Reaching for the Stars, My First Half of 2021 Writing Goals

Last year and in the first couple of weeks of 2021 I received encouraging editorial feedback on short fiction (short stories and one novelette). But zero feedback on my haunted house novel.

Perhaps, thinks me, I need a bridge between short fiction and novels, something to push my storytelling skills to longer lengths. Hm, whatever could I do? Anyone? Anyone? You in the back. A novella, you say? Excellent answer!

In fact, let’s write more than one.

My goal is to write three novellas by June 30th and work on using short fiction storytelling skills in my longer fiction. I’ve started the first novella. For my second one I’m going to rewrite the draft of my wasp novel, and I’m still thinking on the third.

Why not reach for the stars? Just to make it more challenging, all three novellas will be related. Horror? Oh yes. Critters and wasps and ancestors and oppression? Yup. How ’bout a foreign setting? You bet!

Speaking of stars, the feature image of this post is the beautiful M42 nebula in the Orion constellation. Dear Husband took the photo through a telescope.

Teagan Geneviene recently released the first “journey” in her serial fantasy novel, Dead of Winter. The serial installments are called journeys because the characters travel to different lands throughout the series. Isn’t that clever? I am reading the first journey, Forlorn Peak, and I am smitten with the main character, a precocious 12-year-old named Emlyn.

78 thoughts on “Reaching for the Stars, My First Half of 2021 Writing Goals

  1. I love reading novellas, and wrote one of my own over the winter of 93/94. Nowadays, I would be loathe to write another because they are so hard to sell here in the UK. Most literary agents/publishers won’t touch them unless they’re from established names. I’m not sure what the situation is in the US.

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  2. I think we have a ways to go in convincing editors that haunted houses are not “already-done” territory… and I think the challenge to us as Horror writers remains a big one to successfully re-grow Horror into novel-length stories again. For publication now, however, I wonder what would happen if you either re-wrote the novel into a novella, or sequenced it out and marketed it as a serial piece?

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  3. That sounds like a good goal to me, and hopefully using your short fiction skills in a bit of a longer works out well. I like these kind of writing exercises. All the best with writing three of them!

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  4. I am as impressed with your ambition to write three novellas in six months as I am the beautiful photo that Dear Hubby took. If my math is correct, that is one novella every two months! Wow!

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    1. Thanks, Fawn. I guess it’s all relative. Some indie authors pump out a full novel every four months, gasp! (Jessica Brody comes to mind.) But we know of authors who take years at a time, too, like Michael Chrichton and Audrey Niffenegger. My plan is to keep my eyes on my own paper and not worry what the other kids are doing.:-) I’m glad you stopped by!

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    1. Thanks, Pat. I’ll let Dear Husband know you liked his photo. I haven’t finished Teagan’s new book, but it’s fun so far, and it’s short, so I’ll probably finish it today. I spent a semester in China, so I am going to use China as the setting.:-) I’m glad you popped by!

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  5. We seem to be taking a similar path, Priscilla! I’m currently in the process of writing a series of Gothic novellas, all three to be released this year. I’m having fun writing them and finding them a great way to build myself up for writing those novels. I have a couple of novels in draft form, but they’ve always fallen short on word count. You have some great goals and I wish you the best of luck with them. And yes, that is a great photo! 🙂

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