Friday, February 4, 2011

What do you do with a long story if you’re not Stephen King?

When I start on a new short story I like to cap it off around four thousand words.  Four thousand words are neat and tidy.  It is the perfect space for a beginning middle and end.  But what about those monster stories?  Those stories that keep going well over twenty pages.  They had their heavy cream for breakfast and the extra pork chop for lunch.  How do we manage those?

This isn’t a rhetorical article were I tell you how to handle a midget novella.  I am asking, what do you do with a hefty short story?  No magazine will publish it unless your name alone sells thousands of copies.  They sit around unloved, and unwanted, like a turd in an airport bathroom.  Who wants an obese child?

I’m open to suggestions.  

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like something that could be serialized in some form. I don't speak from experience of course, but I imagine if such a work is good enough and can be separated into nice, self-contained chunks, it would have an easier time of finding an audience.

    So I'm curious, do you have something of that size just sitting around?