I’ve taken a few days off after finishing “Benevolence”. Hopefully it’s been an enjoyable read for those who’ve followed the serial. I’ve also set up a page to present the whole story for those who don’t want to read it in a serial format.
Now it’s time to consider what I’ve learned through the process of writing a micro-novel. Considering that it’s a genre that doesn’t really exist, the rules for the genre appear arbitrary. Each chapter didn’t have to be 55 words in length. The story didn’t have to be 61 chapters long. (Sixty-one is the length of two consecutive months as long as one of the months isn’t February.) Granted, the number of chapters isn’t as important as the length of each chapter, but I like the symmetry of it. While the rules may be arbitrary, they are necessary. Writing a novel with no structure strikes me as virtually impossible. The question then becomes whether it’s possible to write a micro-novel within the framework of the rules I created.
The short answer is yes. The micro-novel is posted for all to read. But that still begs the question if the creation itself is worth anyone’s time and attention? That’s a question for someone else to answer.
Writing “Benevolence” was and enlightening process. The length of the chapter doesn’t minimize the amount of research and planning required for a standard novel forms. The past few months were quite exhausting. If anything, writing within the constraints of length forced me to refine my use of language. Brevity isn’t a luxury in a micro-novel. Description needed to be sharp. Conversation was poignant if not terse. Granted, that’s true of so much conversation I observed the past little while. Society demands we ‘get to the point’.
Perhaps the most distressing aspect of the process is my building desire to write another micro-novel. Ideas have started to percolate through my mind about what happens next with Angus Free. I’m interested in how he deals with his new reality. I’m eager to see where he goes from here.
Writing must first capture the imagination of the writer. If not, there’s nothing for the reader to embrace. I hope that is true of “Benevolence”. I was truly fascinated to discover what would happen and was sad to see it end. The characters became important parts of my life. Hopefully they’ll become part of yours, too.