So during a conversation with my friend Cyndi yesterday, she happened to mention that she was working on a Nocturne Bite.
She was kind enough to educate me that this is a division of Harlequin, really short paranormals (10-15k), intended for epub. I immediately said that I’d never be able to tell a whole story in that little space. Well I hopped on over anyway to check out the guidelines because I was curious. And, well, it would be a great way to get a toe-hold into paranormal publishing. The hard part? Thinking up a story, any story, that I can tell in only 15k.
15k is a short story to me. I think the shortest book I’ve ever written was the YA paranormal I started with was over 80k. I won a few writing contests with short stories in high school, but that’s ancient history and the pieces were, frankly, boring and trite and the only reason I won was because I could do the mechanics of English much better than my compatriots of the same age. So yeah, writing an entire tale in 15k would be a challenge of enormous proportions for me.
I’d have to plot the whole thing out, hands down, before I started so that I don’t go off on the tangents that I’m prone to. It would have to be a single plot, no sub-threads, and that opening scene would have to launch into the story world. I don’t have a clue what I could possibly write about in that span, but I’ll keep mulling over it. In all likelihood I’ll fail miserably because, let’s face it, keeping it simple is so not my strong suit. But I want to try because I think I can learn something from the exercise. At 15k, I could have a rough draft written in 3 weeks, and finishing anything that fast would be a real confidence booster.
So yeah, that’ll be my not so sekrit project to play with. Maybe I’ll come up with something by the end of summer while I continue to plug away on HiS.
For those of you who write novellas, how the heck do you do it?