When in Doubt Split it up

I’m 30k words into arranging my short story collection for my publisher. I have quite a few more stories to re-edit and add, so this is becoming a reality. It’s been rough reworking old stories, and I have to wait for some rights to revert back to me. But I plowed through an edit today and I’m feeling real good about this.

I pulled up another story to add and it’s an old one so it needs a lot of TLC. The great thing about this one is that I already reworked it a few times.

It’s a mermaid story. That means the world to me, because I’m a bit of a fish. I love water. Swimming and diving is like the height of existence for me. The underwater world is my sanctuary.

There’s no problem that can follow me underwater. Down there a blanket of calm envelops me and makes life more livable. Just talking about it makes me want to swim right now. haha

So this mermaid story is a big part of me. The story is dark. I do a lot of dark fantasy. And it grew to be really long. Like 7k words. I prefer the smaller shorts stories.

When I first tried to publish it, it didn’t receive the responses I had hoped for. And it took me a while to understand why. It’s two stories. There is the first part that delves into a different theme than the second.

Once I split it up, it flowed better, I was able give the characters more life, focus on the different aspects individually.

Altering work is often frightening. I made the mistake of altering my favorite piece of mine and lost the original. Don’t do that. Keep all the versions.

But if a story is dragging, and past the 5k word mark but still under 10k, you may want to break it up. It won’t hurt to try.

Pacing isn’t usually an issue for me. If I write something that drags, it’s either a dud, or it needs to be split up. Hopefully this idea can aid some of your other writers.

Sometimes we get stuck and don’t know what to do. It’s not always the story. Sometimes it’s length or formatting.

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