Writing a novella (quite a short book)
Back in my early beginnings, I never thought I’d actually ever do that. I love long books – to read and to write them. But one day, I came across a romance novella starring a 17-year old girl that was written like a diary. I read it within 3 hours and I loved it. Why? Because it was a super fast, light summer read.
Sadly, the author made one severe mistake. She used all the 20,000 words up for the story and totally forgot to carve the characters out some more. In the end, I didn’t know what they exactly looked like, what they loved or hated, and what happened in their everyday life other than that revolving romance we got. The result? I couldn’t fully relate to the heroine. I couldn’t completely feel with her.
That day, I went on a mission. I wanted to create something that one could read in one swallow, but in the end, my readers should be fully satisfied with both the story and the characters I brought in. I wanted my audience to know my hero and the heroine as though they were their friends. Nothing should be left in the dark.
Basically, there is one very simple formula to make this work, even with a limited number of pages. As a writer you have to see the world through your hero’s eyes and not just the hero walking in that world. You notice small things around you (you—the character) and small things about you. It doesn’t take much to go into detail with character description. One or two additional sentences every now and then is all it takes. And you can do that in a short book just as well as in a long book.
And frankly, if, as an author, you need 500 pages to get your readers to like your characters or see them eventually come to life, you totally failed in that department. Long or short book doesn’t matter, the reader must know and must like your hero from the start. Right from page one. If we stretch it, you have about 10 pages time. That’s the only way a good book works.
I did my best to achieve that in Play With Me. I hope I managed. :-)