Here is a fun idea for the wordily challenged: stop doing all of these silly novels, and do Novellas? Fun fun. I like this.

Sooo….. where do we start?


A novella has generally fewer conflicts than a novel, yet more complicated ones than a short story. The conflicts also have more time to develop than in short stories. They have endings that are located at the brink of change. Unlike novels, they are not divided into chapters, and are often intended to be read at a single sitting, as the short story, although white space is often used to divide the sections.

-Wikipedia, Novella

Ah, even better. The stress and lengthy plot holes are no longer the enemy. I tend to think my stories are more suited for a short form, because I like to just write what I need. Okay, so where did Jessica get the idea for this new tangent?

An innocent little thread suggesting a much more tame literary goal and more art. I think this may be just the vacation and kick in the shins we’ve been looking for! *clasps hands*

The length of a Novella [you just want to capitalize that word every time you type it, don’tcha?] varies depending on what Literary Snot you reference. Short stories are typically 2,000 to 8,000 words; whereas a Novella is considered anywhere up to 40,000. Pretty much frees up a lot of rules, doesn’t it? Though getting too short–flash fiction, that is–might take away the whole point. Anyone can write a 700 word scene. Anyone can write 12 of them in a year, unless they are REALLY creatively challenged.

So think on this, and who knows? Maybe we can make our own little unofficial club, putting together nice little vignettes of excellence, looking maybe-not-as-snottily over the manor common at the Wordsmiths that type Epics at the snap of a greenbean.

On a side note, there may be a Reader’s Book Awards 2012 and Post-NaNo Teen Blog coming soon… keep a orb out for that!

….Don’t ask me where a Novelette fits into this, okay?

 Peppermint Hugs, -Jessie


Going back to sane writing, finally.

I decided that writing 20k in six days was unreasonable. I, Jessica, had broken my all-time record and wrote 3,400 in one day this month. I wrote the funniest lines I had ever thought up, and some of the worst. But I did not choose to drive myself batty and get to 50k on November 30th. I did not quit. I did not, and if you stopped because it was seeming unreasonable, do NOT feel bad. Even some of the people like Chris Baty and the crew over there never win. Even famous writers don’t win.

I, however, did flip-flop. You see, I started out this month on the Young Writer’s program, with a goal of 30k. But I wanted to be fresh and exciting, so I went to the adult site. I thought I could make it. And I could have, had I not started the first 9 days with a goal of thirty thousand words. I simply did not get the right momentum going for it. So I caved and validated on Young Writer’s program just a bit ago. The only thing that saddens me is that I did not stick with the YWP, as I would have liked to use it as many years as possible. It is a great site.

Do not feel downtrodden, fellow writers. Would you have written those 10 thousand, forty thousand, or 19 thousand twenty-three words this month had you not been determined and encouraged to make some serious progress? Perhaps try looking at NaNoWriMo not as reaching the goal, but pushing yourself out of your lazy writing habits.

Midnight Writing Marathon… kinda

Yeah, I’ve made it to 4 in the morning and I’m almost going at a good pace.

My eyes are blurry and dry.

If only my characters would stop moaning about must haves and still haves and well maybe’s…

I might have gotten some sleep tonight.

My word count well, it may be snazzier than some.

But I’m really sick of the numbers 11, 12, and 13. They’ve been with me all day. I need a new friend.

Like 18 k.

But now I must cut this stupid poem short. Because my laptop underside  just burnt my hand.

The computer gets a nap but I still write.

copyright Alpina 2011

Every writer needs help.

No one is perfect. Writers especially.


Right now, as a participant of NaNoWriMo who did not click the ‘Divorce your Inner Editor’ Button [eh, it’s got a different name], I am still having trouble with catching myself when I write something utterly repetitive or cliche. For instance, in my current novel [known heretofore as Deception] my MC is 15-16. She and her brother are constantly using the same adjective form, –ly. It drives me bananas, because I’m constantly looking for words other than completely or totally or seriously. Maybe they have a bit of a problem. Or maybe it’s me. Yeah, I’m honest enough to admit it’s my problem. It’s just easier to make them sound like that.


So stop blaming your darn characters and just ignore the cliches! OR, if your not a part of NaNoWriMo [we’re strictly prohibited from self-editing during November, even though we do], just think about how you could say it different—UGH, darn, I almost added ly. Okay. Okay. Let’s see….

…Just think about how you could put it across in a different fashion. Watch the news and take note of newscaster’s grammar if you don’t want to sound like a texting teenager.


Disclaimer: this method may not work if the newscaster doesn’t have a clue. Use some common sense.