The scope of stories

So one of my short-stories-in-progress has turned into a book project.

I’ve heard many other writers talk about this–having what they thought was a short story turn out to be a novel (and sometimes then having the novel turn out to be a trilogy, or several trilogies, or their life’s work :->)–but it’s not happened to me before.

To be fair: the novel will likely be 100 pages or so, a novella by adult book standards.

But what’s interesting is, I always sort of thought the reason short stories became novels had something to do with following more threads than strictly needed: not being content, say, to stay with one character and one arc, but deciding to incorporate side-characters and side-arcs, too. This can be a lot of fun–I enjoy travelling down those side roads when I read–but I’m realizing it’s not quite that simple.

I’m thinking now it’s more a matter of scope; that the things implied in the original conception, the things the story wants by its very nature to work through, need more space than a short story allows. It’s a matter of not only more plot, but also of theme and underpinnings requiring more plot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *