I'm doing research on my next mystery and am in need of different models of turning a short story into a novel. I'll be picking up Megan Abbott's QUEENPIN and comparing it to her DAMN NEAR DEAD story. (I viewed the Michael Connelly interview on Ali's site about how he altered his NY Times serial into his novel--a little different situation, yet of interest.) Any other examples, specifically in the mystery genre?

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Funny you should ask dept: I was thinking about Raymond Chandler cannibalizing early short stories for a Marlowe novel or two, and how Robert Bloch worked up to PSYCHO with such short stories as "I Do Not Love Thee, Dr. Fell" and "Lucy Comes to Stay," when a friend sent along a link just now to a MYSTERY*FILE exchange, including this passage: Interestingly, [Robert L.] Fish dropped the Clancy series after the success of Bullitt and started a new, San Francisco-set series of procedurals about an SFPD lieutenant named Reardon, which was also the the title of the first book in the series. Reardon was a young, handsome red-head given to wearing turtleneck sweaters and corduroy sportscoats. In other words, he was Bullitt with the name changed. Even more interestingly, that first novel about Reardon was expanded from a short story that had originally featured Clancy.
Fascinating! Can you tell if you remember how the Chandler/Bloch short stories were different from their respective novels? Character names different, maybe some characters changed completely, motivations and crimes altered?
Oh, yes. The Chandlers featured a similar detective, but not Marlowe. The Blochs were unlike Psycho except in theme and approach...Norman Bates was closely modeled in appearance and family relationships on Castle of Frankenstein editor/publisher Calvin Thomas Beck, and of course the situation on what was first reported of Ed Gein's crimespree--none of this figured in the earlier short stories.
I think Drive by James Sallis is an expanded version of a short story. I don't know where the short was originally published, though.
I just found it. Sallis's short story was originally published in an anthology called Measures of Poison. Check it out. Lots of other great authors in there, too.
Thank you, Jude. Love that cover. I have yet to read Sallis other than his Chester Himes biography (I know, an atrocity!) so I look forward to checking out his short story first and then reading DRIVE. I'm going to have a busy July.
Hi Naomi! Are you turning your own story into a novel, or is the turning of a short into a novel a part of the novel you're writing?
The former. I guess I'm in good company!
Yes, I've read both volumes. It is interesting how the movie ("Shawshank Redemption," for example) is different from the original material. Didn't carrot-top "Red" turn into Morgan Freeman?
I have done this several times already. In the first case, the story got too long and there was too much I wanted to explore further. I abandoned it as story and went straight into novel plotting. In the second case, I loved the story's beginning and rushed the end to keep it within bounds. The ending bothered me so much that I expanded the story into a novel after I had sold it.

My method for expansion in each case was to add one or two minor mysteries and concentrate on characterization. (I work with multiple mysteries in all my novels).
Akitada-san--of course! Have you altered the ending dramatically of your novel as compared to your short story?
Not dramatically, no. It closes more gently instead of the abrupt wrapping up I had to do in the story. The differences really lie in the chapters I added between the start and the ending. The protagonist of the novel is a far more complex and troubled man than the one in the story. Stories are not really very good for character development since plot is paramount.


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