Hello Lady Scribes and Readers!
Thank you so much for letting me stop by today to talk about writing short. Since December of 2008, I’ve had a total of eight romance and erotic romance novellas published (3 of which are no longer available), with The Wild Rose Press and Ellora’s Cave.
For many writers the idea of writing short is more daunting than writing a full length novel. When considering writing short, these thoughts may run through your head: “How will I fit it all into 25,000 words or less?” “Will it be too fast paced?” “Will my readers feel satisfied at the end?” “How many love scenes?” “How many secondary characters?” “Is there room for sub-plots?” “Can you have a series of novellas?”
Today, hopefully, I’ll be able to answer those questions for you. Let’s start with the first question:
How will I fit it all into 25,000 words or less?
Believe me, you can fit it all in. Just be careful of what “it all” is. When writing short, the key is to have the story focus on the relationship of your characters, and one or two major conflicts. Don’t think of it as an abridged version, or your readers will too. Shorter works still need just as much planning, all the five senses, showing and not telling. Just as you should in a novel, use the various scenes and dialogue to get your characters personalities, goals, motivations, internal and external conflicts across. Use action and reaction scenes and love scenes. Make sure your story and romance are progressing at an even pace, and that all loose ends are tied up when you finish. My biggest tip for writing short—stay active. Every scene should have something happening. You don’t have time for lulling scenery descriptions, ruminating for an entire chapter or meaningless backstory. You only have a certain number of words, make them count.
Will it be too fast paced?
The answer to this is, yes, if you’re not careful. Remember that this is not a novel, you don’t need all the sub-plots and several secondary characters. You can’t have slower paced chapters where we are only ruminating on previous happenings—this doesn’t mean you can’t have reaction scenes, you can, but don’t waste a whole chapter. Keep the story plot itself relatively simple, with one or two goals per h/h, and one or two conflicts they have to overcome to reach those goals.
Will my readers feel satisfied at the end?
They should! This is a story, first of all, and as long as you tell the story at an even pace, with plenty of conflict, tension and romance thrown in there, as well as a satisfying ending, all loose ends tied up and everyone happy, villains punished, lovers together, disaster avoided, then you’ll be golden.
How many love scenes?
Now this seems to be the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue! It depends. I’ve done some short stories with only one or two love scenes, and others with half a dozen. It depends on your story and how sensual/sizzling/hot/erotic you want it to be. So unfortunately, there is no magic number, but make sure it makes sense for your story and that each love scene moves the story along. This goes for novel-length too. We don’t need any gratuitous love scenes, make it purposeful—even if that purpose is only to show us how much they love each other.
How many secondary characters?
This will also depend on your story. In my own writing, I tend to like have a few. One female confidante for my heroine, one male confidante for my hero and a villain. Sometimes I have more than that, sometimes, it is just a few. Remember that with a shorter story, you don’t have time to develop a bunch of characters, and you want the main story to still be about the hero and heroine and their relationship. Don’t let secondary characters take over, or take away from the main focus of the story.
Is there room for sub-plots?
Yes, there is. But it doesn’t mean you have to have a sub-plot. My MEN OF THE
Can you have a series of novellas?
Absolutely! I myself have had two series with novellas. All the stories are linked, but can stand alone.
What other questions do you have about writing short? Hit me with your best! I’m happy to answer!
The last book in my Men of the Sea Series was released this past April…
Her Captain Dares All
Pursued by kidnappers, Lady Tessa Woodward is running for her life. When handsome Captain Jeremy Williams comes to her rescue in the backstreets of
Captain Jeremy Williams is captivated by Lady Tessa's fiery nature and agrees to give her passage aboard his ship. Once on board, his desire grows and soon reveals a sensual side to the woman he can’t deny. But when danger threatens his lady, will the captain dare all to save her?
Publisher Buy Link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/her-captain-dares-all-p-3992.html
Other Men of the Sea titles: Her Captain Returns, Her Captain Surrenders
Eliza Knight is the multi-published author of sizzling historical romance and erotic romance. While not reading, writing or researching for her latest book, she chases after her three children. In her spare time (if there is such a thing…) she likes daydreaming, wine-tasting, traveling, hiking, staring at the stars, watching movies, shopping and visiting with family and friends. She lives atop a small mountain, and enjoys cold winter nights when she can curl up in front of a roaring fire with her own knight in shining armor. She is represented by McIntosh and Otis, Inc. Visit Eliza at www.elizaknight.com or www.historyundressed.blogspot.com