Sunday, November 10, 2013

Random Musings: Novella Writing

So, I know I once said I wouldn't blog about writing craft, but I'm about to become a hypocrite. Why? Because of one very simple reason:

Novellas.

Or, more specifically, writing novellas.

You see, I started out NaNoWriMo thinking I'd write a stand-alone fantasy that was a mash-up of Beauty & the Beast, Jane Eyre, and Ella Enchanted. I got 20k words in before realizing this character's voice just wasn't clicking. (And believe me, I know the difference between non-clicky characters and clicky characters. While writing Monsters, Alek's and Kaia's voices came as easy as if they were sitting on either of my shoulders telling me what to say.)

So then I stopped that WIP and started a new one. This one was an NA noir, complete with sexy boy (a college hockey player...YUM), awesome setting (Boston, anyone?) and spunky protag (she quotes Supernatural, which puts her high up in my book...no pun intended). But, once again, this voice did not click.

Thus, I decided to finally start working on the novellas I'd been sitting on that are about Alek, Kaia, and Alek's little brother Andras. So now I have three novellas plotted and outlined and ready for me to write. (I've just gotta get off the internet long enough to do so. Bad writer.) And finally, I arrive at my point of this post: Writing novellas.

When I was outlining, I quickly realized outlining novellas was a helluva lot different from outlining novels. Why? Because novellas are way shorter than novels, they only have one main storyline (very few subplots, if any at all), and they generally are only from one point of view. Why was this a problem? Because Monsters is from two perspectives, and its two sequels both have a third voice narrating.

So, I decided to bend the rules for one novella. But this still left an even larger problem: How to plot one! I had the ideas but not the gist. Once again, I was stuck...until I opened my Supernatural Pinterest page, which, as you can see by the amount of pins, I spend way too much time on. But that led to something just clicking in my head. Each episode is about forty minutes long (this would be about novella length, with a feature film being a novel) and has its own main storyline (while still hinting at subplots).

So I decided to follow Supernatural's example and outline my novellas like they were episodes of the show. And it worked. Voila. Brand new way of outlining.

Okay, I'm done rambling now. And I really do need to start my novellas.

Happy Sunday!

Kate

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