During the course of my career, I've written a few novellas, including the latest, KIND EYES AND A LION'S HEART, that will be posted here and on my website, in installments, starting on Monday.
Novellas hold a real appeal for me. They can provide an opportunity to write about
some characters who have the makings of heroes and heroines, but I
don't really see the need (or have the desire) to write a whole book
about them. This was very much the case with THE WELSH LORD'S MISTRESS and "COMFORT AND JOY" in
collection entitled THE CHRISTMAS VISIT. I was especially pleased to be able to write about Griffin in "Comfort and Joy" -- I waited a long time to give him a happy ending.
With KIND EYES AND A LION'S
HEART, I really wanted to write about a hero who wasn't tall, dark and
handsome, and I had my man waiting in the wings (BRIDE FOR A KNIGHT). Melvin's short(er) and stocky, and tends to babble. Yet his
wife is calm and competent and clearly devoted to him. How did that
happen? I really wanted to show how that could be, and a novella gave
me that chance without taking too much time away from my next book.
I'm a lean writer. I prefer dialogue to description, for example, so a shorter length is right up my
But what about subplots and secondary characters, things that add richness to longer works? I do love my secondary characters, so they're in anything I write. As for more plot layers or subplots, well, there's usually some kind of external forces keeping a couple apart, so I don't feel much of a lack on that score.
A novella doesn't require
the time and effort of a longer work to write, revise and edit (or to
read). Believe me, there are times that is a real plus, depending on
what else is going on with my life.
When I consider those reasons for writing novellas, I probably should be writing more of them!