Improve Your Writing With Fresh Novella Ideas
Beginner writers very often leave their novellas unfinished: you begin with great enthusiasm to write a new novella, thoughts are rushing to your mind, the breathing is quickened, every minute counts, and you think, “I’ll write such a novella, all of you will be surprised!” But after a few days or weeks, the desire to write this masterpiece completely disappears or attention is drawn to another novella. Even the desire to earn a lot of money and become famous in the whole world does not help the author to continue working on the original idea. What’s the matter?
Reasons You Can Come Up With Good Novella Ideas
There can be several reasons. The main one is that the author does not like the idea of his or her novella and doesn’t know how to write a novella within this topic. The idea did not capture the author’s attention so much that he or she could not leave it and do other things. For example, a novice writer first rushed to the most popular genre on the market, although this genre may betray the creative preferences or style of the author. Writing not in your genre or style is incredibly difficult, and this occupation is only for professionals who are far from beginners. It is very difficult to retain the motivation for such writing for a long time: when you are writing a novella, the motivation must last for a long time. A professional writer has this motivation: to earn some money for himself and his family. A novice writer, as a rule, somewhere works, has some money – that’s why he or she is capable of putting a lot of effort on novella writing only in the presence of an intangible, long-acting motive.
The realization of a favorite idea is just such a motive.
The choice of idea is a long process. Sometimes the idea is formed in the author for many years, implicitly, as a special interest in some aspect of the life of the author, on the existence of society or humanity, or even in the universe as a whole. A novice author brings forth an idea without even suspecting it. Any author may have several such unformulated novellas ideas. The author’s task is to choose one of them, formulate it, choose a theme suitable for the best disclosure of the idea, select the time and place of action, select a system of heroes, and find a suitable plot for the embodiment of the idea.
You need to choose the idea of a novella very carefully, because many months or even years of work are waiting for you. This can not be an idea that the author simply likes. If you just like the idea, then this motivation may not be enough for writing a novella, or even the motivation may end already at the stage of writing the novella’s plan.
So, the idea of the novella should capture the author entirely. Keep in mind that there are inevitable stops in writing. From the experience of famous writers, we can conclude that the idea of a novella should call for steady interest of the author. Temporary interest is not good: it will quickly disappear and the author will be disappointed, humiliated, angry with himself or herself, another bout of uncertainty will come upon him or her, and in some cases unfinished novellas may even serve as an excuse for the author to leave writing altogether.
Tips for Selecting Good Novella Ideas
Here are some tips for a novice writer on how to make the right choice of an idea for a novella.
- Do not listen to advice about what you should write about.
An exception to this rule is if the adviser is an experienced specialist, such as a publisher, a literary mentor, or a literary editor, or a person who knows the author personally and, most importantly, understands the features of his or her creative goal setting and abilities in terms of writing skills.
Most advisers are simply not dedicated to the goals of the author and are not able to assess the possibilities of his or her writing tools. Most non-professional advisers (friends, relatives, readers, drinking companions, and lovers) pursue their goals, which can be achieved against the creativity of the author. Contrary to the author’s goal-setting, professionals, such as publishers who seek to inspire creativity of a novice author solely to receive a quick profit from the publication, can advise. Therefore, it is a common rule for beginners: do not ask others the question, “What to write about?” and do not listen to incompetent or self-centered well-wishers.
- Don’t write about yourself.
The idea of a great novella needs to be steadily loved, and only then it can be realized. But any person may love themselves more than anyone else in the world. There is a very great temptation for a novice author to write about himself or herself. Such personal material is well known to the author, and the material for such a novella does not need to be thought about for months and years. In addition, you want to impress humanity with the original vision of the world, you want to remember a happy childhood, you want to take revenge on someone for insults or explain your position, or you want to attract attention, get on the TV screen, and become popular.
This is not equivalent to the assertion that the author’s real life can not affect the main idea and content of the novella. There are authors with a very egocentric view of life. For such authors, it is a torture not to write about themselves. The majority of authors scatter particles of themselves in all their works, and the reader recognizes or guesses: “Oh! Here the author put himself.” So the author’s personality is still present in his or her novellas, and it is not necessary to try to attract the reader’s attention in a concentrated way, such as in the autobiographical genre. We must accept that the reader is not interested in the life of a novice writer: first become a well-known writer, then expect interest from the public.
- Don’t search for original novella ideas.
Any novice author dreams to impress the audience with the originality of his or her work and creativity in general. As a rule, this dream is based on the ignorance of the beginners of world literature. The frivolous author does not take into account that before him or her, millions of writers, playwrights, and poets have worked for several thousand years. A novice author has created only school essays and some opuses for presentation on free sites. Now you can understand why you shouldn’t expect to write something original. In our crazy time, a novice writer can also write a commercially successful postmodernist novella, but he or she is unlikely to create something original in “great literature.” Capital imparts to society the only criterion for assessing the success of a literary work – its commercial success. Earning money is a most respectable occupation, but if the value criterion of literature is only profit, “great authors” as a phenomenon of culture and “great literature” will simply disappear.
To get to the idea of the novella, you need to be able to define your own world. A novice writer must understand: in the world there are millions of people similar to him or her by genotype and phenotype. The physical world is finite, clearly ranked, divided into groups. You can always find writers who are close to you.
It is unlikely that a beginner will stumble, formulate, and artistically embody a completely new idea. The novelty of the idea does not need to be pursued, as the more correct way is to fill the old idea with new content. So it usually happens, because beginners, by their ignorance, do not know about it. There are also eternal ideas that are very difficult to implement in novellas.
“Where do you take novella ideas?” is a very frequent question asked to writers. Although an author’s ideas without a goal or plan are nothing more than pleasant thoughts, any novella still begins with an idea. Try to generate the idea of a new novella. Let’s imagine that there is a rare case where the author does not have an abstract idea, or weakly developed imagination and abstract thinking, or simply lacks the intelligence to come up with a generally valid idea. In this case, you need to write about what you know best – about yourself. It’s not necessary to literally write about your life, that is, to write an autobiographical novella. It is better to write about your reactions in a newly invented story.
Take a look at our guides and find out what is an example of a novella to deal with your writing easily. The main reason why we present them is that we want to help students in their writing. Start your writing and any time you get stuck, visit our blog for fresh ideas.