Novellas are hard

I am thinking about writing a novella but I am having a very hard time deciding what I want to write about. A novella is harder to write than a novel because you have to say something important, build great characters and resolve their issues but you have to do it in less than forty thousand words.

There is also the fact that the great novellas intimidate me. My favorite novellas include Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ a novella that changed Christmas in the West forever. Of Mice and Men, probably the greatest story about human relationships I have ever read, The Old Man and The Sea for which Hemingway won the Nobel and perhaps the greatest Novella of all time; The Metamorphosis by Kafka. Some call A clockwork Orange a novella but I have never thought of it as such, I classify it as a novel (and for the sake of trivia, it is my favorite novel ever written.)

My tastes run to the shorter works of literature. I have recently read both Slaughterhouse 5 which I loved and War and Peace which I liked.

A novella has to make an impact, it has to be strong and it has to change the way the reader thinks for it to have any impact. A novella is something people can carry in their pockets, they can be taken anywhere making them valuable to the busy reader and a lot of high schools like to teach novellas because the short length can be consumed by the students in a matter of weeks.

At the moment I have my new novel The Bomber back from the editors, so I am busy with my edits. It is going well so far, I am changing a few loose spots and tightening them up so it will look its best when it is released in June 2015, but while doing these edits my mind is racing to what I am going to write next. I think I will attempt the great novella, something that will fit in a pocket but might change the world.

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