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Thoughts on Novelettes

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De Chelonian Mobile View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 Jul 2017 at 10:15pm
I've been thinking about writing a novelette or a series of novelettes for some time and was wondering what thoughts this group has on the format.

With attention spans getting shorter by the minute, I think short stories are going to become more marketable.

Writing stories in the 10,000 word range (give or take), would give readers something that almost any reader, regardless of reading speed, could finish in the amount of time it would take to watch a movie. But it is enough of a word count to really flesh out a story and characters. 

Because of printing costs, digital publication would, in most cases be the only viable form of publication, but if you wrote a series of stories, 4 - 6 novelette they could be hard copy published to be the size of a standard novel. 

I think I'm going to start writing a novelette tonight.

Has anyone here written or published a novelette or have any thoughts or ideas on the subject?

Edited by De Chelonian Mobile - 27 Jul 2017 at 10:16pm
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Archon1995 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Archon1995 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2017 at 11:25pm
You'd be surprised at how much you can fit into that length while still developing characters. I have a SF novelette in an anthology, and was able to incorporate setting details as the story progressed as well as character development.

It helps to have a base setting and culture that is generally familiar to most readers. Modern day, many types of near(ish) future, more-or-less standard fantasy, etc. Some of what used to be "out there" settings are more familiar in recent years. Think Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Firefly/BSG/The Expanse, steam/dieselpunk, and superhumans. But the more words you need to show the differentness of the setting, the less you have to show the story itself.

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, any fiction you want published should be submitted to paying markets first. Self-publishing is viable, but should be pursued once you're certain it's not going to be accepted by a magazine or anthology. There may be nothing wrong with it, but it's just not what editors are looking for.

Self-publishing has opened a lot of doors to people who weren't being published through traditional means, but the drawback is that you have to do all the work yourself or pay for it yourself. The vast majority of self-pubbed stuff loses money even when you do most of the work yourself in formatting, cover design, etc. While paying for professional-grade editing, cover design, and so forth vastly improves your chances, they do cost...inexpensive services are unlikely to be at the same quality. You get what you pay for.

And let's face it, we've all had a giggle (or facepalm) at some of the self-pubbed things out there. Stuff you'd be embarrassed to offer yourself, or so far into left field you wonder at the mind who thought anyone else would want to read it. Chuck Tingle is about the only person I can think of who managed to get widespread name recognition going that route, and his works are...idiosyncratic.

Absolutely, write it. (And ping me when it comes time for beta reading, mkay?) But hold off on self-pub until you have a reasonably high stack of rejections.  Wink
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