The other day, I mentioned a new writing opporunity for those who do erotic romance.
Unfortunately…I can’t write short, but maybe I’ll give it a try.
You know, there’s a trick to writing short. I’ve got… hmmmmm….at least eight ‘quickie’ type stories, as in under 15K. Scads of novellas, between 18-25k. And I’ve learned a few things about writing short stories and novellas, not just from the ones I’ve written, but from the ones I’ve read of others.
Here are a few suggestions and tips:
- Keep it simple. Don’t go excessive on the world building if you’re trying to keep the word count under a certain number. Detailed world building in a short story tends to mean you’re going to skimp in other areas. Consciously or not. It’s going to happen.
- Limit the backstory. Again, if you’re on a limited word count, that backstory is going to take up precious space that you’ll need for the actual hero and heroine’s story. If you have to have that backstory, bear in mind, you might not be able to get everything that you need in under 15K, or whatever the number is.
- Sometimes it’s easier if the hero and heroine already know each other. Maybe they are friends and they’ll be doing the friends to lovers deal. Maybe they hate each other, only to find out that isn’t love…it’s lust! Whatever. If you put together two brand new characters and expect the reader to believe you can make them fall in love in under forty pages, you’re going to have your hands full.
- Keep the secondaries to a bare minimum. A short story doesn’t have room for them.
- Don’t skimp on the plot. Readers want a story, even in a short story, they want a story. The plot has to be there and it needs to be more than just a string of reasons for the hero and the heroine to fall into bed every other paragraph. But because of the word count, bear in mind, you don’t have a lot of room for some earth shattering conspiracy or a clever whodunit, not if you want to tell the hero and the heroine’s story.
Sometimes you find out that a story is going to be longer than you expected. Good Girls Don’t was going to be a quickie type story and ended up going upwards of 30k. If you have a story in mind and you think it’s going to be 15k, don’t be surprised if it goes over. Don’t be afraid to go over. If it’s a good story, you stand a better chance of finding a home if you do the story justice and not skimp the vital areas just to make it the right word length.
Keeping it short and sweet does work for some, not everybody, but some.