Monday, 16 May 2011

Did You Say Novella?

Hint: Coupon below!

Midway in length between a short story and a novel, the novella (20,000 to 40,000 words) shares some of the characteristics of both of its sisters. Short enough for a relatively quick read, the novella still has room for more complexity in plot and character development than the short story. And while a novel's greater length allows for multiple subplots, the shorter novella usually contains one straight-line story.

I think the one straight-line story is perfect for romance. A romance is the tale of the developing love between the hero and the heroine. While a romance needs a story thread in addition to the love, the duet of discovery between the hero and heroine remains the main focus.

As to why I write novellas, I can't give you a good reason. I write Regencies, and I have one completed full-length novel and three more in various lesser stages. But my first published work, Lady of the Stars, is a novella because it started life as a contest entry. In 2007, The Wild Rose Press ran a time travel contest, stories to be between 15,000 to 25,000 words. An editor would provide a free critique for each entry.

I saw two words: EDITOR and FREE. So, I wrote a time travel back to Regency England. I lost, but the editor said she would consider publishing Lady of the Stars as a stand-alone if I rewrote it. I rewrote it twice before she gave me a contract. My first. If you want all the gory details, they're here.

Lady of the Stars is about 21,000 words and was a finalist in the 2010 EPIC EBook Competition in Science Fiction Romance. RT Book Reviews gave it 4 stars. Review here (contains spoilers). Blurb and excerpt here. Buy link here.

My next novella, Pumpkinnapper (21,000 words), is a Halloween story. I was reading up on holiday legends, and an idea about pumpkin thieves popped into my head. Add a goose, one of my favorite animals, and I have a story about a love triangle: man, woman and goose. Not too many heroes find their rival is the heroine's pet goose. And this goose bites. Pumpkinnapper was a finalist in the 2011 EPIC EBook Competition in Historical Romance. Blurb and excerpt here. Buy link here.

My third novella, Mistletoe Everywhere (27,000 words), is a Christmas story. Again, I was reading up on holiday legends. We all know about kissing under the mistletoe, but mistletoe is also the plant of peace. Enemies meeting under the mistletoe must declare a truce. So, I thought up a story about a man who sees mistletoe, which may or may not be real, above the lady who jilted him. Trouble is, the lady thinks he jilted her and she doesn't see mistletoe. Blurb and excerpt here. Buy link here.

And last, but not least, The Wild Rose Press, which has published all my novellas, will release my latest one, Gifts Gone Astray (30,000 words), on June 27, 2011. Receiving a gift from someone you find attractive is wonderful. Unless the gift can cause you to lose your job. What to do? Blurb and excerpt here.

Now for a special treat. In celebration of its fifth year, The Wild Rose Press is giving a 25% discount on all its eBooks (including mine) for the entire month of May, 2011. Use coupon code 18b632d0b0 at checkout. Here's the link to all three of my books:

Enjoy the world of novellas.

Thank you all,
Linda Banche
Welcome to My World of Historical Hilarity!


Celia Yeary said...

Linda--I liked your post! I've discovered the short story and novella recently, too. Before, I was compelled to write tens of thousand of words--looooong stories. Now? I can't seem to do that as easily, so I like shorter ones.
I remember all your previous releases..I bet you'll have just as much success with your new release in June. Good luck! Celia

Lindsay Townsend said...

Linda - super post and a perfect start to Novella and Short Story week here on Lindsay's Romantics! I'm re-reading your Mistletoe Everywhere and loving it.

I like novellas as a reader for their emotional depth. And I agree - a novella is a perfect length for a developing romance.

Congratulations! I'm really looking forward to your Gifts Gone Astray!

StephB said...

Linda, that is great about Lady of the Stars. I would have taken that challenge to! I agree, novellas are great for emotional depth.

Thumbs up for some great stories!

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, another thumbs up! And congrats on your next release. I'm writing a novella now, and always have a challenge keeping the scope of the story narrow enough.

Great points about shorts, novellas and novels.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Celia. I think the shorter lengths work best when you're NOT trying to pump out words, so novellas may be right for you.

Oh, Lindsay, you're always so good for my ego. I'm glad you like MISTLETOE EVERYWHERE so much you're rereading it, and it's not even Christmas!

Thanks, Steph. I agree, that offer was too good to turn down.

Thank you, too, Savanna. In a way, I envy you for being able to write long. For me, every word is painful. Maybe that's why I've written so many shorts!

Bianca Swan said...

I used to write really long novels but have found novellas more my style. Linda, all your novellas sound super interesting. Best of luck with your new release.