April 16, 2014

N Is For Novella

My current style of writing lends itself to the suitability of the novella, but it hasn't always been that way.

When I'd first started writing back in 2006, I churned out mostly what I like to call "longish short stories", in that the word length usually crapped out in the general neighborhood of 14,000 words. This was directly due to the fact that my writing initially drifted towards an over winded and wickedly excruciating detail oriented jumbled mess. By the time I was able to corral my writing, I found that the short story format really didn't work for me, as it didn't accurately reflect me as a person, and then, as now, I was a firm believer in that a person's writing should be an accurate representation of the person. An accurate representation of me as a person is someone who has a tendency to elaborate on a given scenario so that the other side that is receiving it can look at the scenario from all possible sides.

Even though I've made a few detours over the past 8 years to the short story genre (two published shorts and a year+ infatuation with the under 750 word flash fiction genre), I've basically stayed the course by keeping my writing within the 18K to 21K zone, which is by traditional definition a novella. Now I know you're probably scratching your head asking yourself "huh?", which is probably due to the fact that you read the post for the letter "L", which covers my debut novel. Well, to let you in on a poorly kept secret, that story will probably be my one and only foray into that particular word length. That story was something very special and it definitely did not lend itself to the novella length.

Anyhow, the main reason why I enjoy writing novellas is that particular format meshes perfectly with the way I like to flush out plot lines/characters. I don't feel the love in the short story format as to me it feels stilted. As for the novel, while I enjoy reading them, I just can't bring myself to write one as the love simply isn't there.

Right now, I have two completed (more on that later), another that I'm rewriting (see the letter "I" for details), and three more in my slush pile of ignorance. I would also like to point out that the novella format also meshes with the genre that I now feel comfortable in writing, which is paranormal/fantasy (more on that later).

In summation, the novella is my weapon of choice, as it allows me the flexibility to explore different themes without worrying about the complexities/nuances that a novel requires. In other words, I always go with the guilt free writing, and writing a novella is about as guilt free as one can get.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Novella is a difficult genre to work on, and difficult to get published. All the best with it :).

    Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

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  2. Thanks for the education. I have never heard the word novella before. Here visiting from the A to Z Challenge

  3. You're so honest with yourself:)

  4. I always enjoyed the novellas that were packaged in the amazing scifi type of books. So good luck with them!

    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April

  5. D. Biswas: Thanks. I agree it is somewhat difficult, which is why I'm probably going to self-publish these novellas.

    Paula: Thanks for stopping by. And your more than welcome for the short essay on the literary term "novella". :D

    Fil: Thanks. I try to be. If I can't be honest with myself, then who can I be honest with?

    Jemima: Thanks for the best wishes. Always enjoyed reading the few that I was able to get my hands on over the years too.

  6. I have a hard time writing short stories or reading them. They just seem too abrupt.

  7. M: They can be and often leave me wanting more, which is why I seldom write any of them.


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