Anna at Diary of an Eccentric just wrote a marvelous review of my recent novella, A Valentine for Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation and in it, she mentioned that “Despite the quick resolution, I felt completely satisfied at the end.” Ah, those words were honey to this author’s heart.
You see, I write fast-paced, fun Pride and Prejudice Variations – most are novel length, some are novellas.
My stories vary in length because my plots vary. My writing is story driven. Some of my ideas are more slice of life stories (like my recent Rescuing Mrs. Darcy which has Elizabeth kidnapped while she goes shopping) and some are more complex (like Master of Pemberley which starts with Darcy as a widower with a young child before he meets Elizabeth). Different stories take different amounts of words to set up the characters, explore the conflict, and get to that happy ending. I try to avoid filler that bores me and might bore a reader.
However, occasionally readers think my stories are too short, and I choose to take that as a compliment. I’m reminded of what Jane Austen said on the matter:
If a book is well written, I always find it too short.
Isn’t that the truth?
Personally, I like stories of all different lengths. My favorite length is a book that takes about as much time to read as watching a movie. I can be daunted by big fat epic books with multiple generations or love stories. I read them, but I need to allocate the time.
And sometimes I really like novellas and short stories for a quick little romantic pick-me-up.
I usually read at bedtime and if a book is too long (for me) I either start skipping paragraphs, skimming for dialogue, or I just turn to the end to see what happens. Or stay up way too long and have a book hangover the next morning, which isn’t good for keeping up with the laundry and dishes – or writing my own books.
My goal is to write satisfying emotional romances, regardless of the length. I want readers to pick up my books knowing they are going to find familiar characters – Darcy and Elizabeth – in an interesting new situation and watch them fall in love again. I make it clear in the description whether a story is a novel or a novella.
It’s the dance I love best – the dance of two proud, flawed people finding love and changing each other until they reach that happily ever after.
A Valentine for Darcy is my latest novella – a romantic romp with Darcy receiving a Valentine from Caroline Bingley, but he thinks it is from Elizabeth. Ah, what fun. I hope you like it.
P.S. It’s still a bestseller at Amazon. Yea!