Three-for-two offer

I have just read three novels back to back, all out in paperback in June or early July. These are they. I really don’t normally read novels, but I am reviewing them for the next issue of Word magazine, and it was a pleasing novelty to gulp down so much fiction in one go. I won’t pre-empt the review, but I had to excise this opening paragraph, so I thought I’d post it here, as I quite liked it. But a preamble is a luxury, and I had to get to the books much quicker.

It’s often said that everybody has a novel in them. I’m sure this is hypothetically true. But the difference between becoming a novelist and remaining a would-be novelist lies in the ability to extract the inevitable half-thoughts and brief story flashes, bring them to the surface and assemble them into something that actually reads for at least 40,000 words. (The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have been nerdy enough to specify a word-count for books – in case you’re interested, if it’s under 7,499 words, it’s a short story; between 7,500 and 17,499 a novelette; and between 17,500 and 39,999 a novella.) Oh, and then you have to get it published.

I actually mainly liked the information from the SFWA. Who knew? (I have never written a novel. I think it might very well be too hard.)

3 thoughts on “Three-for-two offer

  1. Weirdly, my response was to think that those numbers aren’t too daunting for professional writers (such as strict journalists and many-hatted types like yourself Andrew)! Don’t you guys often have to knock off circa 2,000 words a day, suggesting that a novel could be done in (checks sums) 20 days or so? I gather that Caitlin Moran wrote (and had published!) a novel when she was just sixteen, which is pretty impressive.

  2. I agree.

    I’ve always thought I could write. Then a friend of mine actually went ahead and got a publishing deal.

    I read his stuff and thought “wow this is actually quite good I could never come up with this”

    Then I went back to writing my blog read by associated internet nutcases.

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