This week's topic is short stories and we've got author Kerri Nelson (who also writes a YA line under K.G. Summers) here this week as a guest blogger to share her thoughts on the subject. I met this multi-published author this past fall when we were in a not one, but two, contests together. Kerri recently received a contract with a New York publisher from participating in one contest and her future looks brighter by the day. She manages not only her own blog, one designed to give author's sales a boost, but has a side business designing book trailers as well.
So, basically the question is… does size matter? At least when we are talking about the novel versus the novella, I believe the answer is a resounding “YES”!
What is a novella?
According to Wikipedia, a novella is shorter than a novel but longer than a novelette. HUH?
In my experience, a novella is typically anywhere from 10,000 words to 40,000 words as a general rule. Yet, in Young Adult fiction, a 40,000-word manuscript is considered a full length novel in that genre. Then, a short while back, I pitched a 65,000-word historical manuscript to an agent and she referred to it as a “novella”. Again, I say “HUH?”
As it turns out, the idea of what makes up a novella is a wide and varied concept in the world of publishing. I’ve written quite a few novellas and they range in word count from 8,000 words to 25,000 words.
Besides the length, the main difference between my novellas and my novels is the complexity of the plot and the lack of multiple subplots in a novella.
Should you write one?
I, personally, find them incredibly fun to write. In fact, I’ve already agreed to make several of mine into a continuing series of novellas. I enjoy writing them because they represent a highly achievable short term goal. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem so far away when you start out knowing that this will be a short story.
Plus, they are in high demand with quite a few e-book publishers. If you’re new to writing and/or seeking a quicker path to publication—I highly recommend pursuing completion of a novella.
Who wants to read these things anyway?
As a reader, I find that sometimes a simple and satisfying plot is all I need to quench my thirst for a good book. Let’s face it… with our hectic lives these days… we don’t always have time to read a full-length book. I find that I can fly through a novella either on my computer or on my e-book reader in record time.
I equate it to having an in between meal snack. It is a satisfying treat that can hold you over until you can get your next full novel fix!
Who wants to win a copy of one of mine?
Want to try a taste of a short story that I’ve penned for Whispers Publishing? Today, I’m giving away a copy of my book entitled “The Saucy Celt”. It is a contemporary romance short set in the majestic Green Isle of Ireland.
I’ll give away a free copy of this novella to one participant today. All you have to do is leave a question or comment for me here at the blog today AND promise to write me and tell me your honest opinion of the book after you’ve read it!
Thanks to W W and the mega talented, C.J. Ellisson, for hosting my appearance here today.
Thanks for joining us, Kerri. I look forward to watching your progress this coming year and your release of Courting Demons with Dorchester Publishing in 2011!
More about Kerri:
Kerri Nelson has always been passionate about reading books but when she wrote her first poem in the second grade, she discovered her love of writing. At the age of sixteen, she became a columnist for her local newspaper as the high school correspondent for the weekly "Panther Tales" column. She won the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts.
After an education and career in the legal field, Kerri began to pen romantic suspense novels with a legal or law enforcement theme. She is a true southern belle and comes complete with her dashing southern gentleman husband and three adorable children. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her baking homemade goodies for her family, feeding her addiction to blogging online or designing custom made book trailers. Kerri is an active member of Romance Writers of America as well as numerous Chapters including Gothic Romance Writers, Futuristic Fantasy & Paranormal, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.
Kerri is a multi-published author of romance in every genre from romantic suspense and paranormal to young adult and inspirational novels. In 2009, Kerri wrote and sold twelve books to multiple publishers using her Book Factory method. Her latest paranormal romantic suspense “Courting Demons” will release from Dorchester Publishing in 2011.
For the latest news and updates from Kerri, follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/kerribookwriter
The Wicked team will be holding a unique contest this month. We're asking our readers to try their own hand at short stories. Entrants submit a non-erotica short story under 3,000 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 20th, 2010. First prize is to have your entry critiqued by three members on the team, the story will be posted here on the site, and you'll be invited to guest blog with us in May! Second prize is a critique by two team members and to also have the story posted here on the site. Third prize will be one critique and an honorable mention.
Write on, everyone!