Saturday, May 10, 2008

Charles Stross - On writing long series' of novels

If you're into Science Fiction novels and you've been asleep for the last few years, you may not have heard of Charles Stross (in which case you really should not get out so much and spend some good quality stay-at-home time reading).

Seriously, if you haven't come across Charles Stross he's one of the most interesting and captivating authors of the last 10 years in the SciFi genre. He has a wonderful collection of books, particularly including a sequence of novels called "The Merchant Princes" series. Therefore when he starts writing (on his blog) about the process of dealing with long large works made from smaller pieces, it's very interesting to hear. It's also worth having a look at the rest of his Blog/Diary online as there are lots of different gems there.


One thing's sure: our willingness to absorb fiction is geared to our attention span. A book in a series might structurally serve as a mere chapter, but it has to deliver as significant a cognitive reward to the readers as any other 300 page book; otherwise they'll feel cheated, after putting 5 hours of their life into reading the thing, and they won't pick up the next volume.

[From Charlie's Diary: Bang, Bucks, and Delivery in Recompense]


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