5 Tips to Writing a Novella

1.  Start your conflict in the first sentence. Unlike a novel where you build toward your main plot. Your goal is to bring the reader into the action from the first sentence and take it from there. This will set you up to keep the novel going at a fast pace, and keep your reader engaged.

 

2. Fewer Characters. You do not have the word count to bring in a broad range of characters. Stick to the main ones with a few minor. This enables you to develop your characters providing your reader with three-dimensional personalities they will love.

3. Your novella should not span more than a week; in fact I’d say five days max. This is a quick telling of a story and if you spread it out over weeks, like you could with a novel, you will lose your reader do to an unbelievable timeframe. Get in and get out is how I like to describe the novella writing process.

 

4. Stick to one plot, and if you have to one subplot. I don’t advise more than that. You haven’t the time to flush out subplots when choosing to write a novella. Your plot is the driving force of the novella, trying to incorporate subplots could pull the reader from the story if not done right. A novella should be read in a day, thus a reminder of how fast the pacing needs to be for your story. Snap…snap…snap…keep the rhythm going. Do not put in filler. There is no room in a novella for useless wording.

 

5. Word count. Novellas range from 15000 – 40000 words. This can be difficult for those writers who are used to pounding away at an 80,000-word novel. Writing something with fewer words will challenge your creativity and editing skills. Remember keep it crisp, quick and strong.

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