Friday, July 13, 2012

Why Novella?

There does not seem to be a clear definitions or strict parameters as to what a novella is. Basically a novella is a short novel, a fictional narrative that is longer than a short story. The novella seems to range any where between 8,000-30,000 words (75-100 pages). They don't seem to have chapters and are great for someone looking for a quick read.

The novella typically focuses on one story line. It does not usually have multiple points of views.

Some novellas are simply just written as a stand alone story, while others complement a series or trilogy. I have been finding that they are a great outlet for authors to write a back story for popular characters from an ongoing series.

This can benefit both the readers and author. The author is able to put out a shorter piece of work in a shorter period if time or between novels. It can also be a great way to put out a cheap or free down loadable books to entice readers to want more.

I think it would also be a great approach for someone who has always wanted to write a novel but was intimidated by the undertaking. A goal of maybe 20,000 words can seem like a more obtainable goal.

On the flip side writers more accustom to writing short stories might find that the have a story that needs more time to develop. A novella might give them enough time to build the world or setting in which the story will take place and some characters need time to build a romance.

I am wondering if maybe one of my not so supporting characters in my book might need their own novella.......

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Do books need chapters?

I was thinking about how and where I have started placing chapter marks in my book. Some seem too long and others too short. Of course I still have a long road of writing and then editing to figure it out.

None the less, It made me wonder if I need chapters at all. I have been doing most of my reading via e-book and I am trying to think back to a few books that might not have had chapters. I will have to check it out on a reread.

Here are some reasons that I have come up with for benefit a chapter could provide either the reader or writer. (In no particular order)

-A chapter break can provide a good stopping point for the reader. We have all had those late nights where we say just one more page or I will close my eyes after I finish this chapter. This helps to keep the reader interested.

-If a book is written from more than one point of view it would certainly need some form of chapters or parts to separate multiple characters pov.

-It is a good way to heighten suspense. Perhaps by leaving a character in a compromising or exciting moment. What might happen next... (an interesting example of this from a film prospective was on the last two episodes of True Blood. The end of the episode lest Sookie and Alcides are making out. Viewers couldn't wait to see the rest of this long awated romance scene only to find in the following episode she pukes on his shoes. The break in the middle of the scene allowed viewers to use their imagination to anticipate the rest of the scene.)

-Chapters can show an extended period of time between scenes or travel time between locations.

-They can help to set and divide scenes.

-Chapter length can help a writer determine if a scene or subject needs to be expanded on or if it is over written.

Maybe I do need chapters...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Realistic accuracy while writing paranormal fantasy

It almost seems like an oxymoron to think about making sure that elements of my book are realistic. Even though I am writing a book with paranormal and perhaps some supernatural elements, I want it to be believable. I think there is a fine line between fantasy and reality. Something about a fantasy world that "could" be true seems easier for a reader to relate to. It is more likely to be drawn into a book and a world in which you can imagine yourself a part of.

Here is where the super natural elements can be tricky. We all have a preconseived notion about what supernatural creatures there are, how they might look, and how they act based on what we have previously read or watched on television.

As a writer and a director if you will of this new reality there are choices to be made. Will my charcters possess charecteristics that follow the main stream expectations, will they be a twist on the old, or will I divert and create a new world with new supernatural entities?

There is something comforting in the old, but we all crave the excitement of something new and unique.