How to Write a Short Novel in 5 Steps: Writing Tips for Great Short Story Ideas - Newport Paper House


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How to Write a Short Novel in 5 Steps: Writing Tips for Great Short Story Ideas

Short novels can be just as powerful and moving as longer works of fiction; in fact, some argue that this form can be even more impactful because writing a novella conveys your core message in one stroke. And this is what we will focus on today: How to write a novel effectively?

Short novels are also a great place to take risks, to create things that interest you but might not work in a whole novel. As the prolific novelist, short story writer, and comic book author Neil Gaiman puts it: “Short novels are little windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are trips you can take to the other side of the universe and still make it back in time for dinner.”

What is a short novel?

Short novels are stand-alone works of prose fiction whose function is to impart a moral, capture a moment, or evoke a certain mood. Short stories are often more focused, as all the elements within (plot, characters, pacing, story structure, etc.) must work together to achieve this common goal.

How many words are in a short novel?

A typical novella has a word count of between 20,000 and 70,000, though, as always, there are exceptions to the rule.

5 things you need to learn to write a short novel

There are some common elements to all fiction writing, but novellas specifically feature these:

      A clearly defined state of mind or feeling. This can be a genre (humor, romance, horror); an idea (adultery, childbirth, life lessons); or an emotion (loss, grief, joy). Or it can be a combination, as long as it's cohesive and the point is clear.

      Clear and descriptive language that establishes the concept of the story quickly and without being superfluous.

      A small cast of characters, including a main character and one or more minor characters who must play a vital role in the story. Learn to write characters here.

      A strong point of view. You must know from the beginning what you want to say with your novella. Ask yourself: what do I want people to feel or think when they read my story? Let this point of view be clearly reflected throughout the story.

      experimental elements. Short stories don't necessarily have to stick to traditional storytelling techniques, which means you can feel free to play with certain conventions. For example, while the general advice is that every scene in a story should have a "twist" (changing the emotional charge to its opposite), this need not be the case in a novella. Don't be ashamed to break some rules.

How to write a short novel in 5 steps

Follow this step-by-step guide to writing a great and interesting novella:

      Choose the mood you wish to evoke. This is the feeling or emotion you want to convey to your readers, and all the elements of your story will work together to achieve this.

      Start with a strong opening. Due to the restrictions of the short story format, you won't have much space for exposition. To avoid this, consider starting your story in media res, a writing practice that means opening up in the middle of the action and filling in the details later. This takes you directly to your important scene. It may be the discovery of a corpse, adultery, or an accident.

      Build your story by remembering that you only have a certain number of words. Don't waste time and space. Everything in a short novel must be vital. Read and reread each sentence and ask yourself: does that really need to be there? Does it serve the higher purpose of lighting the mood of your story? As Edgar Allan Poe once said: "A short story should have a single mood, and every sentence should build toward it."

      Land the end. It has all been building up to this key moment. When writing the ending of your novella, focus on the mood you are trying to create: what would be the most satisfying way for the ending to capture this mood? Remember, a short story is still a story, which means the plot should make sense and nothing should be too obvious. Does the ending naturally follow from where the story began? Does it make sense?

      Edit, edit, edit. Spend some time away from your story and come back later with a fresh vision. Once again, keep in mind the key mood you are trying to express. Read your story at least three times, paying attention to how the plot, characters, dialogue, scenes, and settings work together toward a common goal. Be aware of inconsistencies and correct or remove them. Hit anything that is superfluous or slows you down.

How to write a short novel with an idea generator?

Answer any of the following questions as briefly as possible, writing your first answer. Then set a timer for 60 seconds. Use one of your answers to write the opening of a novella: a paragraph or more.

Then reset the timer for 30 minutes and finish the story. You don't have much time, so keep writing. Don't worry about misspellings or structure. Write until the timer stops. And remember this tip:

You can start a short story at any point in the narrative.

      What was the most embarrassing thing you've experienced in recent years?

      When was the last time you cried and what caused it?

      What struck you so much as to leave you speechless?

      What was the best or worst moment of your childhood?

      Have you fantasized about revenge recently? Against whom?

      Imagine that you are on your deathbed looking back on your life: who did you love the most? You have to be brutally honest.

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