Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted on Rainy Day Ramblings where we discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
This week’s topic:
How do you feel about important parts of the overall story being pulled from the main books and published as novellas?
There is only one situation where I really look forward to a novella. That is when a series has ended, and we have some behind the scenes character suddenly spotlighted. For example, I’ve just read two of the novellas for the Lords of Deliverance / Demonica series. Azagoth and Hades made appearances in the main series, but you really wouldn’t have expected them to get a story. I really enjoyed getting a closer look at these two and the HEA you never would have expected for them.
Besides that one example, I find novellas frustrate me. Sometimes they are well done, and they are just a brief look outside of the main storyline. Other times, however, they have little pieces from the main books. It may not be intentional, but some things may be handy to know when reading the main book.
Some novellas sneak in as “prequels”. These will introduce characters that are included in the first main book, but you will have no idea what their story is. This is tricky. The main book gets all the attention and promotion, then you go on Goodreads or read someone’s blog and BAM! You find out you were missing the first piece of the story! By then, it is a toss up of whether you are curious enough to go back and read that novella, or if you are just going to say the hell with it and continue on. Maybe more details of the novella will be spread farther into the series.
Then there are those novellas that get bundled into anthologies. I will say right now, I despise anthologies! They will come as one book, but I only want ONE of the novellas in it. I’ve heard through the grapevine that that particular novella has a little tidbit about a character I like, but I have to buy this whole book and navigate through it to find the story I want. Why would I buy a whole book of unknown stories just for a 100 page novella? I would then feel compelled to read the whole thing and end up reading bits of other series on my TBR. With spoilers of course. I no longer give in and buy the anthologies. I will wait and see if Amazon will release them in a single ebook.
Another little trick these novellas play, is when you actually listen to a series on audiobook. The novellas are not in audio, so you get these little pieces of information in your audio and you’re thinking “when the hell did that happen?” I think that has happened in my current audio, but I haven’t checked Goodreads to find out if I’m missing something.
No matter which way a novella is presented, it should not contain an element that is a big point or progresses the storyline of the series at all. I don’t think it should contain dominant characters of the series. Novellas are not promoted enough and are therefore too hard to keep track of. If an author is going to produce a novella, I think that it should be noted somewhere in the main book. Like at the end of one of the main books, put it a note to watch for an upcoming novella featuring so and so. Even a warning at the beginning that the book takes place after such and such a novella.
I really feel like novellas are making it hard to follow a series. Too many detours and getting caught in paying for that little novella because you just might miss something. It’s very frustrating and I don’t think it is worth the hassle or money. I will just figure out what I missed eventually. (I say that, as I search for the novella that possibly has the part I feel I’m missing from my current read.)
How do you feel about novellas? What are your thoughts on anthologies?