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View Poll Results: Do you like long or short novels?
Really Short (less than 60K words) 3 2.19%
Short about 80K is right 7 5.11%
Medium (somewhere 'tween 80-120K) is perfect 16 11.68%
Long (give it to me baby. Stephen King is my idol) 62 45.26%
Don't care 49 35.77%
Voters: 137. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #46
Latinandgreek
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Originally Posted by hgwlackey View Post
I like to mix it up. I'd rather read a short novel then a long novel than two short or two long novels in a row.
Me too. I like long novels, but I have to break them up with some shorter novels in between. I feel like my concentration starts to wander if I read too many long novels back to back. Also, sometimes I'm just in the mood for a quick read that I can finish in a day.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:31 PM   #47
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I spat coffee; it didn't hit my keyboard. Classic and a keeper of a quote
Phew, good save on the keyboard! Essential tool for writing more books, right?
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:02 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by simonroyle View Post
I thought about that, given that he's not my idol either and I've got you beat on the number of years. But I wanted an example of an established writer who writes really, really long books.

What is interesting to me about the answers coming back is I suspected that people do like long books, but agents consistently say that they will reject a novel based on word count alone. long novels.

I am one of those who dislike long novels. SHORT novels all the way. I am glad publishers reject lots of long novels, most are not worth wasting the time to read. Stephen King and the like need an editor... or a bonfire
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:32 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hidari View Post
I am one of those who dislike long novels. SHORT novels all the way. I am glad publishers reject lots of long novels, most are not worth wasting the time to read. Stephen King and the like need an editor... or a bonfire
That's fine, reading is as personal a past-time as it gets. What I am alluding to is arbitrary dismissal based on a word count. Such act precluding the opportunity for choice and incidentally cutting readers off (at least 30% of them according to this insightful and scientifically organized Poll), from what they really like. Which is a whopping monster of an interesting read.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:41 PM   #50
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Novel size is immaterial to me, novel quality is what I look for.

I'll read the title, the author name, then open to a random point in the book and read. If it doesn't interest me, I'll try 2-4 more random places. Seldom check the first page.

If I don't see interesting bits in those random checks, back on the shelf it goes.

When I was a kid. The local library let you read books outside the kids' section once you turned 6 years old.

Being a shy kid, I walked up to the next shelf I saw. On the spine of the books, along with author and title, were small drawings of space ships.

I checked out 5 of them. 300 page novels. I found out later the librarian called my mom.

I got to take them home.

Before I got into the first grade, I was reading one of those novels in 3 hours.

My reading speed has slowed down a bit since then.

My sisters and I, around 10-12 years ago, tried to figure out how many books I had read. We decided it was around 8,000 to 10,000 books.

Ereaders, with the proper sd card, can hold 10,000 books.

I think I'm getting a bit behind in my reading.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:34 AM   #51
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I like short stories.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:50 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by jeffcobb View Post
The Thomas Covenant Chronicles were about the right size, as were the Terry Goodkind books. Short can be OK for some things but if you are telling an intense story, *tell* it.
So what do you think of the Wheel of Time series and how long it is?
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:52 PM   #53
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Therein lies the rub. Many longer books I've read have been padded to get the length. Look at Jordon's Wheel of Time series. The plot has been pretty much stalled the last several books because of the number of side plots not really necessary to the main plot. In Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," she had the bad habit of having her character's launch into seemingly endless soliloquies, belaboring points that could have been expounded upon more concisely. That marred an otherwise excellent book. David Eddings later series, even though each book wasn't particular long, was nothing but padding; the same plot kept getting repeated in different settings.
One of the worst padded books is Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard. There are a number of places it could have ended and book an ok book. But he just kept it going and going and going and padded the hell out of it and it went from ok to awful.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:53 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
long, provided the story continues to move with the length and doesn't 'pad'. (Don't know about Stephen King, never tried)
I've read the author edition of The Stand and it is not padded to make it so large. And it is a very good read.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:51 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by simonroyle View Post
That's fine, reading is as personal a past-time as it gets. What I am alluding to is arbitrary dismissal based on a word count. Such act precluding the opportunity for choice and incidentally cutting readers off (at least 30% of them according to this insightful and scientifically organized Poll), from what they really like. Which is a whopping monster of an interesting read.
True... Some longer books are worth read?
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:24 PM   #56
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While I do enjoy really long novels, I'm also a huge fan of short stories.
If it is well written, I'll read it, no matter what the length.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:54 PM   #57
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I think another option you should have added long but in shorter chunks.
I like to read series more than single novels larger the series the better. The individual book size does not matter.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:28 PM   #58
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As long as it needs to be to tell the story-- no longer, no shorter.
Yes... and imho, about 50% of longer novels are longer than they need to be.

Also, I don't mind arbitrary word limits for unproven authors, again, if an author can't tell a decent story at 60-80K words, they are probably not going to be able to tell one at 200K words.

I found the comment about short fantasy novels lacking something kind of interesting, if for no other reason than the fact that some of the seminal authors in the early days of the genre spent much more of their efforts on shorter fiction. Howard wrote mostly short stories, and only one of his Conan stories counts as a novel. Likewise, Fritz Leiber wrote a lot more short stories...

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Old 09-20-2010, 06:18 AM   #59
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:39 AM   #60
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Probably.
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