How to Write a Novella In Thirty Days: 10 Steps for Every Kind of Writer

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Okay, so let’s clear up the rumors. It doesn’t take eight years to write a book, especially, not a novella. People seem to forget that novellas are books too. A novella typically contains anywhere from 20,000-45,000 words while average novels are 46,000-75,000 words. For the sake of this post, I’m going to share with you the ten easiest steps to writing a novella in just thirty days. This book that we are creating is going to be 45,000 words and will take you one month if you follow this plan.

1. Outline the One Line Story

If you can tell your story in one sentence then you’re well on the way to having a good book. Your sentence should begin, “this is a story about….” and that’s all. From there, you create the events that lead up to what’s going to happen. Never feel like you have to have it all figured out, you can create as you go.

2. Plan Your Chapters in Advance

Chapters are no more than 5,000 words, if you can manage to create scenes in 1,500 words then you will ultimately be writing a scene per day. Creating scenes are easier than just meeting a word count. If you’re in love with your scenes you’re more likely to write more than your goal. So, outline them. Each chapters should have at least five scenes.

3. Write No More Than 6 Chapters

If you can create the book in 6 or less chapters then you’re winning. You won’t feel overwhelmed if the book is done in this structered way. Anything much longer means your chapters won’t be as fulfilling to your reader and it may take more time since you have the potential to go over the 45,000 word goal.

4. Outline Main Characters

Before you begin writing, you should have a general idea of the story in mind. If you don’t that’s fine, I find myself to be more of a discovery writer from time to time as well. Just make sure that whoever your main characters are they are outlined above any other character because they drive the story. Their personalities and decisions are what keeps your readers interested.

5. Keep Your World Simple

If you build an overly dynamic world you may spend more time than you intended to making it understandable for your reader. Your world shouldn’t be so vast that it needs to be explained in a super long prologue and continuing until chapter two, but also, not so small that the reader doesn’t know where they are. Keep your world as simple as possible (if you can).

6. Set the Same Time To Write Everyday

If you’re a writer then you understand that creating a scene in just 1,500 words isn’t too complicated. However, if this is new to you then you might want to set a timer to write at the same time everyday. Prerferably, right before you sleep. What people don’t talk about most often is that creativity is great right before we go to bed because our imaginations are running a bit wilder than normal. Ever create that monster in your room out of clothes hanging on the edge of a chair? Incorporate that same imagery into your novel around 10 pm each night and watch how much writing you can get done.

7. Don’t Feel Overwhelmed

Writing a book sounds like a stretch, especially if this is your first book. But, the more you write and find yourself passionate about what you’re sharing the easier it is to conquer. Take a deep breath and know that in no time you’ll be able to get through it with ease. If you so happen to deal with writer’s block remember that you can’t edit and create at the same time, take a step away from the page, and then try again later.

8. Write Today What You Won’t Tomorrow

Of course, in one month you might take a trip, need a day off, or just don’t want to create anything. If you can, try to stay ahead in your writing. It’s easier to write in advance than to “catch up” because sometimes we just don’t catch up at all. So, write today what you won’t tomorrow.

9. Read Along the Way

One thing that most don’t tell you is that the more you read while you write the better it is to be creative. Your inspiration will come from the book that you have alongside what you’re writing. And, what you will find is that good writing will transpire into your draft.

10. When You’re Finished, Treat Yourself!


Write towards a goal. If this is your first book tell yourself that you’re going to finish and find a way to treat yourself! Maybe after all that writing you take yourself to a Yoga class or buy some clothes, go shopping, do some cartwheels. Whatever the case, know that you’re done and it’s time to celebrate your book!

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