ebook: 14 October 2016
It’s a pleasure to welcome back to the blog, author Rebecca Bradley. Three Weeks Dead was published yesterday and is available in ebook. My Amazon copy has landed on my Kindle and I’m looking forward to it. You can see Rebecca’s previous guest post here, on the subject of choosing poison as a mode of murder.
The Differences between writing a novel and a novella
I want to thank Karen for having me on the blog today. I asked if anyone was able to host me and Karen offered immediately. So, thank you, Karen.
Yesterday I released a novella, Three Weeks Dead. It’s a prequel to my debut novel, Shallow Waters and is from the point of view of one of the characters who went through quite the ordeal in the debut. I thought readers might be interested to know how the character started life in the Major Crimes Unit (as it was then known).
Karen wondered about how different it was writing a novella to writing a novel.
Well, let me be honest here. I thought I’d be able to ‘just knock out a novella – after all, it’s a lot less words than a novel, it shouldn’t take me long at all.’
Who was I kidding?
A novella might be a quarter the length of a novel but readers don’t want a quarter the effort, or a quarter the story depth. You’re not using a quarter the story-telling skills. And I didn’t realise this until I was halfway through.
I’d merrily been typing away, telling my story, when I realised I was hitting the wall I always hit when I was writing a novel. The middle slump. This was in fact, an identical process to writing a novel.
I couldn’t progress. I was stuck. I didn’t know how to move forward. I didn’t know how to fix what I’d done. It took me weeks of pure thinking time, mulling over the story in my head before I could type any other words. I was amazed that I could be in this place with something that I had thought could be an easy project. But, I wanted to produce a quality work, not just a quick work, and that meant getting it right.
With the novella you have to be careful you don’t have too many characters because you don’t have enough space and time to introduce them and this makes figuring out who does what and how, complex. Especially if you want to place any red herrings in a crime story!
The novella, still needs a beginning, middle and end, it still needs character depth and progression, and it still needs its world to be complete. Yes, it is a lot shorter and you can’t go as in-depth as you would with a novel, in some areas. But it is still a whole. A taster. But a complete and rounded taster.
I prefer novel writing. I like the space to wander and explore my world and the worlds of my characters, but I enjoyed finding out how the novella worked and if I decide to do it again, I’ll definitely be a lot more prepared next time!
About the book:
How far would you go if someone took your wife?
Especially, if you buried her a week ago.
When Jason Wells is faced with this scenario, he is confronted with the prospect of committing a crime that will have far-reaching consequences.
Can young DC Sally Poynter get through to him before he crosses that line, or does a desperate husband prove to be the case she won’t ever forget?
A prequel novella, set before Shallow Waters, the first in the DI Hannah Robbins series.
For fans of James Patterson’s Book Shots.
About the author:
Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective who lives in Nottinghamshire with her family and two cockapoo’s Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.