By: Nancy Martin
What exactly was Rhett Butler doing when he was “blockade running?” What went on in Boo Radley’s home? What kind of crime does Morelli fight when Stephanie Plum is busy catching bail jumpers?
Questions like these are writer heaven. Sure, we know what our secondary characters are doing while the main character is busy telling the story. But readers rarely get to find out.
Until now. I think we’re entering the Golden Age of the Novella.
Me, I write a mystery series and publish one hardcover a year. When I’m at the top of my game, it takes me about nine months to write a Blackbird Sisters Mystery. By contrast, when I made a good living at romance novels years ago, I could write two or three books in the same amount of time. But those romances were only 200 pages in manuscript and featured a streamlined A story. The B story was very short, and the C story nonexistent.
My Blackbird books are driven by a convoluted mystery plot and embellished with B, C, D and E stories—and sometimes more. I may have several plot threads going--each addressing some current event or subject that takes research. Plus after the draft is finished, I like to tweak the language to make the book more fun to read. Bottom line? I can’t dash off a full-length mystery in a few weeks.
Can I get tacky here and talk about money? Because I can only write one book a year, I only get paychecks twice every twelve months. And royalties come in dribs and drabs. That makes for tricky cash-flow.
So I looked around and noticed other writers were supplementing their A writing with some B projects. The short story has been around a long time in all genres, but not very lucrative. The novella e-book can be priced in the sweet spot of 99 cents to $2.99 and make real money. Which makes it good business for writers--especially when our readers are clamoring for more, more, more, faster, faster, faster.
Creatively, the novella can be a blast . . .
Read the full article HERE!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
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- There's More to the Story http://ow.ly/BdROW "I think we’re entering the Golden Age of the Novella."
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