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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 10/21/2008 2:05 AM PDT
Thank you so much! That was helpful!
Posted: 10/6/2008 1:47 PM PDT
A novella is shorter than a novel, and longer than a short story. It's kind of a fuzzy category, and there's no hard and fast word or page guideline that'll let you know for sure whether something is a novel or a novella -- but, in general, I'd say that anything over 60 pages and fewer than 150 is a novella.
Posted: 10/5/2008 12:02 AM PDT
melissa - teach me. You used the word novella. What is the difference in terminology between the words novella and novel? any? I am not writing about it, I just notice it and it bugs me I don't know. Thanks!!!
Posted: 9/29/2008 1:08 PM PDT
Oh yeah, I just remembered that the movie Stand by Me was based on a Stephen King novella.
Posted: 9/29/2008 1:06 PM PDT
By the way, if you don't believe me about the detrimental effects of knowing how a story ends before you've written it, try this:
Write a 2-line rhyming poem. It must be about cheese, and it must end with the words "with a knife."
Now, write another 2-line rhyming poem. It must be about cheese, too, but you can end it any way you like.
Which rhyme was more fun to write? Which took longer? Which one turned out better?
Posted: 9/29/2008 12:56 PM PDT
A few comments:
1) You know about the movie "Stand by Me," right? That was one of the hottest movies going when I was in junior high school.
2) It's not always the best idea to title a book before you write it. It locks you into a preconceived notion of what the book must be, which can lead to blockage. I like using working titles, or no titles at all, until I'm done with a first draft.
3) I'm not going to give you specific ideas about where to go with the body of your book -- other WEbookers might choose to chime in on that, but I'm of the "Give a man a fish / Teach a man to fish" school of thought, at least as far as this forum goes. I will say this: I've noticed a really strong trend here in 911 Writer's Block. Many people who complain about writer's block claim they either "know how the story ends" or at least "know what happens next." This leads me to hypothesize that "knowing" how a story "goes" before it's actually written can CAUSE writer's block. You refer to the "body" of your book as if it's just the stuff that comes between the beginning of the story, which you've already written, and the end, which you already have planned. It's more than this -- much more than either the ending or the beginning, it is THE STORY.
And now a few recommendations:
1) Try forgetting that you know how the story ends. Maybe it will end that way. But maybe something will happen while you're writing the rest of the story that will suggest a much more exciting ending. Not knowing for sure how a story will end until you write the ending makes writing feel more alive and adventurous.
2) You say you've developed the characters "in your mind" -- try developing them on the page. Instead of just "knowing" how you want them to act around each other, come up with some situations and write some scenes in which they actually interact. Do this even if you don't have any idea where or even whether those scenes will belong in the book.
Posted: 9/28/2008 12:56 PM PDT
I am writing a novel titled 'Stand By Me'. I got this grand idea last weekend from the song 'Stand By Me' by John Lennon (I'm a huge Beatles fan). Anyways! I have written the first two chapters and the Introduction and Inciting Force has already happened. I know how the story will end but I'm having some problems with the body. If you could all do me the great favor of reading the first two chapters, and give me some feedback of what I have so far, and some ideas for what could happen next, I would appreciate it. I have developed the characters already in my mind and I know how I want them to react around eachother, but ack! They're in the forest, how will they survive? How will they live? This is what I need help with.