Join the debate: Are Modern Fantasy Novels Too Long?

A few of you folks here have entered my 50 word story compo - for which, thanks - winners announced on or around 26 April.

Meanwhile I’ve put a discussion topic up about doorstop sized fantasy novels. Hope you will pitch in.


just remember that you asked for it.

Very interesting response, Jaysen. Good points you make.

I won’t lie, that opinion has been created by this forum.

I always thought of “writing” in two camps, technical and art. In the latter I held everything that was not a manual or “how to”. Through my time here I have come to realize that the technical writing can be art and the “art” can be merely technical. I have also realized that often the difference is merely opinion.

As I look around me I see that the same holds true in nearly every craft. The differentiation between “craftsmanship” and “art” comes down to how one prefers to see things.

Pollock anyone?

Fantasy is my first love and why I started writing in the first place. Are they too long? I’m starting to think they are. I would have told you different a few years ago.

One problem with them is they are all epic in scale, they have to save the world,not there home, not their town, not some magic forest, not even the kingdom, but the world. So they go through the painstaking process of creating that world, then they have to show it to you–ever nook and cranny it seems like.

I think every fantasy writer thinks their story is a milieu story. It’s fantasy, so they feel they have to explain everything little facet the world. The problem is, very little is different from every other fantasy story out there. While they are painting this lovely backdrop for us–and the backdrops’ backdrop we have to know about 10,000 plus years of history the world has too–the characters and story fall to the way side. When we are reintroduced to the story it seems like we need and get a full rundown of everything so far. Which only adds to the length of the book.

I think this is where some of the urban fantasy has an edge. I use to hate urban fantasy books, but they have grown on me. They only have to show us a few things. “World just like ours, but vampires and elves. Got it.” On average the urban fantasy books are much shorter, but it seems they are wrote in a series of twenty. Fair enough.