The Story Surgeon

I stand over my creative womb, gloves on and scalpal ready… there are two babies in there, conjoined twins and it is my job to separate them. Remaining together their chances are minimal, but separated they both may live healthy lives. I must extricate them from one another, sharing out vital organs and repairing the wounds the procedure inflicts.

Anatomy and medical procedural faults aside, that is what I am going to do with my story Vengeance Will Come. I believe I’ve admitted before that the novel is almost two stories. Or I may have been kinder on myself by using weasel words such as ‘two defined acts’. This is part of the reason for the getting-too-long length and also the ridiculous number of points-of-view.

The main storyline is fully-fledged, but the other is small, undernourished. They are part of the same character arc and are both important in the overall series-story, but the inclusion in one novel is problematic. Introduction of a new plot arc and a new cast of characters at the third-point mark is too clumsy to be forgiven by the reader, even this reader who squirmed every time he read it. It was too jarring and felt like an offshoot tangent, which it is.

Consequently I have decided that I will extricate the smaller of the two, and turn that into a novella. This will have the effect of shedding around 10,000 words and about six points of view from Vengeance Will Come, which can only be a good thing. I do really like the second story which is why I am keeping it alive as its own work. Separating it out will allow it to grow and thrive a bit if it wants, but my intention is it will remain a novelette and not grow any bigger (around 17,500 words).

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