Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Novellas---Not as Short as you Think!

Hi, my name is Katie and I'm a writer addict.

*insert drone like "hiiii Katie...."*

I have a problem. I can't stop writing. Most writers would LOVE to have that problem--but not me. Sure, waking up every couple of months to a dream that will someday be a NY Times Best Seller is great--except when your mind firmly tells you "oh and by the way, this is going to be a NOVELLA."

Novella. If you don't know what that is, it means that's its not quite long enough to be a book (60,000 to 100,000 words) and not quite short enough to be a short story (1000 to 22,000 words). It's somewhere in the middle--which is where I always seem to find myself. Story. Of. My. LIFE. Not published, but not a terrible writer. But I digress!

Writing books is hard work in many ways because half the time your pacing your floor and drinking your coffee ranting to yourself that you don't have enough material, or the plot is moving to fast, or gosh darnit, these character's just aren't behaving the way you want them to! But by the end you have your 100,000 words when you thought you'd never even get more than 150 pages, and you can celebrate! Well, after editing of course. But a Novella. It's shorter, so theoretically it should be easier and faster to write! Right?


It's harder! Imagine getting a great story idea and you realize "hey, this story is just the perfect length for a novella/short story!" And then you start to write. Then you write more. Then MORE. And soon you begin to sweat and realize that what was supposed to be a short-ish story is quickly growing larger than you had anticapted! That's what writing my Novella has been like. I was so confident I could make a short story and instead I've end up with 57,00 words, getting dangerously close to the "novel" length. I was REALLY hoping to make it a novella--apparently those are selling like hot cakes online. Honestly, I had decided to make it a novella from its inception a year a go. So I swear I'm not jumping on a bandwagon! The bandwagon just happened to find me!

When writing a Novella I feel most people have problems with getting ENOUGH material to write with. For me--and its always been a problem--its paring down. I've NEVER been good at 'short'. Once, in grade school when I was 8, we were asked to write a five page story. I wrote seven, then for extra credit I wrote a sequel to it. I don't do short. So why my brain decided that I should definitely make this book a novella, I have no idea. And even after all my struggling to make sure this stays in the Novella word count, even after my crying over having to cut something out, my mind STILL wants me to do short.

After this is edited and sent off to online publishing houses (good luck my little modern day sci-fi novella!), the next thing I'm working on--and I can't wait!--is a children's book series about a Prince who isn't quite what a prince aught to be--and his adventures to become the prince his parents had been hoping for. And you know what that means? EVEN SHORTER!

I think my mind is just trying to be a sadistic slave driver trying to set me up to fail. That or it's making fun of my rather small stature. I can hear my inner me speaking now. "Gee Katie, don't you think since you're so short, you should be GOOD at writing short things?"

Ha ha, inner me. HA. HA.

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