Every novel I’ve ever written starts with the idea that there is not enough material to write three or four hundred pages. I don’t want to write something that long because it will complicate my life for at least a year, probably more like two before I’m happy with the ending. It’s far easier to condense the idea into a short story and move on.

   However…, once the characters start coming to life, doing what they do and saying what they say, the story begins to tell itself. Before long, a hundred pages has been written and it’s no longer a short story. The hook has been set. I follow them along on whatever path they’re taking and, novels anyway, I never have any idea where the story will end.

   Not that I like it. I agonize over every novel until it’s done and then feel empty when it’s gone. Common sense would say, get over it. Do something else for once. Right.

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