Length of #fantasy fiction

A recent blog on fantasy-faction.com got me thinking about the length of fantasy books.

They are usually weighty tomes, which I don’t have a problem with until you start building those into trilogies and series and clocking up thousands of pages.

I believe there should be more standalone novels in fantasy. It’s always sad when a book you’ve loved comes to an end, but isn’t it good to have closure? To know that the next book you pick up will be the start a new adventure with the author. To discover new worlds and find new characters to fall in love with.

I’ve even been put off starting series because the scale of them is just too daunting (Game of Thrones as an example, though I’ve loved the TV series). As an author I’m in awe of the skills involved in holding it all together, but as a reader I just don’t have the time to invest in them.

I intend to challenge the trend by publishing my first novel, Visions of Zarua, as a standalone. At 153k it’s not exactly small, but it’ll be interesting to see what reviewers have to say.

After that, my next project is a duology. And as I begin to tackle the task of editing it, ideas for book three keep surfacing.

What is it with us fantasy authors?

6 thoughts on “Length of #fantasy fiction

  1. I started off with one book which then became three, and now is six. And there’s a book of short stories linked to the series burbling around in the recesses of my brain as well. Perhaps it is that we tap into these worlds and find there are more stories to tell than we imagined 🙂

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  2. Hi, just dropped by and thought I’d leave a comment because this is a subject I’ve considered too recently. 🙂 It does indeed seem that fantasy is often long (sci fi as well, I think). Maybe it’s the world building and exploring going on in alternative worlds. And the fact that once you have that world, it’s hard to let go because you know how much potential it has. There are some short ones out there, though. Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea is very much on the short side. 🙂

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  3. Reblogged this on suzanne rogerson fantasy author and commented:

    Since starting NaNoWriMo2015, I’m beginning to understand the draw of writing trilogies and series.
    I decided to draft book 3 of my WIP ‘Bloodlines’ to see if a third book was warranted. I had no real plan, except that a distance, long forgotten enemy was going to make an unexpected return. The characters have come to mind so easily and have given me plenty of scope to carry on their stories. I know their pasts, their motivations and how they will react so it’s been easy to conjure scenes between them. Although I concluded book 2 happily, I’ve realised there are plenty of new challenges ahead for my characters. It’s been a pleasure allowing myself to write without censor and revisiting these characters has been a joy. I’m too far off the word count to complete NaNoWriMo, but I’m glad to be taking part. I should have planned to publish my first novel in a different month. That’s something to remember for next time.

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