I am currently trying to lengthen a work of fiction from its original 46,000 word novella status to the industry standard 80,000 word for a novel. The story as it originally stood was the story I wanted to write. It conveyed what I wanted it to convey. I just read something this morning that said, "Write as if no one will read it." While I don't know if I can ever really write quite that way (even in my personal journal I always work under the presumption that someone may read it someday - even if it is 100 years from now), I get the point. You should write the story you want to write.
It isn't as if I am not enjoying the writing of this additional portion of the story. I added a storyline and it is progressing nicely, but it is changing the story. Is this the story I wanted to tell? Is it necessary?
I enjoy shorter length novels - I just read The Walk by Richard Paul Evans. Most of his books are shorter in length and I have loved all of them. The same with Mitch Album's books. Obviously, there is a market for this type of shorter fiction in book form, but everything I have read about getting an agent and publishing said that there really isn't.
What to do now? I honestly don't know. I'm trying to be commercially marketable. Is that selling out? I don't really see it that way. I see it as wanting to make a living doing what I love. I still want to write a good story, but I want someone to actually read it. It is so disheartening to work so hard on something and then have no one to share it with. I know I can self-publish again and it may come to that, but I want to try the traditional route, if only so that when I look back on my life I don't say "If I had only . . . "
Is longer always better when it comes to fiction? I don't think so. But I don't know where to find someone who will agree with me and publish my book.