Writers’ Corner


Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

I received a note from a writer who wishes to remain anonymous. She has submitted her book to several agents who like it but can’t find a publisher. “Too short” is their response. She insists that the book is a short novel and doesn’t understand the rejections.

Nobody, except the writer, is going to fix this problem. Whether she likes it or not, she will have to go over her manuscript chapter by chapter and do one or all of the following:

Expand your story, starting with Chapter one, elaborating on your characters or scenes.

Write fill-in chapters. This is easier than rewriting established chapters. It is easier to create new chapters by writing new scenes that fit into the overall picture. Establish a book with a minimum of 250 pages and resubmit. If agents and publishers liked your original story and you continue to make it a page-turner, I’m sure you will find a publisher. Good luck.

Now, for some general writing advice: Don’t write a short story and consider it a novel. It is not. Each chapter in a novel is a story unto itself. When all those stories are connected, it becomes a book. My last book had over thirty chapters and ran 415 pages. Novels require more effort than a short story, which might fit into a magazine.

In a novel, your characters are more important than anything else, in my opinion. A well-defined character will carry a story, whereas it is rare that the story carries the book. Plotting is important, but the characters in the plot always lead the way. If you are into mysteries, characters dominate each and every chapter. For instance, the detectives who solve the mystery or the criminal who is the target in the chase. That is why Stephen King and Dean Koontz are so popular. There is always a crime, a criminal, and a pursuer. It is one of the oldest plots in writing, going back to biblical times.

Next week, I’ll have another piece of the jigsaw puzzle called “writing.” Until then, just sayin’.

Email: [email protected]

Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe to The Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


More like this

VA has housed more than 38,000 homeless Veterans in 2023, surpassing goal two months early

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has permanently housed 38,847 homeless Veterans through October of 2023 — surpassing the calendar year goal to house 38,000 Veterans two months early.  

Man Arrested for Drug Sales and Possession of Stolen Property

On November 29, 2023, at 3:30 a.m., deputies from the Lake Elsinore Station conducted a check of an occupied vehicle that was stopped in traffic lanes on Grape Street, near the intersection of Railroad Canyon Road, Lake Elsinore.

Banker involved in big loans to Trump’s company testifies for his defense in civil fraud trial

When Deutsche Bank loaned Donald Trump’s company hundreds of millions lawyers of dollars, the bank always followed its own guidelines that include checking out information that would-be borrowers provide, an executive testified Tuesday at the former president’s civil fraud trial.

The US tells Israel any ground campaign in southern Gaza must limit further civilian displacement

The Biden administration has told Israel that it must work to avoid “significant further displacement” of Palestinian civilians in southern Gaza if it renews its ground campaign aimed at eradicating the Hamas militant group, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday.