Two notable things have happened recently. The first was that I completed my manuscript and began soliciting agents. After months of mercenary editimg, the final wordcount was still a cumbersome 165,000. It got to a point where grinding away with my red pen had become almost futile, and in parts, my editing was adding extra words. This suggested a certain equilibrium had been reached, that Fear of a Final City had to be that long.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I got my first real publication. A peice of Flash Fiction in Seizure magazine, LCD Butterfly. I’ve been working on a number of submissions, but apart from my novel, Flash Fiction has been the only one I have really gotten into. This confuses me, as I struggle to deleted words in one realm, I thrive on less than 500 in others.
It’s been bothering me a lot, and I can’t explain the bipolar nature of my writing. I’ve been trying to write a 5,000 word horror story about a Cuckoo, as well as planning out something 60,000+ for the Australian publishing company Fantastica. Both have been difficult.
My theory is that it has to do with restriction. For my novel I had to twist every scene into the web of criss crossing narratives I had established, while with Flash every word is a resource. For the “middle ground” I guess there’s an open endedness I’m uncomfortable with. Not enough room to get complicated, but too much to lean on simplicity.