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The Tale of a Long Novel and some Short Stories!

January 24th, 2014

Back in the early 90’s I read Donna Tartt’s first novel The Secret History and loved it. It was a great big meaty work but it kept my interest from beginning to end. So, I was pleased when there was an offer on Amazon for her latest: The Goldfinch. I duly downloaded it and am now nearly at the end. It’s OK, but at (apparently) 800 pages it’s far too long.

And when you get such a long book, with passages that drag, it seems rather odd reading it on a Kindle. With a hefty print book you can actually see and feel how much further you have to go. Somehow, reading on and on and then finding that the little bar at the bottom is only slowly creeping up from 75% to 76% to 77% isn’t the same. I like my Kindle and recently, when I had a broken wrist, the fact that it was so light and could be used with one hand made life much easier. But for me there will always be room in my life for ‘real’ books!

OK, over the years you’ve probably gathered that I enjoy long novels I don’t often read collections of short stories. But if you’re a short story fan or write them yourself good quality collections often seem in short supply. I know that National Short Story Week isn’t until November but there are resources on their website year round. One that caught my attention is their Recommended Reading lists. There is one for adults and one for children and young adults. If you don’t write the kind of mainstream stories that appear in the women’s magazines or fiction specials then you might like to have a look.

Another couple of sites that might interest you are www.abctales.com and www.theshortstory.org.uk. The latter is the short story section of The Booktrust’s site and you can download the stories for free.

Whether you write short stories or have, as your ultimate goal, that novel that you’ve been planning for years, next week’s Course of the Week is Novel and Short Story Writing. So if you fancy getting some help with your writing – plus £25 off the course fees – keep your eyes open for the special offer link in our emails.

Coming up soon will be a guest post from one of our Writer of the Year runners up – Vic Wright. And if anyone else fancies sharing their views on writing as a guest blogger, please contact me – dianan@writersbureau.com

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