is too long for a book? There are many types of people out there, with all kinds of reading habits. I must not assume they are all like me. I love to read, and if a book is good, I don’t want it to end. If it bores me, well, I want it to end as quickly as possible.( I have rarely stopped reading a book if it was bad…I always have to finish it. That would just be rude!) But to my point, if a book needs 150,000 words to tell a story, or 80,000 words then so be it. Shouldn’t a book be based on the strength of the story being told?
The publishing world is doing the readers an injustice. They want 85,000 words from new authors. If it is over that….well, “Say good-bye to my little friend.” The first Harry Potter book was just over 79,000 words. By the time the last book came out Rowling had almost 200,000 words. Had her first book been remotely more, we may never had known who Harry Potter was! Finding Jane is just under 120,000 words. It is a complete story as such. I know, I will have to edit at some point to make the industry happy. But truly, would it be serving the reader?
As creative entities we writers do not want “our work” tampered with. Call it ego or bratty…Whatever! But the reality is, my novel is good the way it is. It makes a complete story and I would be doing the reader an injustice by cutting it short. This is not a TV show that needs to fit into a 60 minute timeframe. This is reading…the art of imagination with no limits. Could I make it two books? Maybe….probably, if I write more. I can do that. But at what price are we sacrificing quality story making? And who does it hurt in the end…you the reader. Maybe that is why there is so much crap in the marketplace! Hence what drove me to write a literary romance…I wanted to get back to good writing, quality storyline, great characters, and good conversations.
So, I ask you sincerely. What is too long of a book? How many pages do you stop and go, “I am not devoting that much time!” Looking forward to your feedback.