Novelette is my preference

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
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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?

This entry was posted in Insecure Writer's Support Group, Olga Godim, Writing, Writing Tips and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Novelette is my preference

  1. That’s awesome! Hope lots of those readers seek out your books.

  2. I love that you have found a length and style which works for you.
    When and if I write, micro flash fiction suits me best.

  3. Loni Townsend says:

    It’s nice when you find that spot that works for you. For me, it really depends on what I’m writing. The big books are in the 180K range, where my Cera Chronicles are in the 25K zone. I’ve written a few short stories, but only when I’ve got the inspiration to. I’ve tried a few times to write a short story for contests and whatnot, but it’s pretty difficult for me.

  4. ChrysFey says:

    I adore novellas/novelettes. I’ve written many stories in those word count ranges. 🙂

  5. I’ve written very long to average. Now I am doing four novelettes that will comprise one book.

  6. jenlanebooks says:

    That’s a cool story about how you arrived at your ideal length. Thank goodness for so many options for writers today when it comes to publishing!

  7. Erika Beebe says:

    I’m happy you’ve found what makes you happy in writing Olga 🙂

  8. emaginette says:

    Finding the perfect length for a story can be hard. I tried stretching a short into a novel with very limited success. The good news was I learned a lot doing it, bonus. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  9. Jenni says:

    How interesting how your writing evolved from novels to short stories to novellas. I’m glad you found the length that worked for you. I’m really enjoying writing short stories right now, although I keep thinking in terms of novel length plots.

  10. Carrie-Anne says:

    We always find the length that works best for us. I naturally write at saga length, and while my Atlantic City books tend to be under 100K, they’d easily be much longer if I combined the ones that lead right into one another.

  11. soniadogra says:

    That’s a huge number of readers. It’s so wonderful! I’ve only been trying short stories for anthologies. Flash fiction too. But I do think I would like to venture further. Don’t know how long that will take. But so nice it worked for you.

  12. Denise Covey says:

    I’m glad for your success on wattpad, but I just can’t find the time. My yet-to-be-published vampire series averages 60,000+ words per book, but my yet-to-be-published novel set in Paris is currently at 120,000 words and will be trimmed to 95,000. All good.

  13. patgarcia says:

    Hi,
    Congratulations on your success at Wattpad. I am a member of Wattpad but don’t use the platform. I want to use it for my short stories which are also above the 6K limit for most short story publications. I need to start moving in that direction. After I get my novel submitted, I will look at Wattpad. I have already had some of the stories edited so now the ball is back in my park as what to do next.
    Take care and all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  14. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Awesome that you know what you like to write and that Wattpad has been such a good way for you to share your stories.

  15. yvettecarol says:

    I think that’s perfect if you can find your niche naturally like that, as if it was waiting for you to slip into it all the time. 🙂

  16. I’m more of a short story writer because I’ve always found that I don’t focus as well well when trying to write a novel. However, I am writing a novella now but am struggling with it, yet I find it a fun challenge.

    It’s so true that the short story market’s word count limitation is so confining today. I don’t remember it being so confining 10 years ago.

  17. Diane Burton says:

    Congrats on finding what works for you!

  18. I’m glad you found the perfect length for your stories and a way to get them out there. I love short story length the best, but they’re sometimes at the higher word counts.

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