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Category Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Why Do Writers Start with Novels?

Kelly J. Hand

woman with bookIn a recent GalleyCat blog post,Jason Boog commented on an online debate about why new writers start with novels.  One participant in the exchange mentioned that composers do not start off writing symphonies, but instead begin with smaller pieces.  The analogy is interesting and suggests many new writers are overambitious.  However, I think it is a reflection of current literary tastes, and how they motivate writers.

The short answer to the question is that we want to write novels because we read novels.  I love novels because they become a part of my life and capture my imagination for days or weeks at a time.  It is a pleasure to live with stories and characters to distract me from my own preoccupations—and help me to reflect productively on my own life.  The best stories stay with me and shape my thinking.  Short stories, on the other hand, may…

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