The caterpillar, in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, advises Alice (at a loss to tell her story), to “start at the beginning… go onto the end, then stop.” Smart Lepidoptera! A story is a chrysalis of transformation. A first draft must become a butterfly to take flight.

That said, the exact number of pages to tell a whole story from start to finish remains the prerogative of the author. I write long.

Short stories, novels, or epic trilogies, a dedicated storyteller writes to represent their truest self without cowering to trends. Lewis Carrol nailed it; there are no set rules. Did I mention I write long?

Alice’s caterpillar fails to mention the commitments of years studying story structure, the hurdles of developmental editing, graphic design, formatting, marketing, or attempting to force well-rounded stories into square genres. Such are the realities of Indie Publishing.

Lewis Carrol’s Alice fell asleep reading, followed the magic running by, and descended to the subconscious realm of Wonderland. Carroll’s ‘nonsense verse’ broke through the boring rules of language and delivered wisdom the perpetual child within us understands. Alice recited a muddled account of events in a nonsensical stream of poetic consciousness.

Language has never been more creative or mystical or wise until A.A. Milne’s, ‘Pooh’, wandered out of the Hundred Acre Wood. The rest is literary history – literary gold.

And now, with December 2020 hindsight, the mad hatter’s famous ‘un-birthday’ has become ‘a very unmerry Un-Christmas’, and the population is as helpless as a kitten up a tree. Even a Cheshire kitten with a contrary sense of humor.  

The truth is, fictional realms aren’t created in a day, the best stories are created whole without skimping, and counting pages is an unworthy method for measuring a good book.

Read from the beginning go on to the end, then stop. And that’s the long and short of it.

I wish you all a delightfully long merry book to inspire 2021. I highly recommend ‘The House At Pooh Corner’.

About Veronica Knox

Veronica Knox has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alberta, where she studied Art History, Classical Studies, and Painting. In her career as a graphic designer, illustrator, private art teacher, and ‘fine artist,’ she has also worked with the brain-injured and autistic, developing new theories of hand-to-eye-to-mind connection. Veronica lives on the west coast of Canada, supporting local animal rescue shelters, painting, writing, editing other author’s novels, and championing the conservation of tigers and elephants, and their habitats. Her artwork and visuals to support ‘Second Lisa’ may be viewed on her website -
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