Monday, December 30, 2013

The Secret to Writing a Novella

with Guest Rogenna Brewer

 Thank you Seekers for inviting me back. Someone here in Seekerville has asked my secret to writing a novella. The secret, or mine at least, is that neither of the novellas I’ve written started out as novellas. I have a hard time letting go of characters even after their stories have been set aside for whatever reason. 


 These rejected characters take up residence in my head, stewing on the back burner for years, but eventually demand attention. The only way to quiet them is to finish their stories.

I had a full proposal—tag line, pitch, long and short synopsis and the first fifty pages—that I’d sat on for years when I decided to turn One Night in Reno into a novella. Frustrated at having to set aside yet another full-length project in order to meet a contracted deadline for a different book, I decided to dip my toes into the self-publishing pool with something shorter.

A friend suggested serializing the project I’d been working on and putting it out in pieces.  But that didn’t sit well with me. For one thing, I’d paid good money for a cover—one cover.  Then there was the fear that I’d want to change the beginning once I started revising the middle and end.  Or maybe it was simply fear.  


I didn’t want to fail with the project of my heart. 

But her suggestion forced me to look at all the projects I had sitting around.

Oh, boy, did I have a lot of proposals collecting dust. 

It takes me, on average, six months to finish an 85,000 word Superromance. By the time I’m done I have half a dozen new ideas bouncing around and another super contract to complete.  The time between stages of completion and contracts comes in spits and spurts.  And while I write during those down times, I only seem to finish whatever winds up under contract.

One Night in Reno was a soft rejection, meaning it was never rejected it outright.   But after four rewrites of the proposal I was tired of rewriting it. I’d segmented the three-chapter proposal into novella sized chapters, slapped on an ending and put it on my website.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled with my first attempt at an ending. My readers, who’d been asking for Garrett’s story were okay with it, but I could tell they weren’t quite satisfied either.

While going through my projects this was the one that kept jumping out at me. It was already in short chapters and the closest I had to being finished.  It just needed a new ending. So I got out my original synopsis and simply asked myself, how do I get from where I’m at to this original ending in as short of word count as possible. I had 7,000 words written and was shooting for 10,000 at the time. It soon became the never ending, ending.  

But I managed to wrap it up at about 15,000 words.  

Yes, I took time away from my deadline to do this, but from my friend’s suggestion to publication took only five days.  That included reading, revising and writing an additional 7,000 words, as well as having it copy edited and proofed. Thankfully, I had friends working on standby who wanted to help me succeed. 



I’ve managed to get one other novella up in the six months since One Night in Reno first came out (again while I was under deadline) and will be looking at my entire backlog of proposals sooner rather than later.  

There you have my very simple formula for writing a novella.

Don’t write a novella, write a novel—only shorter and tighter.

 

Why turn your rejected and neglected proposals into a novella?  

For anyone who might be apprehensive about self-publishing or short on time consider starting with a novella.  If you’re like me you learn better by doing.  I’m a lot less worried about putting my first full-length indie novel out with a couple of novellas under my belt. 

Novellas are also a good way to introduce readers to a new series or keep their attention between full-length novels, not to mention satisfying Amazon’s algorithms--especially if those novels are spaced more than three months apart.  Anything is better than letting a story with potential sit around collecting dust.  

Turning an old proposal into a novella can also be therapeutic.  Simply completing the story
can give your writing the boost and allow you to move on to other projects.  So why not give it a try?

 
Tips for turning your rejected and neglected proposals into a novella:


What defines a novella?  According to the Merriam-Webster, a novella is a short novel—a story that is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel.  Unless you’re entering a contest with length requirements between 10,000 – 40,000 words is a good length. 

A good proposal already has the meet (often called a cute meet), rising action and ends on a hook.  Which means you’re halfway to the end already.  

The good news is you won’t have room for a sagging middle or repetition. Keep your time frame and pacing tight and any subplots to a minimum.  To get to the end review your synopsis (if you have one).  Define the story GMC (goal, motivation and conflict) for your hero and heroine.  Don’t take short cuts with characterization, but do limit the number of characters.  Setting is still important, just don’t get carried away with description.  

Tie up any loose threads you introduced at the beginning or eliminate them altogether and concentrate on the climax (sometimes called the black moment) and resolution. The resolution does not have to end with an HEA.  But does have to end with the promise of an HEA if you’re writing romance.



Bio: When an aptitude test labeled her suited for librarian or clergy, Rogenna joined the Navy. Ever the rebel, she landed in the chaplain's office where duties included operating the base library. She's served Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps personnel in such exotic locales as Midway Island and the Pentagon, which she loves to write about.  


She has plenty of proposals waiting to be turned into novellas

 Please visit her website at www.rogennabrewer.com 





Today Seekerville is giving one commenter the opportunity to win One Night in Reno AND One Star-Spangled Night from Rogenna's One Night Novella Series. These are both ebooks for Kindle. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

100 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Rogenna! I'll have to look for your Superromances and novellas. They sound intriguing. Although I'm not a writer, I love this site, and the authors who have so much to share. Thanks,

Vince said...

Hi Rogenna:

“Don’t write a novella, write a novel—only shorter and tighter.”

Wow! I believe your above comment expresses the essence of writing the successful novella. A novella is a ‘little novel’ -- compete with chapters and a full story arc.

I think a good novella has the potential to be expanded into a full novel. A good novella can even provide a wonderful HEA feeling that one often experiences in novels but with a novella it can be done in 1/10 to 1/2 the time it takes to read a full novel.

And that comforting feeling feels just as good and lasts just as long as a novel’s HEA. (Well, at least, it does for me.) The novella is my favorite format to read.

I think a novella fails when the author tries to expand a short story into the novella format. I’ve read both your novellas and I think, if anything, they express the full content of a novel.

Perhaps the difference between novellas and novels is like the difference between perfume and cologne -- with the tightly written novella being the perfume. (Does that make sense? I'm trying not to use a sports analogy. :))

Anyway, your novellas are excellent – among the best I’ve read and I’ve read quite a few.

I’m looking forward to reading more of them. Hint. Since novellas can be read so much faster, fans need to have them come out more often.

I'm looking forward to your class. Happy New Year!

Vince

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, Marianne.... :) You stinkin' darlin'!!!!!! Thank you!

Rogenna, good morning!

This is such good advice. Thank you.

When I was offered a novella last year, I learned the exact same thing. Quicken the arc, write tight and slide the curves in quickly. But it's not easy, is it????

And yet, it's a great writing exercise. Like you, I tend to be long-winded when writing. Writing for LI and novellas has shown me how to cinch the waistline.

This is great stuff... I brought early morning coffee and the Keurig along with Caramel Macchiato creamer. Gotta jumpstart a new work week!!!!

Good morning Seekerville and God bless youse!!!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thanks for another interesting way to look at novellas and consider new options for old story ideas. I've written two novellas and if for nothing else, it's nice to be half done at 5-7k! Actually I think it's a great way to improve your craft as well. uses a new 'muscle' "tighten the waistline"!

I think of Ruthy's Keurig each morning that I feel too drowsy to face that coffee pot. Okay, coffee is done. SEE YOU ALL TOMORROW!

Victoria said...

Great thoughts about writing novellas!

During Nano, I finished my WIP sooner than I thought I would, so I decided to work on another idea that had been floating in my brain for a while. Originally, I was planning for it to be a full-length novel, but as I started writing, I realized it would only be a novella. It came to about 25,000 words. Like you said, finishing something shorter gives us writers a boost to write something else!

It was so much fun. I have a feeling I'm going to be writing another novella or two this year ...

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Vince!

You made a great point... a good novella could become a full-length novel.

The "fleshing" is what takes it one way or another.

So what do youse see as a novella vs. short story?

My novella was 40K for Summerside. Mary's done several at 20K.

Rogenna, you're talking more that 20K margin, right?

I think the difference in length has a big effect on the overall story arc. It would have to, right?

But getting that arc to pike and swoop in all the right places is a trick-and-a-half!

anna rains said...

I'm inspired, Rogenna! I have so many novels that are completely written and some that never got finished that I'm itching to do something with. Self-pubbing seems so daunting though. There's so much to learn. Maybe starting with one novella would be a good way to put my toes in the water :)

lizzie starr said...

I agree that a good novella can be fleshed out to novel length, but also believe some tales can be told in the shorter length, and shouldn't be stretched. It just all depends :)

Being able to create a satisfying tale in a shorter length is a boon in today's publishing world--both from the trials of shorter attention spans to producing more words to keep readers happy. And I think everyone should try a short story or novella--you do have to get the arc right, so it's great way to hone writing skills.

It's all such a balance!

lizzie starr said...

I agree that a good novella can be fleshed out to novel length, but also believe some tales can be told in the shorter length, and shouldn't be stretched. It just all depends :)

Being able to create a satisfying tale in a shorter length is a boon in today's publishing world--both from the trials of shorter attention spans to producing more words to keep readers happy. And I think everyone should try a short story or novella--you do have to get the arc right, so it's great way to hone writing skills.

It's all such a balance!

lizzie starr said...

Really? Twice? Sorry 'bout that. I must have stutter fingers today. :)

Cara Lynn James said...

Good morning Rogenna and Seekerville!

I love the flexibility of a novella. I usually struggle with a sagging middle so a shorter story sounds like fun. I think I'll write one!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Do we have an Anna Rains and an Annie Rains. How cool is that?? Welcome Anna!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good for you, Victoria!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Totally agree Lizzie. I was just thinking that the novella and the short story are popular again!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Rogenna!

I've only attempted one novella. It was rejected, but I still love the characters and story, so I'm in the middle of expanding it to novel length.

I agree with you about not wanting to let go of the story - changing up the format is a great way to give it new life. :)

Thanks for a glimpse into your experience!

Kav said...

Thanks for your insights on novellas! I'm definitely a novella fan. I'm always amazed at how complete and satisfying a good novella can be. Just finished A Match Made in Texas and loved how the authors delivered all the punch of a novel in such a reduced word count. I'm in awe.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I have Match Made in Texas waiting here to be consumed, Kav.

I especially like it when the novellas are connected.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jan, I haven't started reading it yet... I'm mid-way through Mia Ross's Jingle Bell Romance and Christmas interrupted that good read!

Then maybe Match Made in Texas????

So many great books, so little time!

Tina, I do too. Interconnected novels, novellas, continuities... I really like seeing how different authors grapple with words.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning ROGENA and welcome to Seekerville. Novellas are fun to have on hand when you don't have time to read a full novel but just enough to get into a good story. Thanks for the tips.

Have fun today.

Mary Hicks said...

Writing short is 'almost' instant gratification, but you still have to deal with the same story elements as you do in a full length novel.

I understand that writing tight is good even when you're not under a word restriction.

Thanks, Rogenna, for your thoughts and tips on writing a novella. :-)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Piper Huguley said...


Thank you for your column today, Rogenna! I have a hard time writing "shorter" but I know these days that a novella can be an important marketing tool. This post gives me the courage to try. I do have a question. My novel chapters tend to run about 3500 words. In a novella, are the chapters about as half as long, 1750 or so? That's what I've noticed, but sometimes when pubbed authors start talking about a "short" chapter, I always wonder what they mean. Have a great day!

Piper Huguley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen Gray said...

This is a test.

Blogger wouldn't let me in last night. Checking to see if it will today.

Helen Gray said...

Ah. Success at last.

My laptop died last night, so I came to my desktop. And it was confused!!

This post is not only helpful to me, but the timing is perfect for the novella I have mapped out in my head. Ta Da!

The coffee I set to brew last night hasn't been touched while I've been out of touch, so I've started a fresh pot.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oooh, this is timely.

It's one of those 'I'll never do that' moments. I really never thought I'd consider writing a novella because my brain just doesn't work in that frame of 40K. And if it's good at 40K, why not make it better at 80K and let everybody get a real bang for their buck?

But like Piper says, novellas can be a great marketing tool. For me, sometimes the deadlines come so fast and furious that I'm looking for something to work on that can be useful, but fit in the schedule.

I'll have a few months off this spring and maybe I'll try a novella. I'll let you know how it goes! It will probably be a 'novella fail' but it will be an interesting experiment!

Great post and love your covers!

Tina Radcliffe said...

All you wordy writers. I wish I was wordy. I am sparse.

Go for it!!

If you fail, you will have a novel.

haha! Win-Win.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome back to Seekerville, Rogenna! Thanks for the succinct tips for writing novellas. I've written one and really enjoyed giving secondary characters their own story.

Wishing you all the best with self-publishing while keeping those Superromances coming!

Janet

Cheryl St.John said...

I love writing novellas. It's so refreshing to finish up a complete story in shorter time.

I have thought about the proposal revamp. Now you have me considering...

Tina Radcliffe said...

He he he....Morning, Cheryl.

Now we are all going to write novella's.


:)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Glad to have you back with us Helen.

The coffee isn't the same without your magic.

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks for sharing your experience writing novellas, Rogenna! I've only tried it once, many years ago, but have been pondering a couple of new ideas lately to go along with my Abingdon historical series. Maybe one of these days . . .

Oh, and you HAD to mention that "A" word again. Can somebody please explain to this mathaphobic what exactly an algorithm is???

Connie Queen said...

Good morning everyone.

Rogenna, I need to mark this post for future use, just in case...I've never attempted a novella, but I'm impatient in reading and writing. I skim long descriptions to get to the good parts. (Ha. The plot twists, not the loves scenes!)

Getting ready for the new year!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ro is the queen of the A word. She must explain!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Then there is that pesky GMC that follows us wherever we go!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Don't forget Amazon self pub DIY class by Rogenna starts Jan. 6!!!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Good morning, All. Nice to see everyone here. Give me a minute to catch up with comments.

Was trying to get a head start on my New Years resolutions by starting the day working out at Curves and then writing for an hour before logging on to the internet :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Marianne; So glad to have you here. Writers live for readers like you :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Vince;

I agree a novella can and should be just as satisfying for the reader. I'm working on my writing speed. I will be putting out more little novels.

The novella can be a slow writer's bestfriend when it comes to amazon's algorithms (which we'll talk more about in class).

Audra Harders said...

Rogenna, always great to have you in Seekerville! I'm looking forward to your Night Class in January!!

Thanks for the advice on writing a novella. As the name implies, novellas are short novels. They take you through the whole arc of a longer novel in a shorter time. It's a tough approach for me since my mind tends to run circles around my writing projects, sprinkling words the whole way. But with a bit of finessing, and a CP who tells me to cut this and that, I think I could do it.

You're right, why let perfectly good proposals languish with the dust bunnies??

BTW, One Night In Reno did exactly what it was supposed to do: it made me buy and read The SEAL's Baby : ) I grinned when I saw Garrett and Jenny mentioned in TSB and thought, "I know how they got together..."

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Ruth,

Bless you for the Keurig :) You're right, it's not easy writing short and I find myself already wanting to expand the two I've written.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Debra,

You're right it's a good feeling to be half way to done at 5K-7K. One of the reasons I turned to the novella was the bad habit I'd developed (with those proposals piling up) of not finishing.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Victoria;

A novel and a novella during Nano??? You're my idol :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Anna;

Sounds like you need my amazon for beginners class. Self publishing can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. It's much easier than I had built up in my mind and a novella is a good way to start.

Rogenna Brewer said...

LOL-Lizzie;

You made a good point so it was worth repeating. Everyone has less time and shorter attention spans these days.

There is so much media out their vying for our readers attentions why not try and draw them into your wold with something short and sweet.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Cara;

You're right, not much room for a sagging middle with a novella.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Jan;

I like that you didn't give up on your story or characters. And there's always self publishing.

I don't know where you submitted your novella, and my only experience is with my own publisher, but for Supers a novella is generally by invitation only. Though I've seen some calls for novellas with Entangled and other publishers.




Rogenna Brewer said...

Kav;

I will have to check out A Match Made in Texas. My Kindle is loaded about 500 books ahead of my readig.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Sandra;

You're right we're all pressed for reading time these days.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow. I only have 452 on mine!!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Mary;

You're so right. Writing tight is always good advice :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Piper;

I write in kind of short chapters anyway. But when looking to break my three chapter proposal into even shorter chapters I just did it by natural scene breaks and they wound up falling between the 5-10 pages

If you have a long scene that goes beyond 10 pages I'd look for a hook within the scene and break it off into a chapter there.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Helen;

Glad you made it :) And that I could be of service. Love it when that happens :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Virginia;

If by failing you mean you'll have written a novel you haven't really failed have you : ) Those deadlines do come fast and furious. It's good to have a "tweener" project to work on. And even better if it can be finished in that time and not set aside like I have a bad habit of doing.

Ps. Thank you for the compliment on the covers. They're the second gen for both AND both are getting a third makeover...as I have plans to make these novellas into intros for two new series.


Rogenna Brewer said...

Hey Janet;

Thank you for having me back :) Always love being here. Blogging anywhere else is almost a waste of time these days. Seekerville is one of the best support groups out there. So good to have followed along all these years and see the many success stories.

You're so right. Secondary characters and revisiting worlds are one of the best reasons for writing a novella.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Cheryl;

All last year I had the words "practice finishing" taped to my computer. There is that great sense of satisfaction on finishing a book and novellas helped me turn a corner. At least I didn't have to let those stories sit another year until I had time.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Oh, Myra;

I'm not a Mathlete, but we'll, go over algorithms in class :) In in computer science an algorithm is an automated way of processing data.

In the case of amazon they use the buying habits of their customers to create bestseller lists and increase sales, etc.

Piper Huguley said...

That's it. You've enticed me, Rogenna! I'm signing up for the class. Well done! Looking forward to it!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Connie;

Funny you should mention being impatient and skimming. I don't like wading through a lot of description either. But I'm more likely to put a book down and lose interest and not get back to it than skim.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Audra;

Yes, quite the sales spike for a 10 year old Super. Believe it or not that was not my original intention :) I was really just focused on getting something self-published.

Since Audra mentioned The SEALs Baby. I'll let you all in on a secret. I had One Night in Reno FREE for a couple of days and it drove my 10 year old super all the way up to #7 on amazon's Superromance bestseller list. I estimated I sold about 2000 Baby's during that 5 day spike and it remains a strong seller.

And one very good reason to write a novella is to drive traffic to your full length books.

Rogenna Brewer said...

So glad you'll be joining us Piper :)

Okay, taking a lunch break now. Passing around the Jimmy Johns subs.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'll tell you why I'm taking the class.

Because I am a mess.

Rogenna has been mentoring me for a year and I have information on little pieces of paper everywhere.

25 bucks is a small price to pay to get it all in one place and organized.

Lyndee H said...

Hi Rogenna,
Great post! Do you have a mental key for when you start down the slope of a 40,000 novella? For instance, do you start wrapping up the story at 20,000 or 30,000 words to finish at 40,000? I tend to write too long unless I set a key for myself.

Myra Johnson said...

Really, REALLY looking forward to your class, Rogenna! I have so much to learn before I test the self-pub waters!

Elaine Manders said...

Hi Rogenna

This is a timely post for me. I'm writing a Christmas novella, one that had been hovering for years. I knew it wouldn't be a full length novel because it didn't have enough plot. One thing I did discover--there's just as much research for a novella if it's historical. I like it though and kind of hate to see it end.

Victoria said...

Rogenna,

Not quite as good as it sounded - I cheated a little and started Nano with a WIP. So I wrote 25,000 on that to finish it up, and then wrote a novella with the rest of my time/word count :)

Still, it was the first time I had written 50,000 in a month, so it was an exciting accomplishment!

Natalie Monk said...

Thanks for this post, Rogenna! Great stuff! I've seen several authors use novellas as marketing tools and wondered how it would be to change "modes" from writing full-length to writing novellas. I love how your post sums it up. Thanks for sharing!

DebH said...

Hi Rogenna,
I picked up One Night in Reno after your last visit. Must admit I was sorely tempted to purchase a SEALs Baby, but have a strict book budget for my Kindle (could nickel and dime myself to debt if not careful...) I did enjoy the novella quite a bit.

I really want to take the class, but not sure it's right for me right now since I've nothing even close to publishing - either long or shorter length. I'm not getting much writing done with a four year old running about the house. *sigh*

LOVE the information though. It is quite helpful. Would love a chance at winning the Star Spangled Night novella.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Rogenna's internet is down!! She'll be back as soon as possible!!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Rogenna, sorry to be poky stopping in today. Somehow, for about two weeks now, I'm on 'it's Sunday' inside my head...everyday.

So guess what, nope, it's not Sunday and here you are on Seekerville.

I have written three novella's now, the latest one just released in A Match Made in Texas and I think they are really tricky....because I want to write SO MUCH MORE! I have a whole story and I feel like I am abandoning that story when I shorten it up.

I really struggle with the novella format. But honestly it is because I am doing exactly what you are telling me to do. I'm writing a novel, only tighter. But I want to tell me WHOLE STORY! How do you handle that frustration????

Chill N said...

"Don’t write a novella, write a novel—only shorter and tighter."

I wish it were that easy for me :-) I feel like there's so much I leave out that the story would be better for keeping. Hence, so far I don't have a novella to my credit.

Sorry to be so late. Thanks so much for sharing how you self-published. What a gift having all those friends to help!

Looking forward to the Amazon class.

Nancy C

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am a lover of novella's. Though generally (Not always aka Mary Connealy) the time line for falling in love is much shorter. But I don't have a problem with suspending my disbelief.

Mary Connealy said...

I just keep thinking I need to work harder at it. Practice, learn more tricks.

But maybe not. Maybe I could turn all my books into novellas. Just tighten up.

Sherida Stewart said...

Thank you, Rogenna! Your plan for novellas sounds like just what I need. I do have a novel which will work better if I "shorten and tighten" it into a novella....and I love novellas!

Rogenna Brewer said...

You're far from a mess, Tina :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Lyndee;

I'm afraid I don't have a mental key.

Even when writing to a third chapter hook for a proposal, I know where I'm starting and I know where I want to end up (at the first turning point). So I guess you could say I know my turning points and where I want them to hit, but I'm not much of a planner.

Sometimes I use liner outline, but I usually don't set down and do that until I'm stuck. I'm a movie reel in the head kind of author and even when I can't see the end I can usually visualize the next scene.

Missy Tippens said...

Rogenna, I LOVE this idea! I would never think to do it. I've been sitting on rejected proposals thinking that someday waaay in the future I might look at finishing the stories.

This might just work for me. Thank you!

Rogenna Brewer said...

I look forward to having you in the class, Myra :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Elaine;

You're right a novella is not necessarily a short cut. I also do just as much research for my novellas as I would a book--ask Vince--he fact checked me with a retired Navy friend--but my research is continuous and usually winds up in several books. So not necessarily wasted by using it in a novella :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

It is quite the accomplishment, Victoria.

I have never completed a Nano. Usually, because I'm in the middle of something. Last year I managed to have November free and did all the prep work and still wound up flip flopping projects in the middle of the month.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Natalie;

You're right novellas are great marketing tools and it's much easier to give them away than a full length novel.

Rogenna Brewer said...

DebH;

Not much writing time is prime time for novella writing. I was under deadline for 85K when I finished up One Night in Reno.

If you have an old project you've been fiddling with and not able to finish, I would suggest pulling it out to see if you can reimagine it as a shorter story.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Mary;

If you leaving a lot of partials in your wake or have more ideas than you know what to do with, writing a series of novellas is one way to do it.

We all know how successful Liliana Hart was in putting out a series of novellas for her MacKenzie brothers.

For anyone not sure what I'm talking about read The Naked Truth by the Indie Voice Authors.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Sherida;

I love the pacing of shorter books myself :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Missy;

Yes, that was my thinking, too. And then the proposals and new ideas kept piling up. Along with the very real fear that I might not get around to all of them.

It was also easier for me to finish them up in a relatively short amount of time because I was writing with the end in mind :)

Linda Marie Finn said...

Thank you for the encouragement in writing novellas, this was suggested to me by an author friend.
Blessings
Linda Finn
faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

Susan Anne Mason said...

Great advice! Thanks! Sometimes I like novellas and sometimes I don't. I guess as long as the quality is as good as a full length, I like them. But then I'm sad they're over too soon!

Just no pleasing me!

Cheers,
Sue

Rogenna Brewer said...

Linda, that's how it happened for me as well. A friend suggested I just give it a try and get one up there. So my advice to you is to follow you're friend's advice :)

Pat W said...

Rogenna, I'm gonna steal your idea and put "practice finishing" on my desk.

Would I need to be close to publishing to take your class? I'm no where near that goal. Would love to take it and absorb information but not sure if the class is right for that.

Happy New Year everyone!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Susan, it's all depends on the mood, doesn't it :)

Sometimes I try to drag out reading a good book because I don't want it to end and yet it's the really good ones that keep us turning pages.

Pat W said...

Rogenna, I'm gonna steal your idea and put "practice finishing" on my desk.

Would I need to be close to publishing to take your class? I'm no where near that goal. Would love to take it and absorb information but not sure if the class is right for that.

Happy New Year everyone!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey ROGENNA, as a person prone to writing 500+ books, I have to admit, the title to your blog today gave me pause! I mean you're talking to the gal whose grocery list goes on and on for pages and the girl who gave up Christmas cards in her 20s because I had to write a book in every one.

BUT ... you gave me a fresh perspective on it, and I honestly would like to try it with deleted subplots from some of my novels.

So THANK YOU for the invaluable insight and tips. I'll let you know how I do, but the first novella I tackled turned into a 115,000-word Christmas story, A Light in the Window, so I'm not holding my breath ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Pat;

There's something for everyone, those just thinking about self publishing, those close to self-publishing and those who've already put up a book or two.

I started absorbing everything I could about 6 months before I planned to self publish and it took me another 4 months before I actually pushed the publish button.

Hope we see you there :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Julie;

Some of us write long and some of us write lean. There is no right or wrong length when it comes to self-publishing especially. But it might be interesting to give it a couple of those deleted subplots. And what's the worst that could happen? You wind up with another 115K book. Not to shabby :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

I'm going to say good night and check in on the New Years Eve party that just got underway.

Thanks for having me. It's been fun!

Jeanne T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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jubileewriter said...

I have some secondary characters in my WIP that I wondered about fleshing out for a novella. A very encouraging post.
Cindy Huff

Valri said...

It's hard to believe the year is over! It's been one of the toughest for me as I've had so many medical issues but I'm hanging in there! I SO enjoy coming to Seekerville every day and reading what's going on! You ladies are fantastic at uplifting me! Thank you for that! Some times I'm so down but then after reading your comments, I'm happy and laughing! I appreciate it! My word for this year has been FAITH because I've needed it on an ongoing basis! Thanks everyone!

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Great piece, Rogenna. I did this with some of my unpubbed novels. I turned portions of two into short stories that are now published, and am working on another as a novella. None of our writing should turn to dust in a drawer, right? :)

Sally Shupe said...

Wonderful post on writing novellas! Full of great information. Thanks!
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