Blog Archives

7 Reasons To Write (& Read) Novellas…

A novella is shorter than a novel, but longer than a short story. They are usually between around 10,000 to 40,000 words, and can be read easily in one or two sittings, making them great for readers who want a faster but still satisfying journey towards The End.

> Here are 7 reasons to write a novella:

1. When starting out as a writer to discover your style and voice:

A novella involves less commitment than a novel, and can be a fun and revealing way to experiment with a few different styles to find out what and how you like to write. It can also be a way to practise focusing on just a couple of main characters and a basic plot, before working on developing secondary characters and sub-plots.

2. To try a different genre, point-of-view, or experiment with a new story idea:

For writers who may have already written one or more novels, a novella can be a great way to explore a new genre and see how it feels. It can also be a way to try a different point of view, for example, going from third person to first person, or vice versa. Novellas can be good ‘experiments’, but can also be publishable and successful works of fiction.

3. To reclaim your joy & passion for writing, and stimulate your creativity:

If you’ve been writing for a while, or have become busy in other areas of your life and have lost touch with your writing, novellas can help to stimulate your creativity and give you an outlet to simply write for the joy of it, and see where it leads. They can be good for writing in between longer novels, to break up the routine a bit and inject some new enthusiasm into your writing life.

4. To use as a freebie to encourage new readers for your other books:

From a marketing perspective, novellas that you make available for free, such as via self-publishing, or in conjunction with a publisher, can be a great tool for attracting new readers. You can give one away to new newsletter subscribers, social media followers, or to those who have bought other books. A novella can be a useful introduction to an author.

5. As a complement or prequel to a series:

Novellas can also help to add extra interest to an existing series, by offering fans a bonus read. They can be written as a kind of ‘bonus feature’, like extras in a DVD, or can be a bridge between two linked novels, or a prequel to act as a lead-in to the series.

6. As a holiday-themed story or topical story to coincide with world events:

Themed novellas are popular, and easy to market around appropriate times such as certain holidays and special occasions (Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, etc). You can also write a topical novella to coincide with world events in areas such as politics, royal life, current affairs, and other issues that are popular discussion points.

7. For an anthology with other authors:

Your novella can stand alone and/or be included with other novellas in an anthology; a collection of similar novellas by other authors, so that you benefit from cross-promotion. Your readers are likely to enjoy similar books by other authors, and vice versa. These are often self published but can also be traditionally published as a virtual boxed set, or a print compilation.

Girl at the park writes in her personal diary

Novellas are fun, fast, and have many possibilities when it comes to adding to your catalogue of books or expressing your author brand. They also allow readers to get a taste test of what your writing style is like, and so for readers they are a great way to discover new authors, enjoy an introduction to a new series, or to enjoy reading something different without committing to a full length book, especially if their available reading time is brief.

Just because a novella is shorter than a novel, doesn’t always mean it is easier or quicker to write, though in general the time frame is usually faster. It still requires the same process for a writer, in terms of establishing an idea and concept, authentic characters, conflict and plot development, and a satisfying conclusion.

With novellas, there is not as much time to get to The End, and sometimes this can be tricker to work out out how to get there while maintaining enough plot interest and character development.

But there are tips and tricks to planning and writing a great novella, and I’ll be teaching these in an upcoming online course, as well as what types of publishing opportunities there are for novellas, and how to market them and make them a valuable and worthwhile addition to your book catalogue.

For this course, I’ll be focusing on romance novellas, which I like to call: Lovellas. 🙂

LOVELLA-FEB2018

So if you’d like to learn How To Write A Lovella, head on over to the course information page where you can find out more and also register and take advantage of a couple of special offers! >> https://writingmojoacademy.com/how-to-write-a-lovella/ (the course will also be available as a download after the live event is complete)

Do you like to write or read novellas? Feel free to comment with your favourites, or leave a link to your own…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

COVER REVEAL! 12 Daves of Christmas (plus excerpt)

Ta-Da! Here it is, the sparkling cover for my first ever Christmas story, 12 DAVES OF CHRISTMAS. 🙂

12DavesXmas_Final1920

What is the book about? Here’s the blurb:

A beautiful, uplifting holiday story from best-selling author Juliet Madison about a lonely writer, her grandmother’s ghost, a road trip, and 12 different Daves.

Abby Solomon may write happy-ever-afters for a living, but doesn’t believe she’ll have her own. But then a surprise visit from her grandmother’s ghost sets her off on a journey she’ll never forget.

Grandma Charlotte wants to find her first love, Dave, who she mistakenly thought had died in World War II. A quick search yields a list of twelve possibilities, and Abby and Charlotte set off on a Christmas road trip – twelve Daves over twelve days along the sun-drenched East coast of Australia.

With just over a week to make the meeting happen, Abby has to meet a dozen Daves – some sweet, some quirky, some downright dangerous, while trying to honour her book deadline and enduring the awkward challenges of having a ghost as a travelling companion. But when she comes across a young doctor who looks like one of the heroes in her novels, Abby has the chance to discover that true love transcends time and space and that happy endings aren’t only to be found between the pages of a book.

 

12 DAVES OF CHRISTMAS is a 30,000 word novella and fits into the Romagic Comedy genre – it has romance, comedy, and magical elements, like some of my other books; FAST FORWARD, I DREAM OF JOHNNY, & HAUNTED EVER AFTER.

Release date: 8th December 2014

Publisher: Escape Publishing

>> Be notified when it is released by subscribing to my newsletter HERE.

 

Here is an excerpt…

 

‘What about Grandpa?’ I said. ‘Is he, ah…’

‘On the other side? Yes. I’ve touched base with him, and it was good to see him again, it really was, but I’m afraid to say he’s moved on. We loved each other of course and had a great life, but the truth is…’ she took another of those redundant breaths, ‘…we weren’t soulmates.’

‘What do you mean he’s moved on?’

‘He’s spending the afterlife with Lorna. And I’m not angry. I don’t blame him, because when all the obligations and responsibilities of physical life are down the pooper, all that matters is being true to your heart and soul.’

I frowned, from disappointment at Grandpa’s choice of afterlife companion or confusion as to how this all worked, I didn’t know.

‘Sorry, darling, it must be hard to comprehend all this. But the fact is, Harry and Lorna had a…what do you call it? A rendezvous or a fling, if you like, many years ago. I knew about it and of course I was furious, but after a while I forgave him. Because in reality, I knew I still loved and longed for Dave, so who was I to judge?’

‘But Grandma, who is Dave and why didn’t you stay with him back then?’

‘It’s a long story, muffin. But the gist of it is, we were together before the war, well, during the war. But then he went off to fight when he was eighteen and I never saw him again.’ She dropped her gaze to the floor. ‘We promised that when the war was over we’d meet again at our favourite place, and I was to turn up there every Saturday at noon until we were reunited. Months and months passed and I was there every week without fail, but he never showed.’

‘But the letter…he wrote to you, obviously.’

‘Just the once. As you can see in his letter, he promised to keep writing whenever he could, but something must have happened to prevent him from fulfilling that promise.’ She puffed up her short fluffy hair with an upturned palm like she always used to do, and pointed to the watch. ‘He gave that to me before he left, said it was to remind me that in time we’d be together again. I maintained it and kept it working.’

‘But he didn’t die in the war?’

‘Apparently not. I thought he had, everyone did. They said he was missing in action, presumed dead. And then when the war ended and he failed to return after several months, well, after a while I had to decide whether to keep hoping or let go and start living my life.’

‘So what happened to him?’

‘That’s the thing, I don’t know. I’ve tried to find out where he is and what happened, but the wretched administration up there,’ she pointed to the heavens, ‘leaves a bit to be desired.’ She crossed her arms. ‘All they could tell me was that my Dave Smith had not passed through the pearly gates. But to find out more information requires more manpower and paperwork, and they put me on a three month waiting list. Three months! While Harry and Lorna have their happily ever after, I’m left to twiddle my thumbs and wait it out. I’ll be putting in a complaint when I get back, you mark my words.’ She gave a curt nod. ‘But that will probably take another three months to process! They’re utterly swamped up there, what with all the deaths. And the queues, there are more crowds than a Buddy Holly concert, let me tell you.’

I didn’t know whether to laugh at what I was hearing or be frustrated along with her. Grandma wasn’t known for being shy, and if she had something to say about something that was bothering her, she’d say it.

‘How do we know where to look? I mean, do you have any idea where he might be?’

‘I met him when we were living in Berrinda. He was passing through with his soldier friends for a camping trip to celebrate his eighteenth birthday. When he told me he was going off to war, he said that if he returned safe and sound he’d want nothing more than to settle down in a place like Berrinda, or one of the other small towns on the south coast. That’s all I’ve got to go on.’

‘That’s a start, I guess. He might be in the phone book. What did you say his last name was?’

‘Smith.’

I sighed. She had to go fall in love with someone who had an extremely common first and last name!

As if reading my thoughts, Grandma said, ‘Shame his name wasn’t Reginald Liktenblacht or something easier to find.’ She shrugged and grinned.

 

>> Be notified when 12 DAVES OF CHRISTMAS is released by subscribing to my newsletter HERE. You can also follow me on twitter and Facebook

Pre-orders available for I Dream of Johnny, plus a multi-book giveaway!

Just a quick post today to let you know that I DREAM OF JOHNNY is now up for preorder at Amazon, Amazon UK, and iTunes. Of course, you can wait until release day on the 1st September if you like, but for those eager little munchkins here are the preorder links: 

idojI DREAM OF JOHNNY is a fun romantic comedy novella you can read in about an hour; a great way to spend a lunch break, waiting at the doctors surgery (because they always take an hour don’t they?), read while breastfeeding or soothing your child back to sleep (hang on, scrap that… there are some funny moments in the book and I wouldn’t want you to wake the baby with a burst of laughter!), or catching snippets of on coffee breaks. Novellas are also a relaxing way to spend an evening, knowing you can finish it in one sitting and feel really accomplished that you’ve knocked over another book on that To-Be-Read pile! 😉

Here’s the blurb:

Getting three wishes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when an unfortunate spelling error in Mandy’s high-tech magic lamp changes her wish for a Greek God to a Geek God. His fashion IQ is in the negatives, he’s clingier than cling wrap, and he has a penchant for breaking into song at inappropriate moments. Before Mandy can request a replacement wish, she has to put up with him for twenty four hours, and the timing couldn’t be worse — it’s her friend’s wedding day, her ex will be there, and the God of Geeks insists on coming along for the ride!

 

Now onto other news… namely, news involving prizes, prizes, prizes!

I’m giving away a copy of FAST FORWARD and a heap of other authors are giving away copies of their books and swag over at Riverina Romantics.  If my maths is correct there are 38 books up for grabs! What are you waiting for? Head on over and enter the draw to win. Oh, here’s the link.

And remember, on 2nd September here on the blog I’m hosting another huge giveaway with around 50 blogs participating and offering prizes, so I’ll see you back here on the 2nd!

Happy reading! 🙂

~ Juliet

Cover Reveal! – I Dream of Johnny

And…drumroll….ta da! Here is the cover for my contemporary romantic comedy with a magical twist – I Dream of Johnny!

idojI Dream of Johnny is a story about three wishes, a high-tech genie in a lamp, and one very unfortunate typo…

 Getting three wishes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when an unfortunate spelling error in Mandy’s high-tech magic lamp changes her wish for a Greek God to a Geek God. His fashion IQ is in the negatives, he’s clingier than cling wrap, and he has a penchant for breaking into song at inappropriate moments. Before Mandy can request a replacement wish, she has to put up with him for twenty four hours, and the timing couldn’t be worse — it’s her friend’s wedding day, her ex will be there, and the God of Geeks insists on coming along for the ride!

I Dream of Johnny is a novella, partly inspired by the television shows I Dream of Jeannie and The Big Bang Theory, releasing worldwide on 1st September 2013 from Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing. 🙂

>>Add this book to your Goodreads shelf here.

Novellas: The Writer’s Quick-Fix

Writers often slave over their manuscripts for months, sometimes missing out on sleep, and the writing is only half of it. Then comes editing, revising, editing, and so on. But because we love our craft we keep going – book after book after book. There is nothing like the reward of a finished book and a story well told.

Another option for those who need a writing ‘fix’ is to try your hand at writing a novella. Longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, novellas allow us to tell a story in a shorter amount of time but with that same thrill of creating characters and scenes that will take us (and the reader) on an emotional journey.

Shorter doesn’t necessarily mean easier though – you have been warned! You still need to work on characterisation, goal, motivation, and conflict, and be able to show enough character growth through the shorter word count. But they are usually much quicker to write and edit, and because of the advance of e-publishing and self-publishing, novellas seem to be more widely available nowadays.

Novellas can be produced more quickly, you can explore certain ideas that may not be sustainable through an entire novel, they are good for seasonal stories (eg: Christmas), and they can also be used as prequels or sequels to longer works of fiction. For the reader, they are a bite sized read that can be devoured in one go during a lunch break or before bed, but often still providing that same sense of emotional satisfaction that comes from reading a novel. They are a good way to discover new authors too, without committing to a full length book.

I recently wrote my first novella, STARSTRUCK IN SEATTLE; the first in a series of novellas linked by a quirky character named Lulu. It took me about three weeks to write the first draft. And when I say three weeks, I don’t mean three full-on weeks, I mean snippets of writing time here and there around motherhood and other duties! So if I didn’t have much else to do, I could probably have written it in about a week (says the optimistic part of me 😉 )

How did I come up with the idea for my novella? Sleepless in Seattle was on television and because I am a sucker for stories of ‘fate’ and romance that is ‘just like magic’, an idea about an online matchmaker and Love Coach came to me. But in this case, the matchmaker has a little secret. Here’s the blurb for the story…

Actress Anna Hilford has a major crush, but not on just any guy – Karl Drake, the leading actor in the television drama on which she works as an extra. Sick of being loveless and second best in the shadow of her famous sister, Anna seeks the help of Lulu from LuluTheLoveAngel.com to give her the courage and determination to follow what she believes is her destiny and transform from ‘extra’ to ‘leading lady’ in both life and love. What she doesn’t realize however, is that Lulu really is an angel and destiny has other ideas.

I found writing this novella fun and rewarding, though still a bit of hard work here and there! And in case you’re wondering, Lulu’s website does exist, though she told me she’s having a little vacation on Cloud Nine and will hopefully be back soon 😉

~ Have you written a novella? Feel free to give yours a plug in the comments.

~ Do you read novellas? What are some that you’ve enjoyed reading recently?