Saturday, July 8, 2017

Attempting to write longer stories

The Naughty Literati are planning a project for next year with longer stories in it, around 30,000 words or a little more. Most of my books are short. I get bored quickly and like a lot of action, so of the more than 100 books I’ve written 70% of them would be 25,000 words or fewer. And most of the longer ones got that way by accident. The characters kept running off on tangents instead of solving the problem and riding away into the sunset together.

Characters do that sometimes. Refuse to listen to the writer, I mean. There was this ghost… but that’s another story.

One classic case of my inability to write longer books was a Regency romance I began that was meant to climax at the Coronation of King George IV. I spent weeks researching that coronation—the clothing, the event itself, the people who were there and more. The coronation was a really big deal, costing twenty times as much as George’s father’s coronation, the equivalent of around 26 million dollars in today’s terms. All for a one-hour-long ceremony. I even planned to mention that George’s wife, Caroline of Brunswick, was banned by George himself from attending the event.

But hey, the characters refused to cooperate. My hero, the Reverend Barnabas Ridley was in such a hurry to marry the heroine, Georgina Arnott, that the book was finished in barely 20,000 words instead of my planned 45,000.

It was also finished well before the coronation, so I wrote the story of Barnabas’ sister, Theodora. But once again the main characters seized hold of the storyline and raced off with it.

Undaunted, I began the story of the stunningly beautiful Miss Sapphira Arnott, but the Earl of Mitcham appeared out of nowhere and took control of that. I never did write about the coronation.

So wish me luck with this new project. The plan is for one longer book to go in the boxed set. Not a series of three shorter ones that won’t be right for the group.

The Regency books mentioned above are the Virgins No More series,

And the ghost?
Oh, he took over an entire series of books, the “Forever Yours” series.
or available separately as ebooks:

Berengaria Brown


  1. I've found that publishers are now wanting longer books - 60K or more - so they can put them in print. I used to write 100K but I like the shorter ones better. Much, much easier.

  2. That's interesting to know, Tina