Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why I'll never write the great American novel

Read Boyos and came across this sentence:
Kevin hit the trunk release button on the keychain he pulled from his pocket, and the rear door of the Eldorado sprang open.
And I thought, if I was writing this book, I'd have written it like so:
Kevin pulled his keys and popped the hatch.
It's not that I didn't like Boyos. I did. In fact, I loved it. If you like The Friends of Eddie Coyle and tales of low-level robbers, you will too.

But in that moment, it became clear to me why I can't seem to write a book more than 40,000 words long. (The Owl & Raccoon novellas clock in at 18,000. Regret Things is right about 40,000.) Twenty years in advertising may have made me a better writer, but they've left me incapable of fluff. My books are short because I can't bring myself to use more words than I have to.

As the punk guys used to say, "If your song isn't over in three minutes, you need to play it faster."

[Ed. - Want to see what I mean? Go buy Thrilling Thirteen: Vol. 2. For just $0.99, you get my neo-western noir Sin Walks Into The Desert. And 12 more books from other authors, from cozy culinary mysteries to hard boiled police procedurals. Guaranteed you'll find one you're into.]

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