Tips for Writing a Stellar Novella Part 2

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Peg Thomas is back today to continue her tips for novella writing. Last week she talked about word count and having a complete story. There is a link at the bottom for part one if you missed it.

Timeline

Another simplification is the timeline. Where a novel may span a year or more, a novella needs to be shorter. This creates some issues with romance, since the characters won’t know each other very long. This is where the writer gets creative. In Her Redcoat, Laurette and Henry meet several times in the forest and that’s enough for them to fall in love. How is that possible? They are lonely people on the frontier. I used the time and place make it feasible.

A Pinch of historic flavor

Simplify the history and the setting. They should be a flavoring like a pinch of salt and not an all-you-can-eat buffet. If you’re writing historical you must have some history, but you’ve room for just a touch. It’s easy in a novel to let history overtake the story, and that’s a bigger danger in a novella. Your setting should be minimal, not portrayed with long, drawn out paragraphs of the sunrise or someone’s ancestral home. In some novels, the setting is almost another character, but you can’t do that in a novella.

Which scenes to cut

In any story, you should cut scenes that don’t move the story forward, but that’s critical in a novella. Even if it’s a great scene with stellar writing. Even if it’s your favorite scene. Even if your mother loves it. If it doesn’t move the story forward, it’s got to go.

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Click her to order this collect that contains Her Redcoat

Pegg has a few more tips to share so tune in for Part 3 next Tuesday and if you missed part one check it out.

 

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

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