Year of the Novella

Pen & Pad

I decided early last year to write several novellas, all in variations of the third-person style, and I have just finished the first draft of the third. I think I will write one more for now, after a bit of a break. Novella number three is fermenting for a month, as is my practice with longer works: I want to get back to it after memories of my intentions have evaporated somewhat, so I can see it with an outside reader’s eyes. The second draft will go to my usual private editor and my beta reader. The third or fourth draft will go to publishers and magazine editors, freighted with the usual hopes. I now have the first two out in the editorial storm, at small publishers here and there, with one at a magazine that is willing to publish works of thirty thousand words. I have not offered them to Basil E. Bacorn yet, who will be publishing a children’s book and two longer novels of mine, because I simply do not want to flood them, with manuscripts (though I suppose I should inquire), and because they are quite different in nature from the two adult novels they have in the pipeline, which are first-person stories.

Of course I have no idea what will happen to any of these in this turbulent world, but I’ll keep writing and marketing them, and maybe, like the short stories, they’ll find their bit of traction in the slippery slopes of literary endeavor, which has never been a sure thing.

Anyway, here are the working titles of the grown-up stories I have been working on in the last few years:

  • My Turn to Die (Noir novel with Basil E. Bacorn, scheduled to appear in January of 2022)
  • Stranger Coming Home (ditto, March of 2022)
  • Rootbound (novella, wandering the editorial wilds)
  • Ashes (ditto)
  • Breathe (novella, first draft)

Plus, of course, the short stories already published or languishing on editors’ desks somewhere.

So, besides surviving, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Now, it’s back to short story writing for a few weeks. What else am I good for, anyway?

Rick Risemberg