Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Only two numbers

I told mmerriam that novel ideas only come in two numbers: too few and too many. So he asked me how many I have.

Umm. Now, keep in mind that we're talking about generally outlined novel ideas, not "oh, someday I should write a fantasy with a perfumer as a main character...don't know how that'd go, though..." or "I wonder if there's another book in the series after Reprogramming [finished] and Command Line...maybe...." This is ideas I could sit down and start work on right now, or already have started work on. And any novel with a completed draft doesn't count, even if the draft needs major editing.

That'd be 57.

But many of them are YAs and thus shouldn't be longer than 60K, tops. Three of them are even children's, which means they should be even shorter.

A-yep. Still lots of words rattling around trying to get loose.

I used to worry that I'd run out of ideas. That it was just a fluke that I had gotten any ideas at all, really. I don't worry about that any more. I'm more excited about some of these than others, but they're all pretty solid, or I'd take them off the damn list. Because, really, more novels? No, no thanks. Thanks for asking, but no. And occasionally I get editors writing on short story rejections "this is good stuff but reads more like the beginning of a novel" or "I liked this, but it really deserves a novel." No! No no no! It's a short story, see? Beginning, middle, end, 4000 words, short story. See? Right?


(Incidentally, if you were a slush reader and had passed a story along to the head editor-being, and you e-mailed the writer to tell her this, and you wrote an e-mail like this: "How could you end the story there??? Dear Marissa: I'm passing [story] along to [editor]...", would you actually want to know how I could end the story there?)

I am not starting another novel today. Not not not. I can wait. Really. I don't have to be working on a novel on any given day.

Why are you snickering?

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