Thursday, May 5, 2016

Is longer really better? by Riley Hart

I've seen a lot of discussion about book length recently. Most of it seems to steer toward, "longer, longer, longer!" I feel like the odd man out because though I don't read a lot of short stories or novellas, I don't typically like really long books. If it's paranormal or fantasy or something that's one thing. We have world-building there so you need more words. Even in romantic suspense, because there's a case to solve, a bad guy to catch, or someone trying to kill the MC, but for contemporary romance, I struggle with books that are too long. Those are the books I tend to DNF because I get bored, the plot sags. I can love a character, but I also can't just read about anything and everything they do if it doesn't move the plot forward. Books that feel too long to me start to make me lose interest (that doesn't mean they ARE too long because hey, this is just my preference).

Also, that's not to say I feel every book should be around the same word count because all books are different, but as a general rule, I don't read really long contemporary romance.

When I'm writing, my "hot spot" is usually around 70k. That works for me. That doesn't mean it works for everyone.

And sometimes, I do want a good novella. It's nice to read something in one sitting. In fact, I have a novella or two planned in the near future.

What are your thoughts on length? Bigger the better?


  1. If it's good book I want it to last forever. I get completely immersed and feel like I've been yanked out when it's finished. Plus I buy way too many books for my budget and the longer they last, the happier I am.

  2. I love long books, but that is if there's a really good plot and preferably a good sub-plot as well. And I do love a good and well-plotted mystery/suspense novel with good character development.

    But if the if the only plot is the romance itself - will they, won't they, ... - and no sub-plots then I think app. 200 pages is long enough. If it gets longer it I too will lose interest and feel bored. And I do enjoy romantic novellas because they focus on the romance and the developing relationship without allowing me to grow tired before the end. It's usually very relaxing to read.

    Good luck with your future novellas!


  3. If it is a really good book, I never want it to end. Like Power Play by Avon Gale which I read last week, I was reading it, but really really not wanting it to end. But she did a good job, because it had to end when it did, otherwise, maybe a longer plot would have spoiled the story. It's all up to you as a writer, don't try to lengthen a novella for the word count. Just write a good story. And you'll know in your heart when the story has ended. Jumping in by Cardeno C was a short little thing, but it was just right for that story.

    That's my personal opinion.
    Good luck with your future novellas. I'm a big fan, so I'll be happy to read it, even if it is 5000 words or 70000