Monday, June 13, 2011

Tips for Writing a Novella


Janet here. I'm honored to have been asked, along with authors Victoria Bylin and Pamela Nissen, to write an historical novella for Love Inspired Historical. I'm thrilled to join these wonderful authors on the printed page! The Spring Wedding anthology will release in the spring of 2012.

Editor Tina James gave these guidelines for this novella:

The word count for this novella is 25,000 words.
The theme is spring weddings.
The hero and heroine should know each other in this reunion romance.

I'm grateful for these concrete facts to center my story around. Yet I wanted more information about novellas in general so sent out a plea for tips and got great advice on writing novellas.

Cheryl St. John, Marrying the Preacher's Daughter, Love Inspired Historical, June 2011, gave this explanation: A novella needs all the same elements as a full-length novel: Engaging sympathetic characters, internal and external conflict, believable motivation, a realistic setting and hooks that keep the reader turning pages. However, you have a lot fewer pages in which to do all that.

I'm nodding and noting that the 25,000 word count varies depending on the number of novellas in the anthology.

Seeker Glynna Kaye, At Home in His Heart, Love Inspired, August 2011, chimed in with her view of novellas: I think the best ones don't try to cram a 60-100K book plot into 25K. Instead they focus on a "smaller picture" -- a snapshot, a shorter timeframe and a GMC that fits that. Instead of months, they might encompass a weekend or a few weeks. You get a cozier feeling from them than you might get in a bigger novel because of the narrower scope. I always like ones that leave you smiling at the end. That are heart-warming.

Victoria Bylin, Marrying the Major, Love Inspired Historical, October 2011, gave me this advice:
1. Limit the time frame of the story. A day? A week? A month?
2. Keep story locations to a minimum. Setting description eats up word count
3. Keep secondary/supporting characters to a minimum.
4. Instead of starting from scratch, use secondary characters from earlier books.

Cheryl St. John added these tips:

1. The first place I look for a story is in my idea file where I’ve saved ideas that didn’t have enough conflict to support a full-length novel. Don’t ever throw out an idea—the archives are a gold mine when you need a novella.

2. When developing your characters, don’t give both major story people complicated pasts or set them both up with difficult to resolve motivations or conflicts. Keep the major stumbling block to falling in love focused on one character.

3. One character may already be in love with the other or have admired them from afar.

4. Use a secondary character from a previous book as your hero or heroine. You already have their names and descriptions decided and most likely your setting has been established, so your job is easier.

5. Secondary characters are important, but one character may serve several purposes. Look to combine characters if the cast gets too large.

6. Use stereotypes for secondary characters. The reader already has expectations and a mental image.

With all this wonderful advice for writing a novella, I'm ready to forge ahead. I will tell the story of single mother Elise Langley and Doctor Wellman, secondary characters from Wanted: A Family. I will also prepare for the next opportunity and start a file of characters from previous books begging to have their story told.



For a chance to win my novel Wanted: A Family, Love Inspired Historical, March 2011, leave a comment. Tell us if you like novellas. Or have written one. Or hope to.



Or anything you'd like to share. We love hearing what's on your mind.

While we're chatting, I've brought mini breakfast croissants and bagels in honor of the novella, the mini novel. Mini is still mighty as these tasty morsels prove. Dig in!

115 comments :

  1. I really enjoy novellas that continue secondary characters. Not just the short stories but carry on. You get a better connection to your characters

    hillpeterson@yahoo.com

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  2. Janet, I can't wait to read your novella! And how excited you must be to be ASKED!

    I'm copying your article for later use--hopefully, some of the novella proposals I have out there will give me the opportunity to use all the advice you've collected.

    And congratulations on your book being a finalist in the FHL published book catagory!! I'm tickled pink for you!

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  3. I also enjoy novellas! Sometimes you just want a short story to "savor"! Other times you want a long story so you can really go into the storyline and characters for a long time! It's nice to have both choices! I love secondary characters! Valri
    westernaz@msn.com

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  4. Coffee's ready.

    Hmm, I've read novellas that I liked, and others that I did not like. I like when the three or four stories connect in a timeline.

    I have no concrete plans for writing one, but I would consider it.

    Anxious to read Wanted: A Family

    Helen

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  5. Thanks for sharing, Janet. I would imagine writing a novella would take some getting used to after writing full length novels. It sounds easy, but I'm sure paring your story down without losing the essentials of a great story would not be without difficulty. Good luck with your short novel. I'll have to be on the lookout for it when it hits the stores. (Of course, your current story sounds great too!)

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  6. This is so interesting! Seekerville is always on the ball. Agreed with Patty. How EXCITING to be asked! :)

    Congratulations!

    Well, since I'm writing middle grade adventure (my debut will be out end of the month!!!) it's 32K words as is. Which is about upper limit for this genre.

    So I'm reading your tips with a bit of a different eye and definitely taking notes. Thank you, Janet!

    As for sharing what's on my mind, it's May, the K9 Spy's birthday TODAY and we're having a party on FB. Come on over! We've been partying all weekend long. HA! She's still fresh. I'm about worn out. That's our May!

    may at maythek9spy dot com

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  7. Congratulations, Janet! I love novellas, and I am currently working on one. It's great fun! I can't wait to read yours.

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  8. Dont enter me I have this book to read. (If I ever get well again which I am beginning to wonder)
    I love Novella's especially christmas ones but love overs too recently read a LI novella with Janet Tronstad and Debra Compton (I think I got them right)
    They are good reads and easy reads but still with a nice story.
    have to say there is only one novella I haven't liked and it was because it was to predictable and all 4 stories were so much alike. But the next one which I didn't want to read was really good.

    congrats on being able to participate.

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  9. How fun, Janet! Congrats!!! And thanks for the novella tips. I love the idea of the "idea" file.

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  10. Janet, congrats on being singled out to do this! Oh my stars, you're going to have SO MUCH FUN!!!

    And MINI-FOOD!!!

    LOVE IT!

    Oh, this is wonderful stuff, Janet-O. You must keep us informed of how this goes down, what's the same, what's different. Girlfriend, we are living vicariously through you!

    Oh, delightful!!! I'm grinning (with my big teeth, sigh...) in upstate New York!

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  11. Good morning, Hilleary! I'm delighted you enjoy novellas that give secondary characters starring roles! Elise Langley and Doctor Wellman are as excited as I am.
    :-)

    Janet

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  12. Hi Patty, I am excited to be asked to write a novella! Excited and honored and thrilled. LOL

    When you're asked to write a novella, you'll be prepared. Smart gal that you are!

    Thanks for your congrats on the final for The Substitute Bride! The IRCA is a wonderful contest and having the announcement in NYC makes the final even more exciting.

    Janet

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  13. Hi Valri. A choice is wonderful, both to read and to write!

    I love secondary characters too. I miss the characters in Wanted: A Family and this will give me the opportunity to tell Elise and Joseph's story but also to "see" Callie and Jake get married.

    Janet

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  14. Thanks for the coffee, Helen! You always start my day off right.

    The novella anthology I'm part of aren't connected stories along a timeline like a continiuty series. These stories will center around spring weddings. So they share a theme, not characters.

    Janet

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  15. Hi Diana, thanks for keeping your eye out for my novella. Spring Brides anthology should release in the spring of 2012.

    The hero and heroine of the novella are secondary characters in Wanted: A Family, the book I'm giving away today. Whoever wins will get a peek at Elise and Doctor Wellman. :-)

    Janet

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  16. Hi KC! With your word count you learn to write tight. How exciting to be so close to the release of your debut!!! I know you're busy getting the word out.

    Thanks for the invitation to May's birthday party! See you there.

    Janet

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  17. Good morning, Suzie! Nice to hear you're having fun writing your novella. Has the experience taught you any tips you care to share?

    Janet

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  18. Jenny, I'm sorry you're not feeling well. Some of the bugs and infections going around hang on like burrs. Just said a prayer for you.

    Janet Tronstad and Debra Clopton are wonderful writers. I'm not surprised you enjoyed their stories.

    Thanks for the congrats!

    I'm eager for you to read Wanted: A Family. But that's not the reason I prayed for you. LOL

    Hugs, Janet

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  19. Good morning, Jessica, newly contracted LIH author!!! I'm still smiling at your Call

    Thanks for the congrats!!!

    That idea file will come in handy when you're asked to write a novella one day.

    Janet

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  20. Good morning, Ruthy! Love your exuberance!! I'm grinning right back at you in northeast Indiana.

    The mini food is yummy and easy to gobble on the run. Which seems to be the pace of life.

    Knowing you, you've got your word count and are ready for the arrival of the babies this morning. Your energy leaves me in dust.

    Janet

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  21. Congratulations, Janet! I can't wait to read your novella. I like novellas, as mentioned by other posters, I seem to read quite a few Christmas novellas.

    I like the idea of using secondary characters from previous full length novels. It's always fun to re-visit old friends and places.

    These are great tips, and definitely a keeper post.

    --Kirsten

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  22. Wonderful advice, Janet! I've often wondered how an author manages to 'hit the spot' with a limited word count. Now I know! And I'm excited to read what you come up with.

    I enjoy reading novellas -- especially around a theme I'm interested in. Love Christmas ones and recently I've read a few that share some of the same characters/settings which was fun.

    I like being able to sit down and finish a story in one sitting. I also find that it's a great way to 'meet' new authors. I discovered two new-to-me Amish authors when I read a collection of Amish inspired novellas. I bought it on a whim because I've developed a real love for that genre and I recognized one of the authors. I was thrilled to discover that the two authors I didn't know had full length novels out and I pounced on them. So I think novellas are win/win situation for both readers looking for new authors and authors looking for new readers.

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  23. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraJune 13, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    Thanks for sharing Janet! I am so thrilled that Elsie & Doctor Wellman will have there own story. I loved them in Wanted A Family. Don't enter me since I already have the book.

    Here are some mini cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

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  24. I really love reading novellas. I especially like the ones where the other characters from the same book have a story. I can't wait to read your book!

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  25. Oh and I really loved your tips about writing!!

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  26. Thanks for the congratulations, Kirsten! Like you, I enjoy revisiting secondary characters. Funny how they grab hold of our hearts and demand their own story.

    Glad the post is a keeper. Music to my ears. :-)

    Janet

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  27. Good morning, Kav! You said: So I think novellas are win/win situation for both readers looking for new authors and authors looking for new readers.

    A wonderful point that underlines the importance of the novella format. To gain some new readers would be fantastic! Sharing the collection with other authors brings their readers to me and vice versa. Yay!

    Janet

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  28. Laura, thanks for the mini-cinnamon rolls. Yummy! A heartfelt thanks for your excitement about reading Elise and the doctor's story! Callie thought Doc a bit disheveled and in need of a wife. I'm happy to bring that about. :-)

    Janet

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  29. Rose, I love that you love novellas and that the tips were helpful. They certainly were for me! I'm so thankful for the help of others along the way. Writers are wonderful people.

    Janet

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  30. This is one of the most helpful posts I've seen on writing a novella. Thank you! I've been hankering to try my hand at shorter stories but couldn't wrap my head around how to narrow the focus. I'm so used to thinking of big sweeping plots.

    This one's a keeper.

    BK Jackson (Had to go anonymous b/c Blogger won't let me sign in for some reason)

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  31. Yes, I really enjoy reading novellas. And no, I haven't written one - but sure would like to be able to.

    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  32. May, the K9 Spy here.

    Thanks Miss Janet. I'll save a shady spot for you where it's convenient to play with me. Hope you bring FURiends to my birthday party. So far we have lots of dogs, some cats, birds, dolphins, horses and I'm still sniffing for the iguana.

    I can totally relate to your description about burrs hanging on.

    Sorry Miss AusJenny. Hope you are better soon. Mom says warm puppies are Divine provision. Perhaps I can gently approach and be your FURiend?

    Mom is technologically challenged so my birthday photo didn't show. She tried changing it in Picasa but couldn't get it to work very well. (Sigh She wouldn't let ME do it either.)

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  33. Hi Janet,

    What great ideas for tightening a story to a shorter focus! It sounds like a challenge, but one I'd love to try one day.

    I'm curious, when you were writing Wanted: a Family did you already have Elise and Doc Wellman in mind for a sequel? I have to admit that I was hoping you'd give them their own story sometime!

    Don't enter me in the drawing - I've already read (and loved) the book :)

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  34. Hi Janet,

    Congrats on your novella. Sounds like fun to write. Who doesn't love spring weddings?

    I thought you might be planning a sequel with the good doctor and Elise! Both charming characters.

    As you can tell, I've already read your book and enjoyed it very much!

    Have a great day everyone!

    Cheers,
    Sue

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  35. Hey, Janet! I think it would be fun to write a novella with other authors. I plotted a novella once and wrote the first chapter, but never finished it. I might go back and finish it some day.

    And I'm excited about your contest final! Yay for you!

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  36. Haven't read too many novellas, but those I have I enjoyed, I did, however LOVE, Wanted: A Family - so no need to enter me:)

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  37. As always Seekerville is a wealth of knowledge! Thanks for the great tips! Maybe one day I will brave a novella:)

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  38. Thanks for sharing these tips, Janet. I really enjoy reading and writing novellas and would love to have one published one day! ~ I already have WANTED: A FAMILY and really LOVED reading it!! ~ Since I'm on a family vacation at the Georgia coast this week, I'm sharing some YUMMY fudge I just bought from the "Sweet Shoppe" in the historical district of Jekyll Island. Enjoy! ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

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  39. Croissants, yum!
    I enjoy novellas, especially when I don't have much time to enjoy a novel.
    Thanks for the great information!

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  40. Hi BK,

    Blogger can be a challenge at times. Glad you got in to comment.

    I'm delighted you found the tips on writing novellas helpful. Wishing you all the best writing one!

    Thanks!
    Janet

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  41. Hi Patsy,

    I even like the name of these shorter novels. Novella has a lovely ring to it!

    Janet

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  42. Hi May!

    I will bring my granddog, Gapper, to your party. He's loads of fun and went to the groomer recently. Sorry about the birthday photo!

    Janet

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  43. Hi Jan,

    Thank you for the lovely praise for Wanted: A Family. I'm delighted you enjoyed the book!

    I hadn't decided to write Elise and Doc's story until I was asked to write the novella and learned secondary characters are often used for the hero and heroine. I thought of Elise and Doc first because a couple of readers had asked for their story. And I had a soft spot in my heart for Elise.

    Janet

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  44. Hi Sue,

    Wonderful to hear that you found Elise and Doc Wellman worthy of a story. They'll have lots of opportunities to interact while helping Callie and Jake with their wedding plans. :-)

    Janet

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  45. Thanks Melanie! Your debut The Healer's Apprentice is doing great in contests! Congrats!

    The novella anthology will have three separate stories, each one written by a different author, in this case by Victoria, Pam and me.

    Janet

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  46. I have read novellas that I liked and some I didn't. It is just like any story for me. I do enjoy when a group of three or four connect in some way. Thanks for a great post with lots of advice.

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  47. Hi, Joanne!

    You probably have no idea how encouraging readers are to authors, but your kind words are a shot in the arm. Thanks bunches!

    Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why a shot in the arm is encouraging since shots hurt. Your words felt good!

    Janet

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  48. Hi Eva!

    I get loads of help right here at Seekerville too! Sharing our experiences and knowledge and encouraging each other along the way is such a blessing!

    Janet

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  49. Patty Jo, thanks for the fudge! What's a vacation without it? I've never been to Jekyll Island. Tell us more if you pop back in. Have fun!

    I hope you get a novella published! Never give up.

    I'm grateful you enjoyed Wanted: A Family. Thank you!!!

    Janet

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  50. Hi there, Jackie!

    Novellas are faster reads. Who doesn't need the shorter format upon occasion?

    Hope the information on writing them helps!

    Janet

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  51. Good afternoon, Michelle!

    You're very welcome. I'd read novellas but appreciated all the advice my fellow authors gave me on writing them. I'm thankful they allowed me to share their nformation in Seekerville.

    Janet

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  52. Janet, thanks so much for posting this. I've always wondered about writing a novella (in case I'm ever asked to write one). This is great information to have.

    calliejamesbooks@bham.rr.com

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  53. I do like novellas with characters from earlier stories. It forces the author to be concise, painting clear word pictures.

    rkulp000@centurytel.net

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  54. I love love LOVE writing novellas and can't wait to read yours! I know it will be great.

    Smooches, Janet.

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  55. My husband brought home chocolate chip cookies from the bakery today, so I'm leaving a big platter on the table here. Enjoy!

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  57. Oh, Janet, what a GREAT blog!!! Makes me want to write a novella, which basically would be one chapter of one of my typical books!! :)

    Seriously, what skill it must take to entice and satisfy a reader in such a short span of story. Not sure I could do it, but I am VERY excited for you, my friend!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  58. Hi Janet:

    As a reader, novellas can be very disappointing. You’ve given the Do’s. I’d like to give the Don’ts from a reader’s POV.

    1. When using characters from a past novel, don’t expect the reader to have read that novel. This is most unsatisfactory when the motivation for the character’s actions lies in the past novel.

    2. The novella should be a little novel and not just a long short story will fillers.

    3. The novella should be the length it is because that is how long it took to tell the full and complete story. It should not read like a truncated novel, a padded short story, or a story that ended because the word limit was reached. (This last case leaves lots of loose ends that step on the story’s enjoyment.)

    4. Fewer characters, shorter time spans, simpler settings are no help if the story does not organically end at its ending.

    5. The HEA should be more intense, like a flash bulb, because it will not be as long lasting. Another story may follow immediately. (I would plan the high impact ending first and write towards it. But this is writing advice and really does not play into the reader's POV.)

    6. I prefer lots of chapters, as many as a novel, with each chapter having a satisfactory ending. That is, the reader knows that the chapter ended as it should and not just because the author wanted to have more chapters in her book.

    I wish I could do this myself and have an example ready to show everyone but then that’s why the professional writers get the ‘big’ money. :)

    If you want a perfect example of what I listed above, read Missy Tippens “Yule Die” . I have not read a better novella than this one.

    Vince

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  59. ERATUM! ERATUM!

    "Yule Die" is by Debby Giusti. I'm taking Missy's class and I guess I am over stimulated with her advice!

    Vince

    P.S. I did catch my mistake within 1 minute. : (

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  60. I like novella's, are they called chap books when referring to young readers?

    emial billd3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  61. Thanks Callie! We never know what we'll be writing next. :-)

    Janet

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  62. Janet,
    Congrats on the novella! Aren't the other authors lucky to have you in the group!

    Thanks for compiling great info about plotting that shorter story. Love the idea of keeping a novella file.

    I've written one novella. YULE DIE appeared with a story by Margaret Daley in a two-in-one book titled CHRISTMAS PERIL. Working with Margaret was a big honor, and the story was a nice change of pace from the longer Love Inspired Suspense stories I usually write.

    Keep us posted on your novella. Can't wait to read the story once it goes to print.

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  63. That Should be ‘Erratum’.

    Sorry. Eyes dilated. Can’t see.

    Vince

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  64. Hi Rachel.

    Concise writing and painting clear word pictures are important with novellas, with any story.

    Thanks for entering!

    Janet

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  65. Hi Cheryl!

    So good of you to stop by so I can thank you again for your excellent advice on writing novellas! As you can see our readers appreciate your help too.

    Hugs,
    Janet

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  66. Yum, thank your husband for the chocolate chip cookies, Cheryl. That man's hero material!

    Janet

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  67. hi everyone! I was gonna take a nap but started back with Ruthy's book and got caught up in it til I realized I was hungry! I sure hope writing about baking isn't gonna be the next Love Inspired focus! I go to weight watchers tonight or tomorrow and I better have a loss! I like this town better in this one - I guess it's the same one as the last book but it feels different in this one. Can't understand anyone not being able to get cable within 24 hours though but *shrugs* maybe that's NY for you! This couple's not so tense though - that last couple and their situation and her past situation had me all kinds of jumpy! This one seems pretty light in comparison - no secret baby, no past abuse, no sick kid, no jerk of a father..sigh..unless there's a surprise in the last 40 pages!

    oh don't enter me for the book- I have it somewhere in my tbr - I think the one by the bed which is still a pretty big tbr pile! :-)

    Susanna

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  68. Thanks Julie! Entice and satisfy sounds like a recipe for a Lessman novel! I'm sure you could write a novella, especially if you check out Vince's no-no's below.

    Janet

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  69. I never thought of Novellas that way. Great tips, they were very helpful! I've read a couple novellas and I really enjoyed the ones I read. But those tips...Gold!

    Please enter me
    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

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  70. Hi Vince.

    I'm copying and pasting your list. Thanks for highlighting the Don'ts.

    #5 really resonated with me.

    The HEA should be more intense like a flash bulb. Wow, that's something to aspire to! You're right. Novellas don't give us time to milk the ending so it better be powerful, even dazzling.

    Could you explain the suggestion for the number of chapters? If they're short, we can have more but not lots and lots like a novel, can we? What am I missing?

    Debby's novella Yule Die is fantastic! Thanks for mentioning it, Vince.

    Janet

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  71. A mistake isn't a mistake if it's caught immediately. Good job, Vince. Missy probably enjoyed the credit...while it lasted. LOL

    Janet

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  72. Hey, Siverbill, no idea but chap books sounds good to me. :-)

    Janet

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  73. Debby, hope you saw Vince's well deserved praise for Yule Die. Great story!

    Never fear, I'll keep you posted on the release of the Spring Brides anthology.

    Janet

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  74. Might help to take off the sunglasses, Vince. ;-)

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  75. Hi Janet! I love novellas. I wish I saw more of them in the Christian romance market. I especially enjoy holiday novellas, or maybe that's just the time of the year when publishers release a lot of them.

    I don't mind seeing novellas that are prequels to favorite novels or even mini sequels. Rather than a whole other novel, sometimes a novella will do the trick to see just what does happen after the HEA.

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  76. Hi Susanna,

    I'm reading Ruthy's latest too. But just got started. So she hasn't made me hungry yet. :-) Good luck at WW. Guess they don't buy the gain as cyber food.

    Finished Debby's The Officer's Secret last night. Excellent!

    Hope you find Wanted: A Family in that TBR stack, Susanna.

    Janet

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  77. Thanks Faye! Glad the tips were worth their weight in gold. ;-)

    Janet

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  78. Great post, Janet. I'm attempting a novella myself and this is valuable information at the right time.

    Looking forward to Spring Weddings. This'll be another good one. :)

    Anita Mae.

    anitamaedraper (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  79. Afternoon Patricia. I may be imagining this but novellas seem to be on the upswing. Glad you enjoy all kinds of stories!

    Janet

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  80. Hi Janet:

    If you have cataracts and have your eyes dilated, it’s like living on the sun. I took the sun glasses off and turned off the lights but it still did not work. I was guessing at some of the spellings on the screen.

    About chapters:

    If a full novel would have 20 chapters, then I’d like the novella to also have 20 chapters. This provides a ‘novel-like’ reading experience. All these chapters give the impression that the reader is reading a novel rather than a long short story. I believe that the more a novella is like a novel, the more the reader will enjoy it.

    What I really don’t like is a novella with no chapters but rather just larger spaces between some of the paragraphs. Psychologically this is like reading an endless chapter.

    I think the novella is something very special. Something that is in a category all its own. The word ‘novella’ means, ‘little novel’ and that is what it should be. “Yule Die” is a perfect little novel. It is special. It has lots of chapters. The chapter endings are as well structured as in a full length novel.

    After I read a very good novella, I always have the feeling that if it were fleshed out with a subplot and a few additional complications, that it would make a great novel. (Sometimes I wonder if the author regrets using up such a good idea on a novella when it could have been expanded into a full novel with some additional characters and plot complications.)

    I think a long short story could be longer than a novella and still not be a novella. It is a lot more than just the word length that makes a novella.

    A three novella book is close to being like a five short story collection of stories. Yet, they are very different from my point of view. The short story is like a vignette or a chapter in a novel. A novella is a little novel.

    Now all this is from a reader’s POV. An editor may have different ideas. : )

    Vince

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  81. Janet Im eager to read your latest also and I do understand thats not the reason you prayed. I do feel a little bit better today just wish I could stop coughing. Im such a lousy patient also. I haven't read anything for about 5 days now which is unusual for me.

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  82. What great to keep the locations to a minimum.

    That's golden!

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  83. That should read: What great ADVICE to keep locations to a minimum!

    And I haven't even had my eyes dilated today!

    Sheesh

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  84. Hi Janet,

    Sorry to take all day answeing. I've been working all day. I'm not experienced enough at novella writing to offer tips yet.

    But I did find that by all of us doing a blurb for our story, followed by the synopsis, and sharing with each other really helped to keep us all on the same page, so to speak. ;-)

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  85. Forgive my typos! I was using my Nook and didn't see them until too late!

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  86. Hey Anita Mae! Good to see you. All the best with writing your novella! Hope the tips help!

    Janet

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  87. Vince, I think my publisher would agree that the novella is a little novel with all the elements of a novel.

    Debby's Yule Die had thirteen chapters, a good number. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Janet

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  88. Vince, now that night has fallen, I hope your eyes are more comfortable. The moon is gorgeous!

    Janet

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  89. Jenny, when you're not reading, I know you're sick! Take care of you!

    Janet

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  90. Hey Pam, you're about to be a published author, an excuse for every bobble. :-) I thought the advice was great too.

    Janet

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  91. Hi Suzie! Are you writing an continuity or continuing story with other authors? If so, that has to be a challenge! All the best with it!

    Janet

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  92. Thanks, Janet. I would say it is a continuity. It sure is a fun experience. :-)

    Add me to the list of those who loved Yule Die!

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  93. I also just wanted to let you know that your blog looks great!!! Words are such treasures & you prove it through your post..

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  94. I enjoy novellas the most when they are in an anthology of novellas. It is like having a paper Kindle...when I finish one story I can hop right into another. :) Love it!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  95. Novellas are great to read on a summer's day when I want to whip through a story in one-two days. Congrats on your achievements! So proud to have met you.

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  96. Suzie, love that you're having fun!

    Janet

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  97. Hi Customized Essay. Words are such treasures. Love that! Love opening a book and finding the nuggets. Thanks!

    Janet

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  98. Yay, Cindy W, you're an avid reader!! My favorite kind.

    Janet

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  99. Hey Kayleen! Good to know you and see you here. Thanks for coming!

    Janet

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  100. Thank you for this, Janet. I've never written a novella and have often wondered how writers fit a full story into a short word count--have considered it an art form. I've done it with newspaper and short stories--but a novel in short form--hmm--has always seemed daunting to me. I love your snapshot description and the explanation of centering the story in a shorter time period, as well as having characters do double duty within the story. That gives me a better idea. Thanks so much!

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  101. What are the guidelines for novellas as far as word count? Are they all around 25,000 words -- or are there differing lengths? Just curious.

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  102. Hi Janet:

    My eyes are back this morning!

    I notice that I should have said how much I liked your post. I would even like to see more posts on writing novellas.

    First thing I looked at this morning on the web was Donna Alward’s blog (Donna is a friend of Seekerville) and she is announcing her new book which is a stand alone novella! OFF THE CLOCK, a First Responders Novella coming October 4 from Samhain Publishing:

    http://donnaalward.blogspot.com/2011/06/blurby-goodness.html

    Imagine that. If writers have a talent for novellas, they might look into stand alone novellas. Now I will have to get Donna’s book and see how many of the novella rules she followed.

    Vince

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  103. Great tips for writing a novella. I also like novellas - I think the genre has a practical place for today's readers - people don't have the time they did before.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

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  104. I have to agree with others. This is the best article on writing a novella I have seen. Thanks, Janet, for sharing the insight you gleaned from others. Congrats on being asked to join that team.

    As for me, I love novellas. They are perfect for that quick read when you don't want to drag out a story over several days or weeks.

    Right now, I am under contract for my first novella. Release date is May 2012, and the collection is Colonial Courtships. My novella is Trading Hearts about a merchant tradesman who falls for the daughter of a innkeeper but runs into opposition and mishap at the hand of the maiden's brother. The collection features 4 brothers and is set in Colonial Connecticut.

    I'm thrilled to finally have the chance to write a novella after reading them all these years.

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  105. oh, I love novellas and love the love inspired ones. thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  106. Yay, Janet! I'm so excited about this story! Great advice on novellas. Thanks for sharing!

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  107. Hi Cathy. Glad the post was helpful. I will see just how helpful as I write it. :-) I'm sure each of us find methods that work for us.

    Janet

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  108. Hi Susan, the word count differs according to the number of authors in the collection of novellas and with the publisher and line. Hope that helps.

    Janet

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  109. Hi Vince,

    Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate the generous friends and fellow writers who helped me out with advice.

    I'd never heard of a stand alone novella. Mega congratulations to Donna!! Perhaps one day she'll post on her process in Seekerville.

    Janet

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  110. Excellent point, Karen C. Time, or should I say the lack of time, is a huge factor in today's market.

    Janet

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  111. Hello Tiffany! Congratulations on the publication of your first novella!! The stories sound intriguing!

    Janet

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  112. Good to hear you enjoy the Love Inspired novellas, AppleBlossom! Thanks!

    Janet

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  113. Hi Janet
    Congratulations. I like novellas.Janet I enjoy reading all of your books.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

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