While there I ordered some donuts and muffins so help yourself. Its tough following a day of Ruthy so I brought her favorite coffee and donuts in hopes that will help. smile
Last week Margaret Brownley brought up some great points about novella writing in her article The Long and Short of Writing Novellas.
All of us Seekers are paying attention because we are going to be publishing Christmas novellas written by --guess who? The Seekers. Isn't that exciting? We are planning a contemporary novella and a historical novella. So if you're writing a Christmas list already, here's something to add on. Our working theme for both contemporary and historical is Hope For The Holidays.
Several of the Seekers have already written novellas, but I'm like Margaret. I overwrite everything and normally have to delete much of what I write. So writing my first novella has been a challenge.
I went to Desert Dreams conference in Tempe last spring and Dessert Rose author, Calista Fox (who writes sizzling hot novellas) presented some great tips on structuring a novella.
Here is the breakdown of her handout. (presented with Calista's permission)
Set Up: Character(s) plot and romantic elements introduced
Action and conflict underway.
Conflict, tension and romance further developed
Build-up to crisis
Plot and romance heats up; conflict and tension are about to peak
Resolution to plot
Happy ever after for hero and heroine. :)
This outline helped a lot to give me a sense of the pacing. There is nothing new here. But having the chapter breakdown gives you a good idea of where the plot points should be falling in a shorter novella.
Janet Dean presented us with tips her editor, Tina James sent her when she wrote her novella for Love Inspired Historicals Brides of the West. In this article, Tips for Writing a Novella, she also lists tips from other authors. One of the authors, Victoria Bylin, suggested using secondary characters from one of your novels. This helps give you a deeper character without having to develop so much in the novella.
That is exactly what I am doing in my novella. I am taking the character, Stephen, who was Monica's former fiancé in Love's Promises.
Stephen is still in Spain so I was able to use information from my trip in Spain for the setting. It is advisable to keep the same setting because description of setting takes up a lot of space. So much of my novella will be set on the gorgeous beaches of Matalascanas which is southwest of Seville along the Atlantic coast.
They will be using the royal hunting lodge found in the national park there. (Parque Nacional de Donana)
|Royal hunting lodge in Parque Nacional de Donana|
Another piece of advice I gleaned is to keep the secondary characters to a minimum and also to use only one POV. Now that is really difficult for me because I always mix the male hero POV in with the heroine's POV. So just limiting my story to the heroine's POV has been a challenge for me. But with my plot and black moment (yes, novellas need those also) I find that one POV makes it really work.
In March 2013, Gina Welborn wrote a post for Seekerville titled: A Novel Approach to Novellas. She was writing her first novella and asked her friend Linda Goodnight for advice. In this post, Linda gives several great tips for keeping the novella succinct and tight. Pop over to that article to see what tips she gives us.
Gina has written several novellas since including her Christmas novella called All Ye Faithful in the book of novellas called A Cascades Christmas.
Are you ready to write a novella now? I hope these tips gleaned from my experience and other friends of Seekerville will help you.
Most of the Seekers have written novellas already. Here are some links:
Mary Connealy has written several.
A Match Made in Texas contains her latest.
Ruth Logan Herne
But this is my first one so I welcome any more helpful advice.
If you have any other suggestions, recommendations and/or tips post them in the comment section and you will be eligible for the drawing that includes a novella written by a Seeker (if available) and your choice of one of my books.