Sunday 28 June 2015

Weekend Writing Workshop #5 Novel or Novella? Which Should You Write?

"Just turn to the last page, alright? The water's getting cold."

It's a busy world, and all this technology has made it rather busier. We are more connected than ever before, yet perhaps more disconnected from things that we really want to do. As readers, we want stories that are engaging, characters that are interesting, plots that twist and turn, whilst serving to excite us at the same time.

Sometimes, we just don't have time to read a full length novel.

But what about writers? Don't we have to make that decision too? Do we really have time to write that full length novel. A story of some 300 pages will take a significant amount of your time, not to mention the energy required.

However, in my experience, there's no need to panic. There is no real rule (except in traditional publishing) that a novel should be a minimum of 70,000 words. And if you want my really important and special tip from me, I really do believe this:-

"The story you need to write is the one that is inside you. It will be completed only when it is completed."

What does this mean? Well, for some of you,you will need to adopt a routine for your writing. That means several thousand words a day. For others, you won't stop until a chapter or particular scene feels right.

For me, It is any and all of the above, plus this:-

"I don't actually have anything until the book is written and completed."

I am fully seized of understanding why people say 'Oh yeah, I am writing a book.'

It takes time and effort and of course, it should. But in the end, you want an end date, otherwise it is like Captain Ahab hunting his whale. He is intent on doing it, but the pursuit is destroying him. That's why the undertaking of writing a book should never be done lightly.

Maybe you start off with an idea, and writing goes well for a while, before you run out of steam at say, the 30,000 word mark. If that is so, maybe it needs a rethink, but perhaps, it is your writer-mind's way of saying 'this just isn't meant to be a full length story.'

Plenty of short stories hit the mark better than the long ones.

So make a start, and see where you go from there - and good luck!

I've just written a thousand words today - and am happy with it. At some point, you really can start to believe in your writing ability, without ego or misplaced support from others. You will know what you you have created, it's just a case of what the world will think of your creation!

Catch up on the previous writing tips here

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