However, I'm flagging up here that I need to see the full manuscript if you're sending a novella. Along with at least a 2 page synopsis, please. Just because it's short doesn't mean I want to glean the plot by reading through it.
What about length? To my mind, if it's over 15,000 words but under 25,000, then it's a novella. Any less than 15,000 words and we're in short story territory, albeit at its far boundaries. Then there's a no-woman's-land between 25K and about 50K, where short romances need to end up if they are to be called novels.
A romance novella needs to be structured like a mini-romance. It has numbered chapters, it has character arcs, it has a well-defined plot - but everything works in miniature.
Due to its kaleidoscope nature, the romance novella demands a super-swift entrée into the world of hero and heroine. We don't have time for leisurely introductions. Throw the two together on the first page, preferably in a violent or shocking manner, and you will get a big tick from me - and if you can continue pushing them together, especially physically, you may even get a gold star!
So the golden rules of an Embrace novella are:
- Link hero and heroine on the first page, if possible
- Keep the pace relentless throughout
- Follow the structure of a novel, but in miniature
- Begin physical intimacy much earlier than in a standard novel
- You can never have enough intimacy in a romance: find a way to force them together - and keep them there!
- Submit the whole manuscript along with a synopsis. See Guidelines for details.