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Can a short story collection be changed to a novel?

by Anonymous
(Israel)

Have you ever moved a short story collection to a novel successfully?


I have tried for years to publish my story collection and received the same response over and over again: Love it, afraid of short story market, write a novel.

That's why I wrote my last novel 'cause I was so worn out from hearing that no one wants a collection.

Now I have had the collection read by two UK Presses, one Random House UK.
They both asked me if I could resubmit it as a novel because same old story from six years ago "love it, but the short story market is........."

Do you think this can be done successfully? The short stories do not have resolutions as novels resolve themselves.......they are not in the formula: heroine wants something, fails 3x and then succeeds.....it's not at all that type of collection.

It is more in the spirit of memoir and historical fiction.
What is your view?

ANSWER

Short story collections are accepted by publishers all the time. When they say what they've said to you, it often means that they don't feel the collection works as a whole, OR they don't think that the stories themselves work as "stories" and think they may work better as scenes in a novel.

However, they will still expect any novel you submit to have all the usual qualities--a strong driving force (story question) and well structured scenes.

Also, don't get hung up on formulas. If you write strong, compelling scenes, strung together in a way that heightens tension and holds reader interest, the ms. will sell. That said, the "formulas" are the simplest way for one person to explain to another person how they might increase tension and better hold reader interest.

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