Short and Sweet Reads: What Are These Novella Things In Jane Austen Fan Fiction?

novella social media picture

Hello everyone,

When I started reading JAFF I chose my books taking into consideration several aspects, and length was definitely one of them. Yes, I was prejudiced towards Novellas! I am ashamed to say it, but there it is.

One day, after reading Compromised by Joy Dawn King, I saw that the first chapter of  The Trouble with Horses by Elizabeth Ann West was available as a bonus, and even though it was late at night, I decided to give it a try. That was the day my eyes were opened towards novellas! I liked the first chapter so much that I immediately bought the novella, read it without stopping and loved it!

And so it was that I left my prejudice behind, accepted that novellas can be just as good as longer stories.

As it was an Elizabeth Ann West novella that opened my eyes, I thought it only befitting to invite her to From Pemberley to Milton to talk a little about this genre.

I hope you like her post, and her very generous offer 🙂 And if you are prejudiced as I once was, who knows, she will open her eyes as well 🙂

 

***Guest Post by Elizabeth Ann West***

I don’t know about you, but I am busy. No. I’m not busy. I am BUSY, with all capitals! Like most readers, the time with my Kindle is my escape – my me-time that even little fingers wriggling under the door like the bathroom can’t ruin. But I don’t have much time, so when I sit down for a Darcy fix, I need a fix and I need it NOW. 🙂

And this is where novellas, a story form as old as novels, are seeing a major resurgence in digital publishing. People are busy. They are squeezing their reading in between lunch breaks, on commuter routes, even while waiting in the school pickup lane! And with a Kindle or Nook or Kobo or iBooks, your entire reading library is with you at all times on your smartphone or tablet.

So is a novella just shorter than a novel?

Technically, yes, the distinction of novel versus novella for many literary awards hinges on word count. But deeper than that, at the story level, a novella is usually either more focused on the main character’s plight or in my case, a serialized, episodic saga. In reading time, a novella usually takes an avid reader about an hour to two hours to read. Just like a TV show!

Novellas can be fun to read because there is something satisfying about that desire for more. If you really think about it, every GREAT story leaves you wanting more. More episodes! More books! More movies! More, more, more! Or even in the case where the author has given an epilogue, please give us a title to explore just that future! Am I right?

There are some who are prejudiced against novellas, that something shorter than a novel cannot possibly be “good.” But believe it or not, there are MANY cherished classic titles that are, you guessed it, novellas! Have you read Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s? What about Camus’ The Stranger? I know, A Christmas Carol, by Dickens, many had to read that book in school. From science fiction (The Time Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) to political satire (Animal Farm), there are award-winning novellas in every genre. It is as authentic of a story-telling art form as a poem, novel, or short story.

I write mostly novellas, and for awhile I struggled with how different that would be for JAFF. But when I really take an inventory of the stories that affected me most, outside of Pride & Prejudice, which admittedly I was a late comer to appreciating that story, it is short stories and novellas that have most imprinted on my mind. Ray Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day and Ayn Rand’s Anthem plus a few unnamed short-stories in anthologies, all of these stories are as fresh as memories in my brain. I feel those stories when I think about them.

Perhaps that is just the power of those authors, but a big part of it is the laser focus those stories offer on the main characters and their struggles. Throw in a love for twists in stories like The Twilight Zone or Jeffrey Archer’s A Twist in the Tale and Twelve Red Herrings and you end with an author like me: a lover of writing novellas with high drama and a twist on the ending.

Try A Novella, FREE!

I would like to invite all of the wonderful readers here at From Pemberley to Milton to try a digital novella on me. I am offering any of my novellas in my Seasons of Serendipity series which is an ongoing saga reimagining what if Mr. Bennet died at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice. If series are not your preference, I also have The Trouble With Horses which imagines Darcy fell off his horse and Elizabeth saved him, and Very Merry Mischief, which wonders what might have needed to happen to get our dear couple together if Darcy never returned to Hertfordshire after Lady Catherine’s upbraiding of our favorite heroine. Not only that, but I will personally sign your file with my own technological magic!

Simply leave a comment on this post with your opinion on novellas, or any question you might have and fill out the Google Form here (http://goo.gl/forms/dQa7wOJ67p) and I will work through the list to send the novellas out to everyone who requests one. Yes. Everyone. This giveaway will contemplate all entries until the 6th of February inclusive.

You can read more about the books available on my catalog page here : http://www.elizabethannwest.com/roseroom/

my books that are available

Thank you so much for joining me today on From Pemberley to Milton and hopefully if you do not already read novellas, you will give them a chance! You never know when a short and sweet read will become a new favorite! XO

***Author Bio***

Author photo Elizabeth Ann West Cancelled smallerElizabeth Ann West is a Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none! Author of 7 novellas and 3 novels, her books have won reader awards and been purchased in over 20 different countries. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from a small liberal arts university in Virginia, she has worked for Walt Disney World, Alcoa, volunteered as an ombudsman for the U.S. Navy and moves wherever her husband’s military career sends them! Currently living in upstate New York, she is a mother of two, loves to fence, and has a soft spot for Japanese RPG video games.

***

I would like to thank Elizabeth for this wonderful guest post, which I personally find very interesting, her generosity in the giveaway, and her kindness in making every single copy a special and personalised one.

Thank you for coming to From Pemberley to Milton Elizabeth!

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Short and Sweet Reads: What Are These Novella Things In Jane Austen Fan Fiction?

  1. I love and embrace novellas. I still read novels, but novellas are a wonderful fix.

    Denise

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Theresa M

    This article/interview has given my pause…I usually don’t pay too much attention to novellas. I look at the length and then the price and think that my book budget would be better served by a longer novel. Having said that, I do realize the author deserves to be paid for the story! I would love to try a stand alone…Very Merry Mischief would be delightful.
    Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to be like you Theresa, until I read my first novella. Now I look at them differently, and I do enjoy some of them very much! A Very Merry Mischief was one of those I truly enjoyed 😉 good choice! Don’t forget to fill the Google form to receive your copy from Elizabeth 🙂

    Like

  4. I admit I prefer a long novel but I have started reading novellas, and have found that having enjoyed the story I wish they were longer

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you everyone for visiting today! My day sorta derailed, but I was able to pop in now! I know novellas aren’t for everyone. 🙂 Next time I visit, I promise it will be something fun with my novels.

    I will start working through the list this weekend and getting the signed files out to everyone! 🙂 Please make sure you fill out the google form so I know what book, file type, and where to send it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Gail Brosnan

    I definitely prefer novels, but novellas are useful when I have a short time and want a complete read. I am not a fan of the trend to sell 18, 25, or 40 page short stories/snippets as a novella for novella prices. To be honest, I find this new trend very off-putting for me personally.

    I have already purchased all of your novellas except for A Very Merry Mischief, so may I please have that one? Thank you!

    Like

  7. Gail B.

    I prefer novels, but novellas can be great when I don’t have much time and I want to finish my quick read in one sitting. Novellas are shorter than novels, so I find that I am more critical of novellas that are not well written since they have fewer words and less chances for explanations, so I expect tighter writing. I am not a particular fan of the recent trend of selling short stories or snippets (with page lengths of 15; 18; 25; 40; etc.) at a novella price. I find it off-putting for me as a reader and it makes me more wary of shorter stories as a whole. That being said, I have no problem purchasing a novella or a book (even a short one) of short stories that is marketed as such.

    I have already purchased all but “A Very Merry Mischief ,” so I will request that one. Thank you very much!

    Like

  8. Sophia Rose

    It took me a while to figure out that I could like a novella. I got a hold of a few that were written poorly- either they were rushed and didn’t allow me to connect or they were actually a novel pretending to be a novella and needed more pages to develop the story. But some writers do well with the novella format and I learned that I could love them. And exactly for the reason Elizabeth suggested- shortness of time. 🙂

    Haven’t read any of her books yet, but I do have the first of her Seasons on my shelf. I love the sound of the horse one. 🙂

    Like

  9. Nicolé

    I love all your books and always looking forward to read a new one – as I already own all of your books there is no need to sent me a book – just keep writing

    Like

  10. Glynis

    I agree because I would never read novellas. My favourite books are the 2 volume set Imperative by Linda Wells which total 1600 pages of bliss. However I have since read a few novellas being tempted by the storylines as well as a couple of anthologies led by Then Comes Winter.and I have enjoyed them. I do have A Winter Wrong and I would really like The Trouble With Horses. What a lovely gift Idea thank you. 📚😊

    Like

  11. Maria

    I have to admit to having once some prejudice against novellas as well, it took me a long time before buying anything shorter than 200 pages. But as I began to read them, I realized that they were more focused, more to the point. I mean, long novels sometimes takes tooooo long to solve the issues, or they have to come up with some crazy stuff to prevent the final happy ending until the very last chapter, and that began to tire me. So now I read novellas and I like them so much that I’ve decided to try to write my own. Who knows….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Diana

    I don’t really understand the prejudice against novellas. I’ve always read them and Elizabeth made a a very good list of great novellas of all kinds. I can’t wait to read Very merry mischief!

    Like

  13. I like whatever Elizabeth Ann West writes – long or short – PERIOD. This was a terrific post and I thank you both for sharing this excellent information. Keep typing, EAW!!!

    Like

  14. Enjoyed your post, Elizabeth. I like novellas because I have a tendency to not stop reading until I’ve finished. That means more late night reading when I should be sleeping. I think it’s great that your novellas are doing well. In a way, they are harder to write because we don’t have the novel length to do everything: plot, character development, etc. Our writing has to be very tight and still cover all the bases. I’ve enjoyed your novellas, and I look forward to your future ones. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Novellas, to me are awesome. Kind of like those delicious snacks you can’t get enough of, just the right size to leave you satisfied yet wanting for more! 😉

    Like

  16. Whitney Thomas

    I’ve already bought and read all of Elizabeth’s books (and just over the last few weeks)! Her books were actually what introduced me to fan fiction in general, but I particularly love that is is based on my favorite Austen novel. I’ve just started trying to find new Pride and Prejudice fan fiction, but so far nothing has been as enthralling as Elizabeth’s works. I can’t wait for more! Thank you Elizabeth, for introducing me to this wonderful new world. Reading your stories has been a pleasure. My favorites have been the “Seasons” series, so please write faster! Lol. I can’t wait to see what happens next. 🙂

    Like

  17. vicky917

    I chose The Trouble with Horse oh and I want to read the Jane Austin novella’s now to! Thank you for introducing me to the world of novellas.I ashamed to say I’ve never heard of them I love to read the thicker book the better. I am in college now going back at the age of 51 and as you said I”m not finding the time unless it’s late night in bed or in hiding so this is going to be an awesome perfect new experience for me! Thank you for the book ! Your awesome! Following Stay humble.
    #humblebeginningsnsuchwithvicky

    Like

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