Thursday, May 28, 2015

Why Write A Novella?

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 the 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!

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