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SMEDIA

Is it appropriate to discuss written works that aren’t video game applicable?

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If it isn’t, then I’m sorry for wasting your time.

I’m trying to write my first novel. I’m at ~12600 words, and a novel is at least 50,000 words. My biggest problem is that my writing is too succinct. I know I should practice more “show” than “tell”, but I’m having a hard time seeing where it’s appropriate.

My strategy is to continue adding more and more side characters and side plots, but I’m worried I won’t be able to come even come close to 40,000 words, let alone 50,000.

Any help would be appreciated :)

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To answer the title question, I really don't see why not.

Anyway, this is your first novel, so don't be afraid to experiment. If it doesn't work out, you can always end it as a short story and start on a new novel. Quite frankly, adding too many side characters and stories may not be the best idea, as it may end up diverging from the main plot too much, unless you can connect everything together. You could do that, or make the novel into a collection of short stories. It's up to you what to do, but if you need any specific direction, you can always consult the link that @Dragoncat posted.

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Thanks for the help.

In regards to a novel vs short story collection, my goal is to get published. And it happens to be exceptionally difficult for a first time author getting a short story collection published.

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This is also very useful.  As is a lot of pages on this site, tbh.

Sometimes telling is better than showing if it's trivial, random details like "Mary stroked the cat" when this Mary is discussing divorce settlements with her ex-husband.  Of course Mary petting that cat could be implying she's looking for any small comfort, so it isn't trivial in the sense of creating the scene, but there's no need to give vivid details about how Mary is stroking the cat behind its soft, fidgeting ears as it continued lightly purring, because that's just distracting from the fact that Mary's in a fairly serious and sobering situation.

And while setting isn't always relevant to the tone, it's still a good idea to describe it in vivid detail whenever you enter a new setting or it changes dramatically because the reader should be able to visualize something.  You're trying to get your readers to see what you're seeing in your mind's eye through untinted glasses with the narration.

I tell you this because while many say how you should favor showing over telling, they don't often say why and so it can be difficult to see the point in doing so (or where you might be able to do so).  And also because always going for showing could be detrimental, resulting in a lot of needless, distracting fluff that will end up disorienting or disenchanting the reader.  Ultimately, just think about how you want your readers to react, and think of ways you could lead your readers to react that way without forcing it.  That's the way I always try to go about writing.

Edited by Ertrick36

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As long as your fiction follows the general Code of Conduct (not overly graphic/offensive), it's fine.

I'm not big on word count.  I want to read a good story, and I don't care if it's a hundred words or a hundred thousand words.

I think your best bet is to start here.  Be VERY mindful of the rules in there, they don't appreciate rule-breakers (they're far stricter than I am).  My suggestion is to read the criteria used to critique pieces, then apply it to your own work.  If you're feeling ambitious, lurk in topics, write your own critique of someone else's work in Notepad, then compare your notes with the posted critique.  It probably won't match, but it'll give you an idea of how others may look at your writing.  Whether you ultimately post your critiques/work is up to you, but they will not be gentle about pointing out your flaws.

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9 hours ago, SMEDIA said:

Thanks for the help.

In regards to a novel vs short story collection, my goal is to get published. And it happens to be exceptionally difficult for a first time author getting a short story collection published.

Start in publications.  Get familiar with your market and start submitting if you’re doing short stories.  Things like https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/ should help you find it.  Make sure to start reading what you plan to write for to get a better feel for the market.  If you want to try to get a short story collection published, it’s a pipe dream unless you are editing and funding it yourself. Finally, don’t expect to make money, 40USD for a short story is considered an obscenely high payday.

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