At the end of last year I set myself a target to write my own books. I have in the past co-written published a children’s adventure story and still have two more that are near finished but need editing and publishing. I wanted to do something for myself that I could have total control over.
It wasn’t that collaboration with another author didn’t work for me as it has been great fun and still continues to be as i don’t intend to give up writing with someone else anytime soon. It was just the need to do my own thing in a Genre that lights my fire!
Choose a genre or multiple genres?
I particularly like Crime, detective, adventure and sci-fi and so I have made the decision to follow that route with sci-fi being the lead and the the other genres playing their part.
Some authors stick rigidly to one genre but as a creative writer I don’t think that will suit me – time will tell!
How many words make a book?
I initially thought that a full length book would be too much or a pain for a first go and decided to write an anthology of short stories of around 3000 words each. This felt good as I created three good short sci-fi stories very quickly. on my fourth I got so deep into the story that it got longer and longer and I stopped and took stock.
I recognised what had happened. Like fitness training the first three had knocked away the rust, procrastination and given me a huge surge of enthusiasm and optimism. A book was the right way to go and to shove a safety net in place I am going to call this fifth attempt a novella. There are various categories for book word length:
Short Story – Under 7500 Words
Novelette – Under 17,499 Words
Novella – 17,500-39,999 Words
Book – 40,000 Words +
If I aim for a Novella of just under 40,000 words and it works as a complete story so be it. If I exceed that because the story needs more length to complete so be it. It’s a bit of ‘loose planning’ but at least it gives the comfort of not being shackled to a strict word limit.
Total control of the book (or novella!)
The other flexible piece of this equation is that I will be publishing it as an indie author so there are no constraints from any traditional publisher. No-one telling me to increase or decrease the book-length to suit the market.