Sunday, November 08, 2015

Introducing Guest Blogger: Kat Flannery

I’m very happy to introduce Kat Flannery, a dynamic, versatile author with plenty of wisdom to share. I’ve already learned a lot about hosting launch parties and the importance of blogging from her.

Kat’s bio states that her love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance.  A member of many writing groups, Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. She’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career. Her debut novel CHASING CLOVERS has been an Amazon bestseller many times. LAKOTA HONOR and BLOOD CURSE (Branded Trilogy) are Kat’s two award-winning novels and HAZARDOUS UNIONS is Kat’s first novella. Kat is currently hard at work on her next book.

Today, Kat offers some great tips on writing novellas. Enjoy!

I love to write novellas. They give me a refreshing break from the heavy plotting I do for my full-length novels. However, just like anything we write there is an invisible guideline when it comes to hammering out a novella, and I’ve shared mine below.

Five Tips You Need to Know When Writing a Novella.

1.      Start your conflict in the first sentence. Unlike a novel where you build toward your main plot. Your goal is to bring the reader into the action from the first sentence and take it from there. This will set you up to keep the novel going at a fast pace, and keep your reader engaged.

2.      Fewer Characters. You do not have the word count to bring in a broad range of characters. Stick to the main ones with a few minor. This enables you to develop your characters providing your reader with three-dimensional personalities they will love.

3.      Your novella should not span more than a week; in fact I’d say five days max. This is a quick telling of a story and if you spread it out over weeks, like you could with a novel, you will lose your reader do to an unbelievable timeframe. Get in and get out is how I like to describe the novella writing process.

4.      Stick to one plot, and if you have to one subplot. I don’t advise more than that. You haven’t the time to flush out subplots when choosing to write a novella. Your plot is the driving force of the novella, trying to incorporate subplots could pull the reader from the story if not done right. A novella should be read in a day, thus a reminder of how fast the pacing needs to be for your story. Snap…snap…snap…keep the rhythm going. Do not put in filler. There is no room in a novella for useless wording.

5.      Word count. Novellas range from 15000 – 40000 words. This can be difficult for those writers who are used to pounding away at an 80,000-word novel. Writing something with fewer words will challenge your creativity and editing skills. Remember keep it crisp, quick and strong.

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Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love…

After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America’s bloodiest war.

In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamilton’s to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.

In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.

Two unforgettable stories of courage, strength and honor.

Can one woman heal the heart of a lawman?

A gardener who uses plants to heal, Fern Montgomery is an outcast who refuses to be pushed out of town. When her friend is murdered and all fingers point to Fern as the only suspect, she must find a way to prove her innocence while fighting off unwanted feelings for the sheriff.

Sheriff Gabe Bennett has his mind set on arresting Sarah Fuller’s killer. But his key suspect isn’t what he expected. He soon realizes there is more to the quiet gardener than he’d first anticipated. As passion blooms, Gabe is forced to face his feelings—and the woman who has stolen his heart.

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