I’m not a size queen when it comes to cocks. I understand why much gay erotica and romance has men with average or more than average inches in their boxers and breeches but when it comes to real life, I know that it really is what you do, not so much what size you are.
But when it comes to books, I’m a bit different.
I love a BIG book. There’s nothing that makes me happer to buy a book that’s as wide as it is tall – perhaps it’s because I’m parsimonious and like value for money or something but if I’m lying in bed reading and in danger of being concussed if the book lands on my face then that’s fine by me. I read a book recently where one of the protagonist’s cocks was so wide at the base his lover couldn’t get BOTH HANDS around it. This was seriously scary, unnatural and wrong. However, translate that to the size and width of a book and I couldn’t be happier!
But what I see in gay fiction/romance – pretty much everywhere – is “the slim volume” and I’m rather interested to know why that is. I know that many publishers say that 100,000 is the maximum size they want from a new to them novelist, but even that size book is pretty much unusual in this genre. I have scads of books waiting for review and they are about 100 pages or so – perhaps going up to 150 if I’m lucky. To get my hands on a book of 300 pages is pretty much a rarity.
What’s the reason for this? Is it the publishers? Do they ask for a maximum length of (perhaps) 75K?
I love some meat to my plot. Something where the plot is as important as the burgeoning romance going on in the pages, and for me that takes time, and pages.
So many books I read the romance IS the plot, so perhaps that is why, it’s pretty difficult to spin out a will-they-won’t-they (even though we know they will) for more than 50k. I don’t know.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many “little gems” written by people who know how to shove a quart into a pint pot beautifully–Charlie Cochrane’s novellas come immediately to mind, they have intricate plotty mysteries as well as romance–but sometimes it’s all about the romance and nothing else, and as we all know that Romance=HEA there’s nothing much else to occupy the mind.
The spur to this came to me yesterday as I was reading Dash and Dingo: Search for the Tasmanian Tiger which is over 300 pages and I am enjoying the adventure so much I realised I want more like that!
I’m as guilty as anyone else, as my own novellas outnumber my published novels. It is true that a novella is an easier sell – or that’s been my experience, and often a publisher will approach me and ask me for a 30k piece of work, and being a gal who can’t say No, I don’t. A novel takes a lot more commitment in time, blood sweat and tears, and I can understand the draw of getting several books out in print in one calendar year.
Is it a product of the MTV generation? ADHD? Do people prefer shorter stories so they can read and forget ’em in an hour?
“Normal size” be damned!!! Where are the sagas? The Epics? The Gone With The Winds, the George RR Martins, the James Mitcheners of the gay romance world? Is anyone writing the first 500 page epic? Would it ever get published?
Is it because it’s a new genre and we aren’t there yet?
Thoughts? Do you have a preference?