As I prepare to finish my latest manuscript, which will come in at about 90,000 words, I’m pondering where to go from here. I have an UF that’s been kicking around in my head, in various incarnations, for over a year now. I want to write it. I really, really do. But the prospect of facing another 90,000 words is more than daunting right now.
I’ve heard it said by some authors that they benefit creatively from varying the length of their writing projects. They will write one or two full length novels, followed by a novella. In this day and age of e-publishers, we are no longer constricted by strict word count guidelines. It’s now easier to write a novella that might actually get read by someone other than you and your family.
So what are some of the pros and cons of writing the occasional novella? Here’s what I came up with:
- Gives you recuperation time between big projects. Less word count equals less conflict, and let’s face it, dreaming up conflict can be exhausting.
- If you’re the sort of person who’s refreshed by new ideas, writing novellas might allow you refill that creative well.
- You can complete a novella much faster than a novel.
- If you haven’t written a novella before, you might find it as difficult to write as a novel. Novellas need the same level of worldbuilding and plotting as regular length novels, but you have less word count in which to do so.
- If you’re looking for that NY publishing contract, you probably won’t get it with a novella. Novellas can be part of print anthologies, but these are usually reserved to authors who are already NY published.
- The total payout potential is less with a novella than with a novel.
So I’m wondering, how many of you vary your writing projects, interspacing novels with novellas? If you do, do you find it beneficial? Does it refill that creative well?