Author Topic: Turning novellas into full-length novels  (Read 709 times)  

Online Splunge

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • barbaric yawp
    • View Profile
Turning novellas into full-length novels
« on: June 12, 2018, 06:34:08 AM »
Hey, how you doin'?

I have a few shorter stories that I've wanted to rewrite and expand into novels. I'm about to unpublish them. My goal is to publish them under my real name after all is said and done. I haven't had a sale on these stories in a long time (they're old) and even when they did sell it was only a handful. Normally, I would just leave them alone as once I'm done, I'm done, but these books fit the direction I want to go and I always felt they could be longer works. Since these are going to have significant changes to them, would it be safe to publish them as a totally new book? I plan on adding a note somewhere, probably in the back matter, stating it was previously published. With all the crazy stuff going on at AMZ, I don't want to attract unnecessary attention to myself.


Online MarkParragh

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 113
    • View Profile
    • Mark Parragh's Web Site
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 06:45:26 AM »
This is longstanding tradition in SF at least. Plenty of examples of novellas or short stories that were published at that length in one of the genre's magazines, and got some attention, maybe a Hugo or Nebula award for that length. That would generate interest from major publishers, but they didn't really have a distribution channel for shorter works.

Sometimes they would collect the author's stories with the big one up front and call it something like "Novella that won the Hugo, and other stories." But a lot of the time, the author would expand on the original idea and take it out to novel length. The one that comes to mind for me, because my brain is weird, is Nancy Kress' "Beggars in Spain." But there are tons of others.

Here's a piece on the process.  https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/when-short-fiction-grows-novel/

Can't speak to how Amazon would think of it, but I'd imagine you should put a note in the front saying something like, "a substantially different version of this novel was previously published as" or something, just so they can't say you aren't being transparent with readers.

EDIT: URL fixed
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 07:51:33 AM by MarkParragh »

Mark Parragh | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Offline dgrant

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
  • North Texas
    • View Profile
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 07:17:14 AM »
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/when-short-fiction-grows-novel/

link broken - found the article, though. Thanks!


Online MarkParragh

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 113
    • View Profile
    • Mark Parragh's Web Site
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 07:49:52 AM »
Woops! Sorry about that.  Fixed it. Thanks. dgrant!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 07:51:50 AM by MarkParragh »

Mark Parragh | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Offline George Trigiris

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Gender: Male
  • Greece
  • Romance & Fantasy Ghostwriter Extraordinnaire
    • View Profile
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 08:01:29 AM »
I don't think you'll have any issues, as long as you're honest with your readers.

In any case, transforming a short story into a full novel takes some time and a lot of thinking. Good luck. :)
Romance & Fantasy Ghostwriter Extraordinaire.

50 Books and counting. If you're looking to have an incredible book written, all you have to do is pm me.

Online Crystal_

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2405
  • Gender: Female
  • Portland, OR
    • View Profile
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 08:40:18 AM »
I did that! Readers really enjoyed it and the novel did very well. I did release the novel at a discount so people wouldn't feel like I was asking them to buy the she likes same content twice. I don't think I have a note about the original publication anymore. Almost all the material is new, so I don't think it's necessary. I've never had any problems.

I didn't find it any easier writing that book than something from scratch. If anything, trying to use the original novella made it harder. You really need a different level of conflict and depth of characters.

Online Splunge

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • barbaric yawp
    • View Profile
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 11:26:32 AM »
I did that! Readers really enjoyed it and the novel did very well. I did release the novel at a discount so people wouldn't feel like I was asking them to buy the she likes same content twice. I don't think I have a note about the original publication anymore. Almost all the material is new, so I don't think it's necessary. I've never had any problems.

I didn't find it any easier writing that book than something from scratch. If anything, trying to use the original novella made it harder. You really need a different level of conflict and depth of characters.

Most definitely. Reworking an existing piece is a lot harder, for me at least, than starting from scratch.

Offline Jessie G. Talbot

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1487
  • Gender: Female
  • Raleigh, NC
    • View Profile
    • My Website
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 11:29:28 AM »
Good luck!

Jessie G. Talbot | Website | Twitter | Newsletter

Online Raven One

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
    • RG Ainslee
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2018, 02:22:14 PM »
My first book started out as the prologue to what is now my second book. I decided not to use prologues in my books and set it aside. Along the way, I had the idea to expand it into a short story. I kept expanding it until it reached 40,000 plus words. My current WIP also started out as an experiment, a short story with a different POV. It is almost complete at 60,000 plus words. My view, if the story's there, go for it.

Author of the Secret Cold War Series
RG Ainslee | Website | Amazon Author Page

Offline Joseph Malik

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
  • Gender: Male
  • Pacific Northwest
    • View Profile
    • Writing and Fighting with Joseph Malik:
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2018, 02:29:38 PM »
The best way to do this is to add at least one adverb to every sentence. It'll make a novel out of a novella in no time.
The New Magic coming September 2018.
Website | Blog | Instagram

Online Splunge

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • barbaric yawp
    • View Profile
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2018, 03:07:41 PM »
The best way to do this is to add at least one adverb to every sentence. It'll make a novel out of a novella in no time.

What a great tip! Thank you. ;)

Offline Bookread

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2018, 03:58:46 PM »
I recommend adding a dream sequence in every chapter. And then a dream sequence within each dream sequence. Boom. Novel.
* * *  Join Our Writers Club!  * * *

https://www.patreon.com/AWritersPath

-Free editing
-Free blurb coaching
-Free query critique
-Free book coaching
-Free manuscript critique
-Free "one sheets" for your book
-Up to 50% off on over 55 writer-related services

Online Shelley K

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2033
  • Does things wrong.
    • View Profile
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2018, 06:26:26 PM »
Yes, if the changes are significant, and yours should be, it's fine to publish as a new work. Good luck! I also find it easier to write from scratch than expand on existing work.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 05:46:44 AM by Shelley K »

Offline Lady TL Jennings

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 482
  • Gender: Female
  • Oxfordshire, UK
    • View Profile
    • My Secret Quill
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 01:51:21 AM »
I did that! Readers really enjoyed it and the novel did very well. I did release the novel at a discount so people wouldn't feel like I was asking them to buy the she likes same content twice. I don't think I have a note about the original publication anymore. Almost all the material is new, so I don't think it's necessary. I've never had any problems.

I didn't find it any easier writing that book than something from scratch. If anything, trying to use the original novella made it harder. You really need a different level of conflict and depth of characters.

This is the main reason why I decided against rewriting one on my novellas and instead decided to write additional sequels instead
I wrote a novella years ago and later on added two full-length novels into a combined trilogy with the same characters.
I decided against rewriting one of my novellas mainly because I wasn't sure that I would be able to actually turn a novella into a full-length book (it seems scary and hard!), but also because I was worried that some of my fans would feel cheated if (What? I've already read this book!).

In addition, I thought that perhaps new readers would stumble upon my novella and either go:
a) Oooh, I love short fiction - and then keep reading the rest of my short story collection or novellas. Or,
b) Oooh, I love the characters, I wonder what happens next? - and then keep reading the rest of the series.

Best of luck with your writing!  :)
Lady T. L. Jennings ~ Writing 19th century Victorian Oh-la-la and Romance in longhand, since 2011
                                
                                  
                                
                                              http://www.mysecretquill.com

Offline Lady TL Jennings

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 482
  • Gender: Female
  • Oxfordshire, UK
    • View Profile
    • My Secret Quill
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 01:51:51 AM »
This is the main reason why I decided against rewriting one on my novellas and instead decided to write additional sequels instead.
I wrote a novella years ago and later on added two full-length novels into a combined trilogy with the same characters.
I decided against rewriting one of my novellas mainly because I wasn't sure that I would be able to actually turn a novella into a full-length book (it seems scary and hard!), but also because I was worried that some of my fans would feel cheated if (What? I've already read this book!).

In addition, I thought that perhaps new readers would stumble upon my novella and either go:
a) Oooh, I love short fiction - and then keep reading the rest of my short story collection or novellas. Or,
b) Oooh, I love the characters, I wonder what happens next? - and then keep reading the rest of the series.

Best of luck with your writing!  :)
Lady T. L. Jennings ~ Writing 19th century Victorian Oh-la-la and Romance in longhand, since 2011
                                
                                  
                                
                                              http://www.mysecretquill.com

Offline Joseph Malik

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
  • Gender: Male
  • Pacific Northwest
    • View Profile
    • Writing and Fighting with Joseph Malik:
Re: Turning novellas into full-length novels
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2018, 05:37:43 AM »
I recommend adding a dream sequence in every chapter. And then a dream sequence within each dream sequence. Boom. Novel.

At the end, make sure you reveal that it was all just a dream. Not only is that how all good books end, but they'll never see it coming.
The New Magic coming September 2018.
Website | Blog | Instagram