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Why Should You Write a Novella? By Lisa Fox

Readers love novellas.

Fast-paced, intense, gripping, novellas are shorter stories meant to take readers on a spirited, but focused ride. They are usually no more than 50,000 words, and though they may take months upon months to write, they can generally be enjoyed in a few short hours. Readers love them because with so many things demanding their time and energy—deadlines, children, day job drama—a two-hour escape is about all anyone can manage sometimes. A novella can treat a lucky reader to action, romance, horror, intrigue—all within the span of a bubble bath or two.

And that’s only one of the many reasons why you should write them.

Like most writers, I’ve got a desktop folder overflowing with plot bunnies, fragments of thoughts, sharp, unformed scenes. I want to write them all, discover where they might lead, and who I might meet, but even in my most ambitious imaginings, I know that I’ll never be able to get to them all.

So, what’s an author to do? When I first start playing around with an idea, I tend to think BIG. But, not every book needs to be a hundred thousand words. Taking an idea and condensing it down into novella form could be a solution for some of those more nagging bunnies.

Many authors write multi-book series.

Huge, expansive worlds filled with characters and interweaving plots. Adding a novella or two into that universe could be advantageous on many levels. It could be an opportunity to explore a character or subplot you wanted to highlight, but just didn’t feel like you had a novel-length story for, someone or something not really connected to the main plotline, but interesting nonetheless. Or maybe you could add a prequel to your series, a short tale of the history of the place, something which could stand alone to attract new readers, but still be a part of the overall world, so it’s fun for current fans too.

Or maybe you just have an idea right now for a series, maybe you’re still plotting and planning your overarching story, getting all your characters into place. Kicking off your world with a novella might jumpstart the whole process. Concentrating on a single moment in time, an event involving no more than one or two characters, could bring a new perspective to the series as a whole. Plus, if you choose to self-publish, offering this introductory novella for free is a great way to attract readers. Give them a short, sexy, powerful glimpse into your world, and they will come back for more.

Penning a novella is also a great way to explore a new genre.

Why limit yourself? Write that mystery, that creepy horror, that sweeping romance. New projects can be overwhelming, but the lower word counts of a novella can help you stay focused and stick with the story. A succinct, exciting tale about a single couple, a single adventure, a single awful occurrence, can open up whole new avenues of writing.

And that kind of exploration can help you find your voice. Every writer has one—a unique, singular style. When you are first starting out, deciding who you are and what you want to say can be difficult. A shorter format can give a writer more room to play, a greater leeway to experiment with different tones, different points of view, to find your comfort zone or challenge yourself to something new.

Novellas are fun, versatile, and the perfect option for busy readers.

Publishing veteran or newbie, they are a great way to build your readership. You could self-publish a novella as a marketing tool, as an introduction to a series, a standalone story, a holiday tale. You could sell a novella to a publisher and tap into their audience while working on a larger project. You could write several in a year, and really get your publishing momentum going. The more work you put out there, the more chances a reader has of finding you and loving your work.

Why should you write a novella? I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t!

Interested in checking out options for writring a novella? Lisa is teaching a class on this subject!

Romance Novella in a Nutshell

with  Lisa Fox

starts Monday, October 9 here at SavvyAuthors!



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Bio: Lisa Fox always wanted to be a warrior, a vampire, a princess, a woman in black, a knight, a temptress, a wicked, wanton witch. Every time she opens a fresh Word document she is all of those things and so many more.

Please visit her anytime at





Sometimes one kiss can change everything.

New Year’s Eve is supposed to be a night for celebration and new beginnings. For best friends Kat and Dean, it is a nightmare filled with disastrous dates and enraged ex-girlfriends!

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