The Art of the Novella

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I’ve been trying to figure out how to teach an in-person novella class for years now, but I knew it would be both time and cost prohibitive. I love novellas and I love discussing them and I love reading them and writing them and…

We tried a novella “workshop” kinda sorta after the in-person workshops. I would tell the attendees a short-hand way of doing a novella in the same world they’d been writing in, and then they could submit the finished novella few weeks later.

I don’t think that was satisfying for them. It certainly wasn’t for me. It felt like a Band Aid. Teaching a class in-person would be tough, because I figure it would take a minimum of two weeks. We don’t have a cheap place for people to stay here in Las Vegas, and even if we did, the kind of teaching and writing wouldn’t really blend.

Finally, I decided on a faux in-person workshop. I’m going to do the workshop I planned, only spread over 9 weeks, not counting the writing. After all the learning, the writing starts. Participants turn in their novellas and I will read them. (Note: I will not edit them. People who’ve been to my workshops know that I don’t edit. I read for story.)

I’m very excited about this. More importantly, I think it’ll work.

I planned a leisurely announcement, but success got in the way. I just found out that the novella class that focuses on science fiction is more than half full, and that was only with it being announced to Dean’s people. I want you all to have a chance to get into that one, so I’m announcing now.

I mentioned a science fiction workshop. Yep, there is one, and one for mystery, romance, and fantasy as well. Basically, if you take all four, you’ll get a year of novella writing and learning. (Each genre has a different form.)

So here it is, the announcement. I hope you can join me. Here’s the link.

7 thoughts on “The Art of the Novella

  1. Congratulations on launching your novella workshops! It’s fantastic to see your passion for teaching and sharing your love of novellas with others. Your innovative approach of spreading the workshop over nine weeks to accommodate different constraints is both thoughtful and practical.

  2. “I don’t think that was satisfying for them. It certainly wasn’t for me. ”
    I took the Fantasy Caper follow along and novella add on. I agree in part. I’m not sure how I would’ve done without the Novella Pop Up. However I’m really happy I took the add on. I got feedback for the short story, which was good, and the next day I learned I was out of work.
    The Fantasy Caper novella helped me stay on track. I had a fun goal in addition to job hunting which helped keep me from feeling discouraged from the job loss. It was the first novella I had finished and gave me a confidence boost. The feedback is invaluable. Best of all it helped me get over my aversion of crashing fantasy with the mundane world. I live in Finland which is probably an interesting setting to a lot of people, but I had problems writing magic in a contemporary world. I kind of had an attitude problem of “I already live here, why would I write about it? It’s not fun.” and setting a fantasy caper showed that I can set a fun story in a regular place.
    I’ve written four short stories in the same world since, which I wouldn’t have written if not for the Fantasy Caper Follow Along and Novella Add On.
    Unfortunately I’m traveling in July and low on funds, but I’m happy to see more novella classes. I think several of my (before finding WMG publishing) stories would’ve been novella length, but I got nervous and cut them down to short story length, or didn’t finish the story. The Novella Pop Up and the Novella Add On were a great help and if I get the chance I’ll definitely take more classes on the subject.

      1. I had a look and I might be able to attend the romance novella. I like writing romance and depth is very important in both genres, so that would help as well.
        Also I’ve loved your fantasy romance stories. They’re great fun.

  3. Interested. My husband agreed we could fit it into the budget. I’ve written over 100 fanfic short stories and published 2 dozen original short stories. I’ve never been able to manage a novella. However, I’m a stroke survivor and not sure I could keep up with the class. I’m willing to try if you’ll let a cripple in the class. PS. My website has not been updated in 5 years as I’ve forgotten the password. Would you prefer the URL to my ziSFdb page?

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