I love a good, sprawling epic of a story: the more expansive the setting, the more intricate the relationships, the more characters, the better. And for the longest time, I think that my stories were, on an unconscious level, really going toward that.
As for writing epics, I tend to get anxious when something I’m writing reaches over 350+ pages. I’m not really sure why. It might because at that point, with a large word count, I’m losing track of everything else I’ve written. Or because at that length, I know that so much of it is either filler or just bad, and it doesn’t need to be that long.
Also, I’ve come to realize that my writing is better when I have fewer characters and a tighter handle on a plot.
Now, historical fiction tends to have a longer word count than a lot of other genres–and I think Vic and Nic are heading toward a large word count, at least in this draft. So I’m trying to remind myself that it’s okay if it’s long as long as the story is moving and everything in there is absolutely necessary.
But then, on the other hand, I think about Pearl and how easy it was to write–and how easy it is to read because it’s short. Really, there’s a lot to be said about novellas.
So, which do you prefer to read or write? Long, dense, complicated stories or shorter, tighter ones? Or both?