Here's one of my favorite writing anecdotes:
Mark Twain received the following telegram from his publisher:
NEED 2-PAGE SHORT STORY TWO DAYS.
NO CAN DO 2 PAGES TWO DAYS.
CAN DO 30 PAGES 2 DAYS.
NEED 30 DAYS TO DO 2 PAGES.
I have never read The Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan. It's the first novel of the Wheel of Time Series, which spanned six novels. I just couldn't get into it. My oldest friend, Neil, a huge Jordan fan, told me that the series really doesn't start moving until the second book in the series.
Here's the thing. The Eye of the World is 832 pages long. That's the mass market paperback version. Jordan wasn't able to get his series moving in over 800 pages?
Moby Dick is only 464 pages. And as I understand it, it's a long book.
The entire Wheel of Time Series is 5,251 pages long. That's more than four times longer than War and Peace (1296 pages).
Look, I'm not knocking Jordan's work. It is, apparently, very popular. It's certainly a hell of a lot more widely read than anything I've ever written.
It just seems to me that it's possible to get this sort of thing done more concisely.
As an FYI, my novel, which I'm trying to get published, is 356 pages. And I think it's probably too long.
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