As you may know, I’ve read quite a few books by Elizabeth Hunter, I love it when she blogs about being an author, why she writes, what inspires her, etc.
I thought that I’d share her thoughts with you…
Why I write novellas Yes, I know my last book review was also for Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changling series, but I’ve been wanting to write a post about why I love writing novellas so much and since Singh’s new novella collection Wild Embrace is out today (Run and go get it! It’s really good. You can read this later.) I thought I’d combine the posts.
Why? Because Singh also writes novellas for her series and she does so excellently. In the author’s note for Wild Embrace, she writes:
“…the stories in Wild Embrace provide more depth and nuance to facets of the Psy-Changeling world. I wrote each one because I felt that even though these stories take place away from the main story line, they’re important to the world—the characters all contribute to the richness of the Psy-Changeling tapestry, even if we only glimpse them in passing in the full-length books.”
And I think that is one of the same reasons that I love writing novellas, particularly in the Elemental World. When you have a big fictional world that has stretched across many books and encompassed many stories, inevitably you have characters that you love who just don’t fit into the main storyline in a big way. They’re not small characters, but maybe they don’t have a big emotional journey to tell. Maybe they’re not part of the main conflict. Maybe their story is part of history when the “big story” is moving forward.
There are so many reasons why you might not be able to fit a character’s story into the main series storyline, but that doesn’t mean you love them any less. The first novella I wrote in the Elemental series was Waterlocked with Terry and Gemma. I loved them both! Terry with his swagger and Gemma with her prickly loyalty. Love love love.
BUT their story was a personal one. That couple falling in love wasn’t integral to the main plot arc of the series. So I could have wrangled a bigger story and somehow stuffed their love story into it sideways OR I could just write a novella about how they really fell in love. So that’s what I did. And I loved the result so much I decided to write other novellas, too. Tenzin’s history. Tom and Josie’s love story.
And there are other characters (coughOlegcough) who I might write a novella for because they’re not ready for a love story (yet!) but they play an important part in the “big story” in other ways. So that’s a possibility too.
A full novel happens (for me) when a love story and a plot collide in ways that change the world. That’s why my books so often walk that line between paranormal suspense and paranormal romance. The suspense/action/mystery part can’t happen without the romance. The romance can’t happen without the suspense. They have to go together to make a satisfying book for me. And if they don’t, sometimes I’m going to write the story anyway, but it’ll be in a novella form.
Some readers love them. Some hate them. But that’s the way I’ve built the world, so that’s what I’m sticking with. A good novella (for me) is fun to write and very fun to read.
To read Ms Hunter’s book review go straight to the source: Why I write novellas and a review of Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh – ELIZABETH HUNTER