Entry Two: Long Stories

I’m so sorry for being a bit quiet, but I’m writing like crazy at the moment. I completely love this story, and I think I’ve written about 14,000 words in the last 2 days! It’s so exciting bringing it altogether, and I’m having such fun with it. I’ve also had a lot of distractions – more mice (agh!) entailing a visit from the exterminator; some ill health – I might have a femoral hernia, a scan at the end of July will tell; and the sad death of an old business friend in a tragic accident.

So, that’s all kept me a little preoccupied, but I did want to do an update because Mcsheplet girl recently asked:

Come on Xanthe! Where is the next update?  You are going to finish this novel and blow 50 Shades out of the water! We want a well-written story….humour, romance and a fair smattering of smut….We want a novel that does not see BDSM as aberrant….We do NOT want the resolution of someone being ‘saved’ from this lifestyle…We want submissive characters who are strong within themselves, who can hold down jobs, and live a succesful life….We want a strong plot, well-written which just happens to be filthy!..

And I can heartily promise ALL of those in my OC novel. You know I’d never sell out BDSM by writing it as something to be cured of. My submissive character is feisty, with quite a temper, and he’s brave and passionate too, if a little bit obsessed with trying to get everything right and be perfect. And my dom isn’t one of those know-it-all doms with money and power who stalks and bullies his chosen submissive into an unequal relationship. They’re just two people fumbling their way towards an understanding of themselves and each other, and they each have to go on a massive journey during the course of the novel.

So, the novel is now around 120,000 words long…and the home straight is in sight.
Which leads me onto…long stories. I know it’s turned into a bit of a joke, me always starting out thinking it’ll be short and it turning out long, but is it a flaw in my writing? I always just start out wanting to tell the story, and I go where the story takes me and let it be as long as it wants to be to tell it properly. But could they be shorter? How do you guys feel about me writing these epics? Does your attention flag? Do you think – ‘yeah, it’s nice and all, but we wish she’d stick to stories under 100,000 words’?
Maybe the writing could be tighter. I know I edit very well these days, so this one might go down in word count but not enough to be hugely significant in the overall scheme of things, I think. I put every scene in there because there’s a point to it, and I always tell it how it appears in my own head. I try and iron out all the clunkiness that exists in the first draft – the version I eventually post is always about the 8th draft frankly because I polish a lot. However, maybe my stories are too wordy? I don’t know.

What I love about writing this particular story is how much fun it is. There is a rich seam of angst to be mined, obviously, but because it’s set on a TV show, I am able to do some lighter stuff too, including quite a bit of meta that I know you guys will enjoy – and there are a few in-jokes just for us in there too. Those who’ve been following me for awhile, and read most of my stories, will get a kick out of them I think ;-).

Before I go, here’s a tiny morsel about the story itself: the main characters are called Rick and Matt. That’s it! LOL! They are so wonderfully flawed and so perfectly perfect for each other and yet so completely unable to see that. I’m having a blast playing with them, and I also just created a rather nasty bad guy for everyone to hate. I know the title of the novel, and will be announcing that soon. I just want to finish the actual writing and then I’ll do a teaser post, with some extracts.


  1. freak_in_corner

    Glad its coming along so well and can’t wait to read it :D
    As for the length I love going back and reading them and because they are so long its like reading a new story because I remember bits and pieces but there always seems to be about 100k words that seems to appear which is always awesome when rereading. Plus with your universe building stories I think you need to have a higher word count because otherwise you would be sacrificing something either the universe so the story wont make sense or the actual story which would make reading it pointless. Basically I think they are the perfect length cus I know there is going to be an amazing story ahead of me and it will keep me busy for a few days lol.

  2. grandma

    Love your long stories, the longer the better.
    I use the time between your new stories to go back and read the old ones again, I think I’ve
    read them all about 4-5 times each.
    It’s great because you pick up more details when you re-read your favorites.
    I also read other authors in the NCIS and SGA fanfiction genre, and always come back to your site for the best .
    Hope to read the new one soon(drools sloppily)….
    All the best,

  3. McShepletGirl

    Ohhh way to lay on a guilt trip about why you haven’t updated! I hope that the ill-health worries are all sorted – or will be worth the scan.
    100,000 words? I’m happy for that to be a ‘short’ story …if you are doing the writing
    Maybe you need to consider that this isn’t just a one-off novel…some writers spin their concept out into trilogies you know…and occupy the three top spots on the best-seller list at once!
    Seriously, I love a good long read. My own less-than-perfect health means I spend a lot of time reading. If you are going to publish the novel as a ‘real’ book then you might need to consider how thick/heavy the book is (My mum for example can’t manage large books….oh and she is 85 and I intend buying her a copy of your novel!….she once disgustedly returned a novel to the library muttering ‘if these modern authors are going to put lesbian love scenes in their books they might at least make them interesting!’….I think she will enjoy a bit of Xanthe…it will certainly merit ‘interesting’!)….I personally use my Kindle as I can read really huge books on them….of more than 100,000 words!
    I’m looking forward to the teaser in your next update….do I take it Rick is the Dom and Matt the sub? The names just seem to suggest it that way round.

  4. Xanthe

    Hi Grandma!

    I love that you get so much from my fics! That’s wonderful! I’m so pleased they stand up to repeated re-reading like that. I can barely ever read my own work once it’s been posted, so it’s lovely to hear that others can still get so much from them on further reads!!!!

  5. jacci

    I love the long stories too, i hate when something feels rushed and things are missing that really create the world/character and everything is so much richer for it. Short stories can be good, but they have far less impact on me as a general rule, i love sinking into a fully created world that has enough info to really be real.

  6. Xanthe

    Thanks Jacs! I think this novel needs to be long enough to establish the universe, the characters and tell the story but I do worry that maybe I just ramble *g*. I will try and fix ANY rambling in the edits though!

  7. Esoteric-Eccentric

    <—- Tends to lurk, instead of writing reviews to the absolute awesomeness that is Xanthe.

    (But I had to register to do this…  ;) )

    Please, please, please! Do not worry about the length! One of the (but not main) reasons that I adore your works is because they are of epic lengths. When I see the word counts being so very large, it tells me that you are invested in what you are writing. That I can, most probably, expect quality writing that will give me the chance to be drawn into the tale. And to date: I haven’t had any issue, in any form, with your work.

    Thank you soooooooo much for your time and effort. And don’t worry!  ;D

  8. Xanthe

    Well it’s lovely to hear from you :-)

    And I’m glad to hear it! I hope my stories come over as full of action and sex and character stuff and not just blah blah wordage which always worries me a bit although I do try and edit tightly.

    Thanks so much!

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