on Fiction University:
What can you do when your novel is too short?
Despite writing fantasy (which is known to be looooong), I typically write sparse first drafts. I’m not a fan of heavy description, and only add the bare minimum to my drafts unless nudged by a critique partner to describe more. I even have a beta reader specifically for this, since I know it’s a weakness of mine, and a strength of hers.
My first drafts are full of “white rooms” and conversations in sketchy locations (and not the good kind). I always need to do a revision pass that focuses on description to make sure I add all those details in.
Which means my first drafts are almost always too short.
Sparse-draft writers come in many flavors, and while my quirk is description, others might scrimp on stage direction, or action, or even internalization. Whatever their preferences, they wind up with a draft that needs bulking up instead of the typical trimming down most writers endure.