Posted by at Jan 23, 2013 10:43 am

I’m really tired this morning because I only got about five hours sleep. Why?

The reading slump is over…

It’s a novella and it’s both charming and intriguing…not from a suspense perspective, but from it’s characters. Both of them are interesting and nothing like I’ve ever read before. I needed something short, something that wouldn’t tax my brain (in a suspense/whodunit way), but was FRESH…and this was it! The way Courtney Milan wrote around novella expectations to craft an intense “slice of life” for her characters is a testament to her talent.

I happen to love novellas. I never, EVER think they are “too short” because, well, the length is precisely why I read them.

I think the romance community has a disadvantage in that there is not a deep history of short stories in our psyche. Horror, sci-fi, mystery and fantasy all have a long history of short stories and novellas that goes back centuries. But romance has been a construct of the full novel, from Jane Austen until today. Yes, novellas are increasingly popular, but readers expect–based on what they’ve read before–to have the same reading experience with a novella that they do with a novel. Readers that I’ve encountered seem to want full character arc, a windy plot and multiple love scenes in stories that are less than 40,000 words…and that’s a pretty tall order.

When I was teaching high school, short stories were the bread and butter of my curriculum. My students could fully immerse themselves in the horror of the “Cask of Amontillado” without knowing the real reason why the narrator was walling up his rival and burying him alive. They could appreciate “Hills Like White Elephants” without the characters having names or even, to be honest, knowing precisely what they were talking about (abortion.) They could debate for hours over whether the hapless young lover in “The Lady or the Tiger?” lived or died at the end.

But for some reason, romance shorts and novellas have to conform to the exact same set of expectations as a full romance novel.

Am I wrong about this? Thoughts?


10 thoughts on “YAWN……..

  1. 1
    Katie says:

    Can I just “like” this post. I’m still kind of tired and it’s so true. That’s one thing I love about ” compilation” novels.

  2. 2
    Sue G. says:

    I love shorter romance stories. Sometimes I just want to read a fun, happy book in one night. Sometimes, when it ends up being a great book, I am disappointed that it didn’t last longer, but that’s ok. I just move on to a larger book!

  3. 3
    Donna M says:

    There are times when I am very happy to read a shorter story. Maybe it depends on the talent of the author or what you are expecting when you read something shorter.

    I’m so glad you were able to end your reading drought. :cheer:

  4. 4
    Nikki H says:

    I’m so glad to hear about this novella, since I already bought it! Thanks!

    • 4.1
      Julie Leto says:

      I finished it last night…it was so good. The heroine is so complicated…I really appreciated the process she had to go through in order to accept her love for the hero. And he was yummy! So SMART and forthright…no game-playing, except in his bid to win his woman. A very different story, but just so engaging!

  5. 5
    Eileen R says:

    I love novellas. It is a quick fix on those evenings when I want a little something to relax me and take me away.

  6. 6
    Patoct says:

    I don’t read a lot of novellas or anthologies, but sometimes I am in the mood for some short reads. But yes, they must hold up to my usual standard, good storyline, likeable h/h.

  7. 7
    judy says:

    :partygroup: Love a novellas every once in awhile for a change. Love hard back books if they are not to heavy, my hands will not hold a havey book. :coffee: :flag: :flag:

    • 7.1
      Julie Leto says:

      One reason why I read with an e-reader…after typing all day, my hands can’t “handle” holding a book open anymore…not even a paperback. :drama:

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