Why Write a Novella? Pros & Cons

Copy of Autumn (10)

There are many different kinds of writer and I’m not referring to style or genre. Today I’m looking at word counts. There are those of us who struggle to write more than 500 words per piece and those who once they start can’t stop.  Some of us struggle to reach the word count of a novel while others struggle to restrict themselves to a ‘reasonable’ length of novel.

While word counts are not the be all and end all of a story, it’s still important to understand the different types of story length out there and understand the advantages of each one.

For those writers who struggle to tell a story in more than 40,000 words finishing a full-length novel can feel like an impossible task. Often times they will turn to the novella so as to tell their story. But writing a novella can be a bit of a minefield. There is a lot of conflicting information about them out there and this usually results in more questions than answers. Are they good, bad or something in between?

Today I want to talk about the pros and cons of writing a novella. Although before I do, I would like to stress that a lot depends on the writer, the story, and the style, as such my list below will not apply to everyone.

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Worst Advice: Plot

 

Worst Advice

I have said before, many times, is that one of my favorite things about writing is that you’re always learning something new. Even those of us who have been writing for decades still tell me that between reading other people’s work, courses, blogs, and writing groups they still learn something new regularly.

As I said in my previous blog, Worst Advice on Characters, I was looking to start a short series of blogs regarding the worst advice I have come across online for writers. While writing is very subjective, and it is rare to come across properly bad advice it is not unheard of. Thus, today I have been gifted with the opportunity to write number two in the Worst Advice Series and share with you the three worst things I’ve been told to do to craft a good plot.

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Work In Progress

Construction Writer Day

As the above image says I am currently reviewing this website to ensure that content here is relevant and focused.

When I started writing, all those many years ago, and built this website (well maybe not this website, but a website/blog) I wanted to talk about writing, but I would also regularly talk about whatever came to mind, be it college, university, my first tentative steps into the world of a budding professional, family, holidays, and relationships. The blog became a hotchpotch of my brains ramblings.

I’ve tried on a few occasions to focus the website, and I have made progress. But not enough progress. So once again I will be sitting down this weekend to not only tidy up what’s available now but also plan a more focused and dynamic future!

Wish me luck … also send tea, I’ll need lots of it.

Cats as Characters

Copy of Autumn (10)

I’ve talked before about my obsession with kitties, I know I’m not alone in my obsession (seriously, just look at the internet for crying out loud), and there are times when I wish I was obsessed with something a little different just to make myself slightly more interesting, but then I see their little paws and their little faces and know that I’ll never love anything as much as I love kitties.

Being as obsessed as I am I couldn’t help but have some kitties in my stories, firstly in Secrets of Hidden Places, when a fairy in the form of a kitty tries to warn Melanie away from her tragic fate. Then again, in Amenti when the majority of the characters are kitties, (seriously there’s only three people, cause kitties!)

Having animal characters is not anything new, I grew up reading Animals of Farthing Wood and Watership Down and like with all things there are certain clichés with kitty’s as characters. while there’s nothing wrong with the odd cliché in my opinion, it’s wise not to fill your stories with them. So, naturally, after a ton of research, I managed to identify the most common kitty clichés and (hopefully) avoided them in an effort to make Amenti unique and keep my characters my own.

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Ancient Monsters in the Modern Day

Horror

I’m an avid reader of various mythologies; I love the tales of gods and heroes, monsters and demons, mortal men versus giants, gods, and creatures unlike anything living today. I have been desperate to write my own story with such creatures, in particular, the Sphinx. I’m not sure if it’s my early love of the ancient Egyptian tales, or my obsession with kitties, probably a mixture of both, but I have a desire bordering on obsession to write a good Sphinx character.

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Why Is Research So Important?

Copy of Autumn (10)

One of the most important parts of writing a novel is the research process.

It should go without saying that a well-researched story is going to flow better than one that is poorly researched.

When you write what you know it allows the reader to be immersed in the world and characters that you have created. Poorly researched writing can be full of errors which can suck the reader right out of the story. For example, if you’re writing a story set in a hospital with your main characters being doctors and patients and you refer to a thermometer as something used to brush a person’s hair then your readers are going to be pulled out of your story and into confusion faster than you can say ‘huh?’ Admittedly this example is a trifle exaggerated but only to make the point that good research is a necessity if you’re going to write good fiction.

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