One of the links I posted the other day was to the new digital series from Salt Publishers called Modern Dreams. It will be a series of novellas concerning contemporary urban life in modern day Britain.
This got me to thinking about novellas.
I really like reading novellas and I love writing them. For someone who spends most of her time with her Poet Hat on it is a great length to write prose. Novellas tend to be between 20k and 45k. Salt are looking for pieces between 20-30k words. It’s a good length to develop a story and characters but to keep it focused on a narrow thematic window.
Novellas seem to have gone out of fashion lately – there are still great ones to be found but they are not celebrated as much. These lists from Flavorwire, Bookriot and Listverse show how good novellas can be but we’re not getting as many.
Discussing this with a friend he suggested that people don’t see slender books as good value for money – I think Salt have cracked this brilliantly by making the series all ebooks. The price can be a little lower and you aren’t picking it off the shelf. It’s also fantastic as Salt are poetry publishers and know the ins and outs of selling books without the bulk! It’s also a great medium for genre writers – as evidenced by the number of fantasy, horror and sci-fi books on the list. Big ideas in fewer words – no wonder it appeals to the poet in me.
I am getting a submission ready to send to Salt but they have already set off lots of fireworks in my head for other novellas that I would like to write. I also hope that it reinvigorates the medium and that we get lots more novellas appearing.
If you have any suggestions of modern novellas or classic favourites, please let me know.