It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
AUGUST QUESTION: Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?
MY ANSWER: I started out by writing novels. It was before the self-publishing phenomenon exploded, before Amazon even. Like many beginner writers, I had trouble finding a publisher for my novels. One of the advices I got at that time – from several writing textbooks and teachers – was that to improve my chances of publication, I needed to write short stories and submit them to magazines and anthologies.
I followed that advice and even got some of my short stories published. But most short story markets have a word limit, and it is not generous: usually 3 to 5 thousand words. I wanted more words to explore my stories and my characters.
At about that time, I discovered wattpad – a popular self-publishing platform. So I started writing a longer story specifically for wattpad. Not a novel, I knew that, but I didn’t want to restrict myself to the 5K word limit either. I just had a story in mind and wrote it without putting a tight ceiling on my word count. The story sort-of morphed itself into a novella. By now, my novella Fibs in the Family on wattpad has over 59 thousand readers and is ranked #69 in the Regency category (out of more than a thousand other regency romances).
Since then, novellas or novelettes (between 10K and 25K words) have become a story length I’m most comfortable with. I don’t want to write novels anymore, and a short story (up to 6K words) seems too confining.
What about you? What story length is in your zone?