Another aspect is that long-running series often have large casts of characters. I love large casts of characters.
So basically the longer the story the longer I have to get fully invested and attached. Plus a large cast of characters that often interweave and clash.
Hell, I've got over 100 of the Deathland's novels sitting right here.
Each of the Deathlands sits at 150-250K per book and you WISH you could get the market penetration and sales and number of novels that book series has.
Even Mike Hammer, king of the Pulp Fiction Detective series, is in the millions of words.
David Eddings's The Belgariad series and the Elenium series, millions of words.
I've been hearing "Oh, readers want short books!" for decades.
Yet everyone runs out and buys thick door stoppers for good reading.
It sums up like this:
Short books are a quick snack and rarely invoke thought, or are trying to ape Hemingway's style of muscular dour truncated prose. Most of them are social critique.
Long books are to invest the story in the characters and the universe.
Sure, you can distill Lord of the Rings down to a single sentence: "Some short guys throw a magic ring in a volcano and win a war against evil."
But is that really a story?
splattenburgers Wrote:Have you ever heard of One Piece? The manga with over 1000 chapters thats been going for twenty years and in several volumes and has been the top of Shonen Jump for who knows how long.DrBuller Wrote:It's true. This is even more true for young people. Shorter books are getting more popular.splattenburgers Wrote: Lots of readers will simply not read extremely long stories
Gryphon10 Wrote:Have you ever heard of Golgo 13? A manga series running straight from 1968 and still going strong 201 volumes and 53 years later.splattenburgers Wrote:Have you ever heard of One Piece? The manga with over 1000 chapters thats been going for twenty years and in several volumes and has been the top of Shonen Jump for who knows how long.DrBuller Wrote:It's true. This is even more true for young people. Shorter books are getting more popular.splattenburgers Wrote: Lots of readers will simply not read extremely long stories
This is not a new phenomenon.
When the story ends, I've already walked all the way from the point when the main character was weak or didn't know anything better to where they might have a group of friends, a wonderful family, and have achieved their dreams. I had built a close bond with all the characters from reading through all their ups and downs and seeing where they more likely became the best versions of themselves.
But I also understand why others may prefer short web novels or books overall. Not all of us have time for it. Sometimes, even I have to stop reading a few lengthy novels here and there because it can be overwhelming or maybe I forget who is who and what has happened in the so-so event.
My first book is over 400k words long, and is just the first in a longer planned series. Granted, it's the first draft, and I think looking back there's a lot of stuff I'd cut out - but at the same time there's a lot of stuff I'd expand on, so who knows, maybe a second draft would leave it even longer. Not once while writing did I think "I need to make this long because that's what people want" or "I need to cut this down because that's what people want." I wrote what I thought was necessary to tell the story I wanted to tell. Maybe for some people that means it moves agonizingly slow (And I wondered that myself; for such a long fantasy story it's actually relatively humble in scope, I feel).
Having that kind length allowed me to present a broad and realised world, places and characters well defined, as well as multiple points of view for the same event/s
DrBuller Wrote: At this point, I'm starting to think that OP might just have been trolling. No response from the guy at all and the other opinion put out was met with some similar results to this.I will often browse through thread answers without leaving a reply. I will not always respond even if I'm interested in the answers.
splattenburgers Wrote: By extremely long I mean novels with monster wordcounts in the 300k range or even more. Even 200k is insanely long.
I know web fiction and ebooks don't have the same limitations imposed on them in terms of wordcount. But I still feel that past a certain point you're just trying to shove multiple books into a single one for some reason. There really is no objective reason to have an insanely huge wordcount. Even epics/fantasy don't need to go past 130-150k words. 200k is the absolute max. Once you are up to 400k or something insane like this you should probably considering splitting it into more than one book.
And here is also something else to consider: Lots of readers will simply not read extremely long stories. I know for a fact that I don't have the patience for uber-huge books. It just seems like the writer is sabotaging his own success by doing this for no reason.
Though I see the appeal of both I am at the very opposite spectrum of this argument. I like stories with solid world-building mixed in with strong and memorable characters and as much as I can enjoy a short story I find it hard to feel that it left a lasting impression on me nowadays. Sure you can make something meaningful in 150k words but at least for me, the few stories that are my all-time great are mega epics with dumb word counts.
I'm talking stuff like The Wheel of Time, Stormlight archives, and One piece. It's what I love and has left a longer-lasting mark on me and how I aim to write.
When it comes to any rules and standards with writing and storytelling I'd say it's too open an art form to really draw a line in the sand on anything (except maybe spelling and grammar.) like that. Like most, we have guidelines instead of rules since there is always likely an exception to such things out there that if not worked for you can and will have worked for someone else.
It's what I'd learned on my writing journey.
Ralen Wrote: I know someone already made mention of the subject, but look at this: https://www.patreon.com/Zogarth and tell me you wouldn't keep writing as long as that figure didn't drop significantly.Omigod 20k!?
I wish I would reach a fraction of that number one day...
Barely at 1/200 of it lol.
Apart from Tolkien...
Stephen Donaldson with the Illearth War
Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Dark Sun, Greyhawk Adventures. Right back to when there was TSR publishing in the 80's and the original writings of Gary Gygax, Weis and Hickman, Douglas Niles, Ed Greenwood and R.A. Salvatore.
I had a massive collection. I went out of my way for content like that.
That is the only way I see my own writing. Characters that you want to see more of, villains that are fleshed out and are a threat. Places that have a tangible history within the setting.
As a reader, when I find something I like, I invest in the characters and the settings. More is good. It doesn't need to be the same characters, but the setting yes. Worlds, yes more.
I do enjoy a one off story that leaves an impression, but, that feeling of being able to come back to something familiar is comforting.
I have kept myself isolated from the web fiction world until recently. All I can say is DAMN, where the hell have I been???