Novellas that you’ll remember.

July 5, 2008

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I just finished I Cannot Get You Close Enough, a compilation of three novellas (or mini-novels) by Ellen Gilchrist.

I am charmed by this collection of stories because Gilchrist uses some interesting writing tactics here–she doesn’t write in full sentences, she doesn’t fully describe the physicality of the characters, she doesn’t wholly tell a story from beginning to end but instead gives you small glimpses into the lives of her characters. It took a while to get used to this writing style, but I found I enjoyed her writing quite a lot once I got over the strange English usage and stopped the editing/proofreading that comes automatically to me.

For those who are writing and are having difficulty grappling with a whole manuscript, pick up this book and check it out. It may give you ideas on how to handle material in a new, refreshing way.

Novellas, while smaller in width, can have an impact, be memorable, and let a story shine without being weighed down by stretching itself into a Big Book.

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