Praise for the Novella by Eden Baylee
Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author. She raves about one of her favorite literary forms, the novella.
Some writers define the novella as simply a piece of fiction longer than a short story, shorter than a novel. Its word length can differ depending on the source you read, with a generally accepted range of 17,000 – 40,000 words.
Let me start by saying I’m a huge fan of the novella. I both read and write it, but it’s been unfairly received at times, even by me. When I wrote my first novel, I felt as if I had jumped over a huge hurdle in my writing. Up until that point, I had written eight novellas. None of them were easy to write, but for whatever reason, I considered the novel as the pinnacle of a writer’s career. When I completed my first novel, I thought I had arrived!
Since publishing my novel, I have been working on the second one but also found time to renew my interest in the novella. In doing so, I rediscovered why I love this unique form.
My two latest books are novellas, written for bestselling author, Toby Neal’s Lei Crime Kindle Worlds. For me, the novella is not just a short novel or a long short story. It’s a distinct literary narrative.
Let me deconstruct it for you.
In the conventional craft of writing, multiple subplots and characters with differing points of view belong in novels. Short stories, on the other hand, usually contain a single scene and only one point of view. The novella fits somewhere in between—a no man’s land, if you will. Perhaps it’s for this reason why some readers think they might not enjoy it. They assume it will not involve enough conflict, or worse yet, if there is conflict, there is not enough time to resolve it in a satisfactory manner.
All I can say is this: Novellas don’t play by different rules when it comes to story development. Though it demands economy of words and a concentrated analysis of characters, the plotline must still be full and concise.
Specific elements must remain intact to tell a complete story. A good novella has a beginning, middle, and end, characterized by an introduction followed by conflict, climax, and a resolution.
Before I espouse further on the virtues of the novella, let me mention a few you may have read:
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler ~ 36,000 words
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ~ 32,000 words
The Stranger by Albert Camus ~ 31,000 words
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad ~ 18,000 words.
And one of my favorite horror books—The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka comes in at under 14,000 words.
These are classics from varying genres. I never paid attention to the length of the book when I read them in print. Why should I? The word count was only important in so far as words were required to tell a complete story.
Get my point?
A novella, just like a novel, tells a complete story.
What has become increasingly evident is that novellas are well suited for digital reading. The online audience doesn’t always have the time or patience to sit through a 100,000-word novel. If you’re an avid reader who enjoys finishing a book in one sitting, then novellas are perfect. They require about two – three hours to read—the time it takes to watch a feature film. Also, if your aim is to read a certain number of books for the year, novellas are another way to help meet this goal.
If you’re not familiar with this form, I’d recommend you try a book or two. Novella-length books pack a lot of story into a limited number of pages. Priced usually between 99 cents and 2.99, they are well worth the investment.
In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called STRANGER AT SUNSET. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her stories–A SNAKE IN PARADISE and SEAL OF A MONK can be found on Kindle Worlds.
An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often!
Connect to her via her website at edenbayleebooks.com.
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