Is your WIP a Short Story or a Full Length Novel in the Making?

I love to write. Watching the words flow onto the page is a special thrill unto itself. I've written many different stories, including shorts, novellas, and novels. If there is one thing I've learned, each has their unique strategies. And I'm finding that with proper foresight and planning, there's no reason you can't use all of the different story types together to make a great book.


I loved writing my novels. There's nothing quite like carefully planning and crafting your world. My novels are fantasy, so dragons, fairies, and wizards are plentiful. There's plots to devise, moods to set, magic to cast, and people to bespell.

The strategies I use to write my novels are completely different than the ones I use for other stories. I'm a seat of my pants writer, but I still lay a grid work that guides the story. I plan out most of the book, about seventy percent or so. When I do start to write it, I know what's going to happen, when it's going to happen, who it's going to happen with. Everything except the words that turn it into a story.

I admit, I have a lot of chapters when I write, but this is what helps me decide whether or not it is a novel or a novella. If I don't feel I have enough material, then I know it's not going to fit as a full fledged book.


With a novella things are a little different. It starts the same as a novel. I lay a ground work as before, but usually halfway through I'll know if it's going to give me enough content for a big book. If I'm not offered enough, I only plan half of the project, focusing on the main plot, and using my seat of the pants writing style to include hijinks and adventures. This style works extremely well for me, and I enjoy using it.

It fits the strengths of my writing style.


Last is the strategy for short stories. These are generally just a small concept, something I don't plan out, and just write. I do have quite a few of these, but I don't share them with the world. At least, not as short stories.

There have been a couple projects that started out as one page stories that I have built entire works around. For instance, Urban Punk was written off of a short I wrote after watching my sweet wife play a game called Grand Theft Auto. A one page short morphed into an entire novella filled with wild antics. The point is, writing one style does not make it so you can't write the others. Let your ideas, and your imagination dictate how long the book is going to be. Don't get stuck on whether or not its a novel. Just write, and share your stories with the world. #SupportIndieAuthors and keep being awesome!

Riley Amos Westbrook