Over Christmas I've been giving a lot of thought over what's next in my life. One of my projects left unfinished is a novella sitting under the bed that I felt was unpublishable due to its length. I've had some good feed back on my work but I've been given the advice to make it longer. But why? I'm happy with it and I think it will lose something if I add padding just to make it the right length. Then while surfing the net this morning I came across an article which literally answered the question I was running over in my mind - weird right?
According to today's Telegraph 'Booker prize-winning author Ian McEwan believes the novella is the superior literary form to the novel.
The author told an audience at Cheltenham Literary Festival over the weekend, "If I could write the perfect novella I would die happy."
McEwan said that publishers and critics feel there is something 'unmanly' about a novella: "Whenever I've handed in a novella there's always someone to give you a kick in the shins, as if you've made a mistake.
"Many of the writers we love the most, we love for their novellas: Death in Venice, by Thomas Mann, The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka."
McEwan believes that brevity appeals to readers, because "you can hold the whole thing structurally in your mind at once."
The writer defines the novella as being a work of 25,000 words. He is the author of several short-form books and two of his short novels have been shortlisted for the Booker prize. The 166-page On Chesil Beach was nominated in 2007, a book which McEwan described as a novella. This would have made it ineligible for the Booker, but the panel decided that the book was in-fact a short novel.
The writer won the Booker with the 175-page novel Amsterdam in 1998.
His most recent novel Sweet Tooth includes a character who is nominated for a literary prize for a novella.'
Source Telegraph.co.uk Tuesday 01 January 2013
Now I'm the first to admit that my story isn't the next Turn of the Screw, but encouraged I have spent the afternoon on my submission letter.