Too monumental to handle
I’m currently working on my fourth novella, and the start of a second series, after completing the first three, which lumped together form an entire novel. I didn’t start out with the intention of writing even one novella but a short story, and given the panser writer that I am, soon realised that I was onto something longer than that. In the past I’d struggled with the novel structure, as to me it seemed much too big to cope with, even though I had become a student of writing, and was doing my utmost to ensure that I had the plot points in the right places, down to scenes and scene sequels. The whole thing seemed far too monumental to handle.
An attractive proposition
Then I discovered the novella. I was aware of the genre of course, but had never considered trying to write one. This was largely due to the fact that, more recently, novellas were not considered financially viable to produce by traditional publishing houses, and therefore not often to be found on the shelves of high street book stores. With the advent of Amazon and other online book selling sites, things have since changed. And with the introduction of portable e readers, enabling books to be read on the go much more easily, the novella length has become an attractive proposition. Not too short and not too long.
The beauty of the novella
The beauty of the novella is that it doesn’t require a sub plot, can be told from just one perspective, and doesn’t have the structural demands required of a much longer book. And, as noted above, it provides fairly short but satisfying reading material. However, it offers a great deal more than that. If planned carefully – and I do plan carefully – even with the use of intuition and the wisdom of some hindsight along the way, there is also the possibility of including all those things as well. I made the decision to ensure that my very first novella contained all the structural ingredients of a novel. More than that, combined with its two successors, I soon found that I was capable of producing a whole novel, complete with an overarching structure, as well.
New and exciting
Thus I can now write novels in a way that feels manageable to me, because I am approaching matters from a different perspective. Small bits make big bits, and it feels just right. I’m able to introduce a sub plot, and can sense the thrill of developing a story line and the characters over a longer period of time, while also producing a self-contained micro structure lasting around twenty pages. The novella is once more a new and exciting literary genre, now suited to the modern age.