>When is a story long enough?


Over this rather wet and cold Danish summer, my cosy mystery, The Cosy Knave, has come along quite nicely. In less than three months I have written a first draft – a very drafty one – of c 65,000 words, leading me to the important question:

When is a story long enough?

It is rather difficult to find out what publishers want – some seem to want at least 80,000 words no matter what kind of novel while others specify that for cosy mysteries a length of 60-75,000 words is suitable.

If I knew which publisher would buy my story, it would be much simpler, of course, but I am afraid I am not quite there yet. So what can I do but tell my story and add a full stop when I feel I have written the ending?

Besides, there is much dialogue which means that with double line spacing (which English publishers seem to want) it is a manuscript of around 240 pages.

So what next? Editing, editing, editing. Some days the manuscript will grow, other days it will shrink – and hopefully the quality will improve steadily.

Should there be a reader or two who are curious (preferably native speakers of English), I could use a few beta readers:

1) to tell me when I have got the language wrong. Of course I do now and then, and I´d rather you tell me than some fiendish editor.

2) to give me advice with regard to the environment. I have never been to Yorkshire and though it may not matter too much in a cosy caper, I would appreciate help from anyone living in the northern parts of England.

Just send me an e-mail in case …
Thank you very much to old and new friends who have offered to help me with my manuscript. I could use one or two more with some local knowledge of Yorkshire, but with regard to language I think I am in good hands.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in Gershwin & Penrose, The Cosy Knave. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s