Entries in short book (1)

Friday
Jul062012

So Long to the 700+ page Novel

 

I've got to say, I grew up on novels pushing over 700 pages, and in the past felt cheated if a book by a wordy author fell short of that mark. Take Terry Brooks for instance, author of Sword of Shannara. I've read the entire Shannara line including the Word & Void series, which had nothing to do directly with the Shannara name other than it showed how the world of Shannara eventually came to be. I remember reading through books like Sword and Elfstones and loving that it took me days, sometimes weeks to read them. And though I am sure many of his titles fell below 500 words, I was never so disappointed with page count until I read First King of Shannara, which was still nearly 500 pages. First King somehow felt short, much shorter than his 700+ page Sword epic which started the entire series. To me, it read like it barely made it past 200 pages. Years later, I understand why I felt this way.

Terry Brooks has a way of making long novels feel like short novels, allowing you to become lost in the wording and make you feel as if you're part of the Shannara world. So, I am sorry Terry for whining about First King seeming so short. Especially now that Daniel and I have started 711 Press.

Except for Terry Brooks and a select few others such as Cinda Williams Chima, I am now hooked on quick read books, or novellas if you wish to call them that. The 711 Press formula has been crafted over the past four years to unveil to our authors a very concise way to cut down novels that could take 500 pages to tell a story to as little as 1/5 the page count. "Why would someone ever do that?" you ask. "Why would an author cheat me out of 300-400 pages?" The better question is, "Why don't authors take time to craft their stories, editing and removing the fodder to turn each book into a quick, easily digestable tale of excitement that could be read in hours instead of days?"

After reading movie books by Jami Lynn Saunders, Roger Vallon, and Drusilla Winters, to name a few, I've completely changed my reading mindset. I welcome the short book and cannot fathom the thought of spending 19 hours reading a book from my favorite author when I could digest a book of equal peril and adventure in 1.9 hours. So, 711 it is for me. With that said, Terry, Cinda, I still love you guys and your books do read quicker than other long-winded authors. So, I will continue reading your books, but it won't hurt my feelings if you weed out a few hundred pages, get right to the action and allow me to read your novels in one night ;)