Novella! Novella! Novella! Here are some tips for writing that not-so-novel story you thinking of writing.

Did you guess that this post is going to be about novellas? Let me go on.

You could say that it’s the novel’s little cousin. The unwanted and barely tolerated child of the publishing industry and pushed aside by society. People do not realise that there are some very prominent novellas; Animal Farm, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Christmas Carol, The Little Prince, and The Metamorphosis. These stories have left a major mark on people’s collective consciousness.

You too can do that (whether it’s because of good writing is up to you)!

So how do you write a novella?

Well, just like how you write a novel. You need a lot tears (or repressed tears if you don’t cry), feels of inadequacy, some imposter syndrome and a sprinkling of hope and desperation. Oh and maybe have a story to tell as well.

Here is what you need to do to write a novella;

  • Stick to one major conflict and revolve around that. No side quests, they’re a distraction, especially that insta-love bull.
  • Focus on one or two main characters/POV. No one else matters, especially that one character whose purpose is to say one line and then disappear forever into the abyss.
  • Use fewer words, with fewer letters. After all, big city fancy words are for novels written by pretentious wannabees who talk about writing rather than actually writing.
  • Pick an idea that it total unoriginal, but totally original to you because only you can write it like no one else.
  • Find time to write. Have one less kid if you need to, or maybe ditch the child-rearing onto the other parent and then wonder why your kids have a favourite parent, that just happens to not be you. After all, it’s a novella you’re writing, not a novel. What’s their problem?
  • Step back and see that story you were working on has become something and that should make you proud because completing a story no matter the size is not a task done every day. And not just anyone can write a novella. It takes someone with just as much muchness to create a novella as a novel.

So this is what you need to do to write a novella. Use all this and you’ll at least create something that resembles a shorter version of a novel.

9th draft of Jump Start done

iStock-669387114_1After an unproductive morning, I finally managed to start and finish another draft. I also discovered a feature on Microsoft Word that that shows how long I was editing my story for. It was, I’m not kidding you, 333 minutes. That’s five and half hours long! And in one sitting.

For the most part, it was just line edits and proofreading. There were no structural changes and it’s nearing completion. Thank God. I’m getting tired of this story and just want to move onto the next part in the story.

Then what?

In 9 weeks I’m going to be 28 years old! I’ve never been so old before. Yesterday I was thinking about my future as a writer and storyteller. Currently, I’m making very little from my writing, but I do only have four titles out. My immediate plan of 10 books by age 30 seems like something I’ll accomplish either on time or even beforehand.

But then what?

All the money I’m earning at the moment is coming from my day job as bartender/waitress. It helps immensely that living in the UK means I do not have to worry about healthcare 🙂

But sometimes my thoughts go to where I’ll be in ten, twenty even thirty years time. I have ideas of what or where I’ll be like to be. I’m planning on still being writing, I’ll be disappointed if I’m not getting some form of decent income from it. I expect that after a decade of publishing I’ll start to see those dividends. But if I don’t, I won’t regret writing at all.

I try not to compare myself to other authors regardless of how they become more well known than me because their path is different to mine. But then again it would be nice to have enough of an income to take an extra day off work to work on my stories instead of using the time between my shifts. But the only way that can happen is to keep on writing.

All my new stories from 2016

Once you go sci-fi you can’t go back.

It appears that in the last year I have been working on nothing but sci-fi story ideas. Being inspired by The Force Awakens has really left a deep impression on me. I’ve got a fourth story being mulled out atm 🙂 I’m writing down my thoughts on it as I type.

I’ve written and edited twice over a draft of one YA Sci-fi, I’m almost finished writing another and I’ve got two other stories in their beginning stages 🙂 But I think it is going to be quite a while before they see the light of day 😦