Thursday, 18 February 2016

Writing novellas

I have increasingly been working on crime novellas. As a result, I have been researching the world of short novels and it seems to me that their time could be upon us because of the e-book revolution.
Folks are happy to read 30,000 words of story on their hand-helds - particularly on holiday when a book that can be finished in a day or two is welcome.
So what exactly is a novella? Well, it’s an extended short story in many ways, constructed in episodes but written in a tight and clipped way to guarantee pace. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction defined the novella as having a word count of between 17,500 and 40,000. Other definitions start as low as 10,000 words.
Why are novellas so effective as a genre? Well, usually I write novels that run to 60,000-70,000 words but with novellas I cut back big-time.
I look at my early novels and it’s a lesson I have needed to learn. Hopefully, my writing has become crisper as a result of that growing sense of discipline.

John Dean

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