Novels, despite their homonymous meaning, are now quite old. In matter of fact, they are hundreds of years old. Jane Austen wrote some of the first "novels" which were unique in the following ways:
They were prose works in the 100-200 page range (give or take)
They were about normal people, not kings or wizards or hobbits
They were about the characters personal lives, not what was happening at large
We mostly, as writers and as a forum, seem to define them by the first quality alone. I have even begun referring to my book as a "novel" because that's what it seems our literary works are called around here.
But In the Red Days is only one of the above, and that would be the page count and prose quality.
Look even at the fathering works of fantasy, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings matches none of the above qualities, except perhaps prose. Poetry abounds in LOTR. They have poems for every occasion and then some. LOTR is about 1000 pages long, not 100. It is about kings, wizards, and hobbits, not middle-class gentleman and ladies making a big fuss over who will marry who. It's about whether Middle-earth will survive as a beautiful place or Sauron will overrun it, not about Gandalf's personal arguments with the White Council or Aragorn's personal struggle over the fact that he has mixed blood or that his father's name is almost exactly the same as his.
Is it perhaps time that we found a new form to write in? More novel than the novel?
In the course of revisions, I am turning my book into a novel, because that is how things work today. No one will be captivated by a whole world in jeopardy unless there is some good character conflict going on, so in comes the character conflict. To be honest, it is not the moments of self-realization and character reconciliation in stories that keep me there. It is the moments when the bridge breaks, the dragon screams, the fire roars, the sword breaks, the voices scream and the villain dies that I treasure. Those moments bring my hairs up on end even only in memory. I've never had that experience over when Lizzie and Darcy will finally stop being so stuck up, or when Aidan and Antoinette, so aptly named, will finally admit they like each other, or when Lucy will finally grow up.
The new form would be similar to the novel, maintaining an emphasis on prose, but becoming more plot motivated. It would be about the hinges of one set of events versus another, like the Doom-wroughting of the Red World (see my subforum for a fairly comprehensive explanation). It would be high-fantasy as we have always known it, from when the Doctor Tolkien brought it to life to today. One thousand eight pages long filled with other languages and prophecies and people of utmost importance to the world, not to eachother. In LOTR, Aragorn is important because of his place for the throne, not because of his stance around the other characters or his romance with Arwen. So would this new form be, in emphasis on events, not people.
That one guy who can never be predicted
The silly one
The crazy one
If any of my links are not up to date... please let this poor absent-minded crazy man know... or I will only remember as the sky is falling and pink roses sprout out of the ground to engulf my city...