marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

weight and length

One thing may determine the suitable length of a story is not just how sticky the story ideas are, but the weight they can bear.

Doesn't matter for all ideas.  If you have a bright idea for a comic little interlude, it can fit as a piece of comic relief in a much longer work.  The trouble arises when you have a structural idea, that determines much of the story.

Particularly with climax.  A funny little climax, or a twist, can work with a short story, because it only has to bear the weight of the short story.  To stick it on a novel, with all the complexity of that a novel needs, would be to make it anticlimactic.  This is why a Feghoot is not only always a short story, but always a short-short; you can't have an entire novel leading up to a bad pun.

I wrestled with some ideas before I got the notion to put them little short-shorts, told in the character's voice.  The endings weren't strong enough to carry a longer story.

Sometimes this is the problem with padded novels.  It's not just that the padding wasn't integrated with the story.  It's the story really couldn't support a novel of this length, no matter how you integrated the stuff.
Tags: dramatic tension, endings, plotting, story length, story structure

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