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May 08, 2013

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Heather Boyd

Hey Donna,

I actually have always enjoyed both. Early on in my romance reading, I stumbled on a few books that featured shorter stories by well-know print authors (my intro to novellas) and I still look for those along with stand alone. I probably reread novellas more often than novels.

So excited to hear there will be more of Hellboy! Loved that mutt and story.

Donna Cummings

Heather, I'm glad you enjoyed Hellboy and his antics! I'm looking forward to hanging out with him again soon. LOL

I remember discovering some new-to-me authors via short story anthologies in print, but I don't know that I truly appreciated the shorter format until now. And maybe it's because of my own efforts in writing them. LOL I definitely enjoy them now.

Mae Clair

I've been partial to novels over novellas, but lately I've read a few novellas and have enjoyed the brevity of them. Like you said...a fulfilling snack. I still tend to prefer the full course meal of a novel (even a series if it's a good one), but I like my appetizers too :)

I'm working on novellas for two different anthologies with other authors, so it will be a challenge to see if I can write one as well! :)

Donna Cummings

Mae, I'm so excited about your anthologies! I can't wait to read your stories in them. And I'll be interested to see how you feel about writing them -- make sure you report back. :)

I like appetizers, and full-course meals too. In fact, this discussion is making me very hungry. LOL

Melissa

Great question! I read this yesterday but I was still in "decompression mode" from finishing my finals. Yay! But yes, if I have to choose, I prefer the longer story. I'm glad though that I don't have to choose or, better yet, I can have it all because I've always loved anthologies of novellas too. If we're talking food, then I always feel like I'm getting a buffet when I buy an anthology!

I also think it's cool that, with the option of reading them on e-readers, more novellas can "stand alone" outside of anthologies. I guess I don't notice the page length so much when browsing online and I tend to try novellas more and more.

But I totally agree that shorter in length does not mean easier or less time to write! A romance novella, as I'm finding, is especially challenging because it feels like trying to create a hybrid that shares the best features of a short story and a novel. Brevity AND a happy ending? A tall order!

Never say never though! LOL I sometimes think I am "wired" for writing a novel, but it's interesting how the characters seem to know when to "say when." I think my current novella will stay a novella in length even though it borrows a bit more from the "open ended" feel of a short story. Next time, who knows?

Donna Cummings

Melissa, yay for being done with your finals! I'm so glad you got some decompression time too--you've definitely earned it. :)

I like your buffet analogy for the anthology -- a great way to look at it. I've read more novellas because of my e-reader, and maybe it's because I don't have to commit to a longer story, although if I like it, then I wish it was longer. LOL

I agree that the characters know when to "say when", and they really do dictate the story length. It's challenging when they don't want to exit the stage, though. LOL I wonder if some of them think they were novel-length rather than novella-length. :)

I'm looking forward to reading your novella!

Quantum

I think it is important that a book gives a complete and satisfying experience. Size doesn't matter but needs to be optimal for the experience being shared. If the ideas and characters warrant a full length novel then that's the size it should be.

As the last page closes the reader should sigh contentedly, open a new bottle of scotch, and whisper "that was wonderful, please write me another"

All your books are sigh-worthy Donna! LOL

Donna Cummings

Quantum, you are the sweetest! Just the boost I needed to motivate the muse this morning. :)

I agree that the book has to give a complete and satisfying experience. I've read a few stories that seemed to end abruptly, and that made me want to THROW a bottle of scotch. LOL As a writer, I know it's tricky to get everything just right. It's fun to have so many different formats available to work with though!

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