Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Writing a Novella

by Donna K. Weaver

In the post last week, we sent out a call for submissions for a second anthology. Click here for details.

If you've never written a novella or shorter work before, you might not be sure what you should or should not include in your story. Here are some things to consider:
  • Write a tagline that summarizes what your story is about.
  • What is the conflict?
  • Keep the plot simple and limit or avoid subplots. You just don't have time to do them justice.
  • Limit points of view and even consider first person to help the reader connect with the main character right away.
  • Do you want chapters or just scene breaks or acts?
  • While your main characters must be developed, you won't have time to go too deeply into many other characters.
  • Be wary of too much back story. This is true in a full-length novel but especially true in a novella.
  • Because you're concerned about word count, make your words count. Look for simpler ways to say things, evaluate your dialogue beats and tags. Make your descriptions of surroundings serve two purposes by being a reflection of the character who's observing them.
Here are some resources (though there are many more if you want to search further):

4 comments:

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

This is a very usefull post. I've bookmarked it. I have a novella in my file cabinet that I may take out and dust off and take another look at it.

Kaye P. Clark said...

Thanks for your helpful post, Donna!I made the mistake of thinking that a novella would be easier to write because it's shorter. It's not, though. These are all good rules to follow.

Canda said...

Great ideas, Donna. And the websites are helpful too.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Good tips Donna.