Monday, January 12, 2009

Polling time!

Yes, it's time to try something new around here. I've been wondering lately about novels, in particular what length is appropriate for a novel; namely, is the optimal length for a novel short or long? My general research has turned up a preference for short novels, especially in the science fiction genre, but I was also wondering about the fantasy genre which boasts the biggest supposed liking for long, well fleshed out books.

My question to you readers is in two parts. Firstly, do you, as a reader, prefer short books over long books and why?

Secondly, from which genre are you most likely to select and/or buy short novels?

To make things easier on you, you'll find two polls to the left of this post. Please vote in them and then comment on this post with your further thoughts on this matter. I look forward to hearing from all of you!

By the way, for those of you who are wondering, I define a short novel as one that has a maximum of 200-250 pages and a long novel as anything over that.

Until next time!

5 comments:

  1. I'm a girl who likes books with a lot of meat in them...I'm a fast reader and I enjoy it, so I'm all for longer books if they're available! I selected YA because that fit "short" in my definition...other books are more "important", so they should be longer. ;) Not that I would really know...

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  2. I definitely prefer longer novels. Most of the ones I've read are 300+ pages. I don't know why exactly, but I think that longer novels have a better opportunity for character and plot development. I don't have any aversion against short novels, but longer novels keep me into the story longer.

    For the second question, I chose fantasy, mystery, fiction, and thrillers. Out of those my favorite is probably thrillers because they have the ability to play with your minds and keep you guessing on what's happening. I like fantasy because basically anything goes and it makes the story fun. Mysteries are also fun because those can also sometimes keep you guessing on what the solution to the mystery is.

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  3. However, does meat equal length? I know I love Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis which is full of action adventure, yet slides in as a short novel at 208 pages. Does not the absence of more short novels indicate that the ability of authors is degrading into longer and longer books filled with fluff?

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  4. And Laura, do you think that longer books provide the ideal length for a thriller or mystery? Or rather does the mystery/thriller become less interesting the longer it is drawn out?

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  5. I didn't really like Horse and His Boy that much, so I have no comment on that front :P and I don't know about you, but I haven't come across any long novels that are "filled with fluff."

    yes I do. one of my favorite authors (Ted Dekker) has written several psychological thrillers and mysteries that are 300-400 pages long and they keep you riveted to the story for the entire length of the novel.

    ReplyDelete

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