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  • Writer's pictureJohn Watson

Why So Short?

One thing that I commonly see when people review my books is that they wish it was longer. I look at this as a positive, as it means they wanted more of the story, but it also begs the question as to why I write so many novellas. There are a couple of reasons, so let's get into the details now.

The main reason why I tend to lean towards novellas is that it's basically how I write. I'm not a fan of fluff and filler, so I like to keep my stories short and tight. It's perhaps because I spent so many years writing flash fiction and shorts that has made me develop this style.

The second reason was a bit more measured, if I am being honest. I am now 53 years old and have a ton of story ideas on my head, all of which I want to get out at some point. For 2021, my goal was to increase the number of titles in my back catalog on Amazon, after which I would slow down a little and maybe look at writing books that fall into the short novel category in 2022. I have 1 novella planned as part of a series by a collection of authors, as well as 3 standalones. The latter may fall on the larger side, but who really knows.

I also read a post recently on a FB group where someone asked what horror readers prefer in terms of book length. The overwhelming majority fell on the side of the novella. I have no idea why that is the case, but perhaps it's because they love to devour as many books as I do.

The fact of the matter is that I have always felt that a story is as long as it needs to be. No more, no less. Honestly, unless I've been asked to contribute a novella to a series, I don't really go in with any set word count in mind. I simply write until the story is told. I hope all of this answers the "Why so short?" question.


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