I’ve been working for some time on a pulp fiction novel based on three short stories I’d written in the past. If you’ve read my work, you know I don’t follow on particular genre. I probably should pick a genre and stick with it, but I love suspense and I love fantasy, so I write both (with a few children’s books sprinkled in for good measure).
The latest novel has really been difficult for me because I have too much going on. I know I need one central theme and one goal for the main character. She has one. I used characters from the three short stories as backstory and the novel has evolved giving in depth personalities for my characters. I have a story arc. I have a climax and an ending. What I don’t have is long enough word count.
Even a short novel needs to be at least 50,000 words and mine sits about 45,000. Should I give my characters more background? Should I add another character who could be sprinkled into the existing story (I have another short story that might fit). I’m at a loss. I’ve worked on it so long, I can hardly make myself read it anymore, except for the newer parts. This book has just not worked out like I imagined. I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. J. R. R. Tolkien I’m not and now that I’ve tried to put all these stories together into a cohesive narrative I am even more in awe of people who lace together epic tales with countless characters and subplots.
Should I throw up my hands and go on to another book? Should I put it aside for a while and write something else? Should I clear my life of this novel and forget the whole thing? When do you know you’ve gone too far and need a break?
What do you think?