Welcome to Davinci Kittie, one of our favorite guest bloggers! Today she’s writing about novellas. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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We all know the bane of the short story: girl gets the guy romantically but there’s no adventure, girl gets the “action” (if you know what I mean 😉 ) but there’s no heart, girl gets the roses and adrenaline but there’s no steam. With the limited word count in a novella or short story, there’s only so much an author can squeeze in and still keep up the quality standards.
I was recently reading, and seriously enjoying, a book for a review, and realized that the story was nearly over before any non-romantic action could happen. He doesn’t get to save her from evil?
They don’t have a misunderstanding and she storms out into the dangerous unknown in a fit of fury? The secondary characters really don’t get more lines or scenes or a sequel?
Then I realized that perhaps I wasn’t reading a full- length novel, but rather a novella. In this age of digital galleys, it can be tough to tell the real length of a book (Kindle uses “locations” that are not at all like page numbers!). Taken in perspective, the story went from “hey, that’s it?!” to “Wow, the things this author can do with character development are phenomenal!”
As readers, do you prefer full length novels over shorts because of this very reason or do you accept the limitations of the short story and enjoy them for the quick sips they are? Do you like to know up front that it’s a short or would you rather be surprised with the flow? What elements are most important to you and what are you willing to sacrifice when it comes to what makes a story dynamite?
Authors, how do you approach the challenge of writing the limited scope of a short or novella? Do you have any hard and fast rules or do you let the story tell itself and just get out of your own way?
Readers and authors unite! Let’s hear about it! Let us know what you think.