Well I have been plugging away at Romaine, and I’m making some good progress. However, it seems like the story is turning out to be much longer than I originally thought it would be. Perhaps it’s because I’m not really writing it in a traditional fairy-tale style, or perhaps it’s because I am over explaining things? ^-^ Regardless of the reasons, I recently did a quick estimate of my probable final word count, and it is well into the novella range!
For those who don’t know, a good general word count reference is:
Under 20,000 words = short story
20,000 to 50,000 words = novella
50,000 words or more = novel
I realize that these definitions are constantly changing, mostly due to reading and writing trends. In fact, I think I read somewhere that most publishers actually look for novels of at least 100,000 words. Also there is this thing called flash fiction, which I think is 500 words or less, but I am not sure on that. However, these are the traditional word count ranges that I was taught; and since they make the most sense to me personally, this is how I tend to categorize my writing endeavors. ^-^
That being said, I don’t know how I feel about Romaine going into the novella category. Obviously stories evolve and it’s not uncommon for something that was originally intended to be a short story to bloom into something bigger. In this instance however, I am concerned about time. My original goal was to finish three shorts, and then fully edit and polish them for possible publication. So far I have one short finished, but not edited at all, and one short that is quickly turning into a novella!
So what I’m trying to decide right now is should I keep on with Romaine and see it out to the end? Or should I put it aside for now and try to work on something that is not going to take as much time?
On the one side, I have already spent almost three months on this story. It is already halfway through July and I still need to finish it, write another short, and get all three edited and polished by the end of the year! I may well run out of time.
On the other side, giving up on this story feels pretty much like quitting. I mean, I’ve already spent three months on this project, so I should see it through to the end! Right? I also am not sure whether the time-constraint reason for dropping Romaine is a legitimate reason, or me making excuses because I’m not really enjoying myself anymore.
So yeah, this is a decision I’ve been thinking about for a bit. I think I will give myself until the end of August maybe to decide. That should be enough time for me to start some other projects if I’m not done with Romaine. Also, I would certainly welcome any comments or opinions on the subject! So feel free to leave me a comment if you have any thoughts. ^-^
Aaaaaand to finish out this post, here’s another short Romaine excerpt (first draft obviously):
Now that he thought about it, soon his father would be back and Elena would go home to her family. He would stay here. Romaine had conflicting feelings about that. He was not looking forward to her leaving, though happy that she would be reunited with her family. In such a short time he had already gotten used to having her there to talk to. He found himself wishing that his Father wouldn’t show up for a good long time… and quickly berated himself for such selfishness. The wind had begun to pick up lately. He’d even seen a few clouds this morning.
“I’m going upstairs for a minute,” Rom said abruptly.
“All right,” said Elena, not looking up from the magelight.
He left her there, absorbed in practicing, and hurried up the ladder to the top floor. The light was different, darker, which gave him a moment of alarm. Had he really lost track of time that much? Alarm quickly hardened into dread however, as he pulled himself up into the room and got a look outside.
Clouds. There were massive, dark clouds cluttering the sky no matter which window he looked through. Already they had mostly blocked the sun. The sight of it, shining bravely through an ever darkening haze, made him catch his breath.
No! No it couldn’t be! How, how had a storm come upon them so suddenly? The morning sky had been bright and mostly clear.
Rushing to the nearest window, Rom threw it open so with such force that he nearly broke the precious glass panes. Their condition did not even cross his mind as he leaned out, trying to get a feel for the air. Perhaps the storm would pass by! Any hope of that was crushed quickly, leaving a sick heavy feeling in his stomach with its passing. The bustling wind that had blown this monstrosity in had died. The air was thick, charged, and smelled heavily of rain already.
“No, it can’t be…”
It had been years since an imminent storm had elicited the surge of pure panic that raced through him now. How long? How long before the storm broke? How long before Elena…
“Romaine?” The polite query came from the ladder where his precious guest had appeared, as if summoned by his dark thoughts. She was sitting on the edge of the hatch, watching him with some concern. “Is everything alright? I heard a crash.”
“A storm,” he murmured, starting at her with wild eyes. She leaned away from him, obviously disturbed, and when he saw the fearful look on her face it was as if his brain snapped back into place.
There were preparations that had to be made. And he had to think of a way to keep Elena safe.
“There’s a storm,” he repeated, this time with purpose as he ducked back into the room. “It could break at any moment, and we need to prepare. Would you mind helping me?”