It’s a conundrum, or two

I’m back in my room now. There was another junior thunderstorm, but it was right overhead. Some of you asked for photos, and I couldn’t get them. It shook the windows, but didn’t have the staying power of yesterday’s storm.

I also bought some ski-lodge quality slippers for my wife and daughter. Today is Old What’s Her Face’s birthday, and we exchanged texts and spoke on the phone. Seems to happen every year that work sends me out of town on her birthday. She already bought her own present, and the slippers are just for fun.

I had to attend a midday event, and wound up with some time to myself this afternoon. I have to go to a banquet this evening, but a couple of hours in between were well spent time.

The Hat is a finished draft. It came in at 25,500 words. My intent was to publish it as a novella, but my personal idea of a novella is 30K. Word count numbers seem to be pretty fluid. Am I worrying about something that doesn’t really matter?

There is a lot going on in this story. I demonstrated Lizzie’s symbiosis with the hat by having them play the upright bass together. He has all of the skills, but none of the arms and fingers. This is how they fight evil, by working together.

I’m a bit worried about the denouement part of the book. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up, and currently, I’ve done it using my bass clef section breaks. I have the aftermath of the big fight, the replacement (and upgrading) of musical instruments, the demonstration that complex characters will go forward together. That last part means as musicians and as fighters of evil.

I don’t like long denouements. I once beta read for an author who spent a quarter of the book defining a happy-ever-after for her characters. This included naming grandchildren that hadn’t been born to children that hadn’t been conceived in the main story.

I know I’m not that bad, but I still worry. If I eliminate some things that are dear to me, I could probably turn this into a dynamite short story. I want a novella and those parts are important to me.

If I turn each necessary bit of closure into an entire chapter, that will help with word count, but it will also push me toward the long denouement I’m trying to avoid.

Any suggestions?

I’m fairly sure either my critique group, or a couple of decent beta readers can help me out, but I’m not ready for betas yet. I have several passes to make before I can share it with betas.

Okay, I know someone is going to ask. Here are the slippers. I think those dingle balls are going to be Frankie bait though. They should be cozy on our new floor.


Filed under Writing

44 responses to “It’s a conundrum, or two

  1. Keep thinking of LOTR with all the endings. Got silly after a bit. Not really sure what to suggest though. Guess say whatever needs to be said and be brief?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Those slippers are called Muc Luks – or they used to be, anyway: very heavy crocheted socks with flexible leather soles. I have two pairs as well and I love them both. I even sleep in the pair I keep cleaner when the heat isn’t working (yeah, I rent). My mother started us out as kids. THE. BEST. Great present.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”


  3. I dislike rushed endings. Take your time to wrap things up well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hate to say this but it is your novella and you should keep what you treasure.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Knit slippers like those are the BEST 🙂
    I’m impressed with the speed of your progress!
    I don’t really care about word count when I read, and if you’re self-publishing, does it even matter? Write it exactly how you want it to be read.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Cutting our darlings is never easy. Hopefully that’s where the betas will help you. But I know when we’re not quite ready for betas it’s tricky to know what to let go. Guess instinct has to be our guide. Not much help with that one, was I? 😄 Oh well, good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. D.L Finn, Author

    Those are some since slippers! I am ready for fall and warm slippers! I try not to focus on the word count until I am completely done. I figure each story has a mind of its own.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have recently decided to forget about word counts, as it was starting to haunt me. I’ll get the work the way I like it, which is hard enough… and let it go…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. carmens007

    Happy Anniversary to your wife! May you both enjoy a healthy and joyful life!
    The slippers look funny but useful on cold weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Those slippy-bootees are wonderful! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The slippers look heavenly.

    I don’t have an idea about the ending, but I’ll think about it. I agree that overly long wrap-ups are a letdown, but I prefer all the ends closed rather than a brief summation and then goodbye. I wouldn’t worry about length. And I also bet you’re worried about nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This probably isn’t very helpful, but you have to do what feels right for the story. Some stories work best with quick endings, others need you to go in to a lot more detail about what happened afterwards, and others are somewhere in the middle. So do what feels right, and hope your beta readers agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m impressed you managed to finish the first draft of The Hat already. You’re really on a roll. I have two short releases out int he area of 21-22K that I consider novellas. With the word count you have, I definitely consider you in novella range.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Anything over 20K words is a novella, so like everyone has said, you should finish the story to your own satisfaction.

    Liked by 1 person

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