Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dec Dare Day 12 - 2129 Words and Thoughts On Novellas

Day 12 - 2129 Words on Harsh Climate
Running Total: 9677 Words.

Today was a very very long day, and my cold has been hanging on. And yet I feel invigorated by my plan to do more with novellas and screenplays and other shorter works.

I realize I love stories in the 90-120 page range. That's about the amount of story that's in a good movie. It's also the length of a lot of great Nero Wolfe stories that I enjoyed very much. Dean Wesley Smith mentioned this on his blog the other day. Books used to be a lot shorter, before the cost of production and distribution made longer books more economical. The novella length I like is a little short - often used in pulp "doubles" (two books in one) or serialized in magazines. Sometimes published as a whole in a magazine - advertised as a whole book, but taking up the entire magazine.

And a lot of ebook readers really do like short works. They're easier to read on the go. Plus as I mentioned, movies have made us accustomed to that length of story.

At the same time, a novella in series is a great opportunity to develop a larger and more complicated story arc. That's what I want to do with The Serial. It also may be how I end up handling the sequels to Wife of Freedom. Shorter, more focused, rather than trying to spread them out into something more hefty.

I'll be posting my goals closer to the end of the year, but I can say right now I am considering a goal of publishing a new novella, screenplay or collection every month next year.

To that end, I think I'm going to try to get 2000 words a day done on Harsh Climate. Sure, the first action sequence was difficult, but now that I've got that sorted out, I think the rest will go better. And it isn't like I don't have the equivalent of a detailed outline to work from.

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Dead to Writes, a mystery for Kindle, by Cathy Wiley
"Is Baltimore's newest author also Baltimore's newest murderer?"

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