Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ArmchairBEA 2014 - Day 3 (Expanding Blogging Horizons & Novellas)

Expanding Blogging Horizons

ArmchairBEA said: What do you think about when you think about going beyond blogging or expanding your horizons? Is it a redesign of your blog? Have you branched out into freelance writing or even published a novel of your very own? Or, have you moved into a different venue like podcasts or vlogging? This is the day to tell us about how you have expanded on blogging in your own unique way.

I feel like this topic is as wide as ideas are possible. Branching out beyond the blog could be volunteering in the community, partnering with your local book store and/or library, freelance writing, publishing your own novel, vlogging. All of that can be involved. Book bloggers have also created Blog Tour Companies, Web/Blog Design companies, etc. I even “met” one blogger who expanded to a copy writing business. And I’m sure there are many other ways. As I said, the possibilities are as numerous as your imagination.

For now, I haven’t moved past my blog. I’m comfortable where I am. I have big ideas and things I would like to see come from my experience with blogging that can be extensions of my blog, but I don’t feel like I’m at a place where I can put as much energy into these areas as I would like just yet. I’m a “one piece at a time” kind of person. Too much all at once is overwhelming. Right now I’m pretty proud of what all my blog has become. From where I started three years ago to now is a world of difference. I’ve learned much and hope to continue to learn and grow. But for now, I'm keeping my “big ideas” close to home.

What about you? Have you “expanded your blog horizons?” Have you branched out yet? I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences

Novellas/Short Stories

ArmchairBEA said: Now it is time to give a little love to those little stories in your life. Share your love for your favorite shorts of any form. What is a short story or novella that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves? Recommend to readers what shorts you would recommend they start with. How about listing some short story anthologies based upon genres or authors?

Is it just me or do it seem like every single author is publishing "in between" novellas as a part of each series these days? Even if they're not doing full novellas, there are deleted scenes, additional scenes, and new scenes galore.

I’m a series reader. There’s no doubt about that. I currently have about 60 different series that I’ve started and not completed yet. The following is a list of all the series that I've started (and/or finished) that have additional novellas, books, and scenes separate from the main books in the series.

Nova (2.5, & 3.5)
The Syrena Legacy (0.4, 0.5, 2.5)
Ten Tiny Breaths (0.5)
Pretty When She Dies (0.5)
Mythos Academy (0.5, 1.5, 4.5)
Fallen (3.5)
Shatter Me 3 (1.5, 2.5)
Woodlands (1.5, 2.1)
The Lunar Chronicles (0.5, 0.6, 1.5, 3.5)
The Secret (0.5, 4.5)
Vampire Academy (0.5, 1.1, 6.5)
Delirium (0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5)
Stephanie Plum (8.5, 12.5, 13.5, 14.5)
Beautifully Broken (2.5)
Bloodlines (0.5)
Divergent (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 1.5, 2.5)
Under the Never Sky (0.5, 2.5)
Hopeless (1.5, 2.5)
Pushing the Limits (1.1, 1.5)
Lux (0.5)
Wait for You (1.5, 2.5)
Starbound (1.5)
Too Far (1.1)
Wishes (2.5)
Partials (0.5)
Cambion (2.5)
Firelight (3.5)
Morganville Vampires (0.5, 1.5, 2.6, 4.5, 6.1, 6.5, 9.5, 10.5, 10.6, 12.5)
Hex Hall (3.1)
The Grisha (0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 2.6)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (2.5)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth (0.1, 0.2, 0.5)
Existence (2.5)
Tales of Goldstone Wood (5.5)
Georgina Kincaid (2.5)
Beautiful (1.5)
The Maze Runner (0.5, 2.5)
Unearthly (2.1, 2.5)
The Iron Fey (1.25, 1.5, 3.5, 3.6, 4.4, 4.5)
Trylle (3.5)
My Blood Approves (4.5)
Wicked Lovely (2.5, 2.6)
Twilight (1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.5)
Blue Bloods (4.5, 5.5)
Caster Chronicles (2.5)

Can you see how this might get overwhelming for a compulsive "finisher" (someone like me who likes to complete things, in this case series)?

I totally understand how enticing it can be to have access to more of our characters, worlds, stories, etc that we fell in love with. I think we've all experienced that feeling of loss that comes with finishing a series. And these novellas, deleted scenes, new scenes, and general extras help us to hold onto our world for a little longer. I get it. I really do.

But when ALL the authors of ALL the series ever have these extras, then it's just too much. I've discussed my issues with not completing things. This has led to my ability to series DNF and even book DNF some. I still push through if possible. But I guess my next step is accepting that I can't read all the extras of every series.

There's nothing wrong with authors sharing these extras. And I know that fans specifically ask for more from authors all the time. But I do find myself wondering about a couple of things. 1) If these scenes were removed from the original story, what was the reason behind that decision? Will these new scenes change my opinion about the story as a whole or a particular character? 2) If these are completely new scenes, will they fit the continuity of the series as a whole? Will the tone fit? Again, is there anything here that will change my opinion of the original story or the characters involved? 3) Is there something to be said about leaving the audience wanting more? Ending on a high note?

Of course, there are some novellas that I'm SO GLAD that I read. Being a Twilight fan that I am, I still love Midnight Sun. While I'm sure writing from the hero's perspective wasn't completely new when Stephenie Meyer's publisher suggested she do a small writing exercise, Midnight Sun was the first I'd ever heard of where the book was being completely rewritten from the other perspective. I don't want to read all of the books ever done this way, but a here's a couple that I'm glad that I did: Losing Hope (Hopeless, # 2) by Colleen Hoover and Walking Disaster (Beautiful, # 2) by Jamie McGuire.

Novellas that I loved: Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, # 2.5) by Colleen Hoover, Crossing the Line (Pushing the Limits, # 1.1) by Katie McGarry, and Shadows (Lux, # 0.5) by Jennifer L Armentrout.

What about you guys? What do you think of novellas and all the extra bits? Are you for it? Do you read as many as you can get your hands on? Or do you save these for only your top most favorite series? Let me know!


  1. Some of those series I can relate to why you have to finish it. I have to finish in sequence, though a couple times it hasn't happened that way. Still, I most certainly prefer it to read in sequence, even the novellas.

  2. I was just making that observation in a comment on another blog about everyone with a series producing novella tie ins. For the new author who needs to create a backlist quickly or provided less expensive intros to their writing, novellas are great. Thankfully I only read a few series at a time so it isn't a problem for me, but I could see how it would be troublesome for those that read a lot of series at once.

    Girl Who Reads

  3. Holly @ Words Fueled by LoveMay 29, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    I too thought this question of expanding blogging horizons could go in soooo many different directions and after reading other blogs yesterday and commenting I found that many others felt the same way. It literally did go in a lot of different directions. But who wants to read the same thing over and over again? So it made for interesting reading.

    And for your list of novellas - yikes! This is why I'm not a very big fan of them. Because it's gotten out of control where it feels like everyone wants to include them in their series. I for one, am not going to read every novella that comes out in a series. Especially if I have to buy them. But even if they're free, I just have found that I'm not as interested to read them all. And I don't feel like I've missed something major from the story either.

  4. It's always hard to finish in sequence when an author goes back and throws in a novella or short story from an earlier part in the series too! It's an OCD person's nightmare! Thanks for stopping by Freda!

  5. Yes, I can see what you mean about a new author. It's a great way to get exposure to their writing. But it can definitely become overwhelming. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Donna!

  6. Haha...if it relates to book series then you should join our Series Enders Reading Challenge! :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Yep. That's one thing about these topics. Sometimes you never know what all directions people will take when forming their responses.

    Haha...yep. That's a lot of novellas. Some of them I'm completely okay with knowing that I'll never get around to, but that's kind of the point right? There are just too many!

  8. I too am a compulsive finisher. It is what my summer is all about this year.