Shorter Novellas and Plot Holes

So, I'm planning on a teaser later today! So stay tuned...

But there has been this one consistent question raised with each episode of Love and Decay and I want to address it.

Actually, there's a few things I want to clear up. But the majority of this post will deal with L&D.

Okay, so every episode there are always a few reviews that are frustrated because they feel each episode is shorter and shorter.

And as an author, I don't always know how to take that. Are you saying that because you happened to read it quicker? Or are you saying that because it felt like it went faster but you don't really believe I wrote a shorter episode? Or is this a true frustration and you believe I am writing shorter episodes each release?

I honestly don't know. And I'm an optimist by birth, so I tend to lean toward all best-case-scenarios. But this last one, Episode Seven, the comments were made to me directly and I was able to answer them. But then I started to worry about what the rest of you thought. Usually, I find, that if one person is asking me something, there's a bunch more people thinking it, they just haven't found the time to approach me yet.

So. Are the episodes of Love and Decay getting shorter?

The answer is No!

They truly are not getting shorter.

In the description of every Love and Decay, I say that each episode is about 20,000 words. This is the typical size of a novella and I have a formula that I use. It's a very simple one but it's become like a science to me.

Each episode is four chapters long. Each chapter is roughly five thousand words. Therefore each episode reaches 20,000 words.

Most of the time, the real word count comes out more like 21,000 words. And Episode Two was the longest episode of all at over 22,000 words.

Episode Seven was the shortest episode. I will say that. But... the difference between episode five and episode seven is 30 words.


I truly try to make each episode very close to the same length. Not for your sake but for mine. It makes it easier to write. And like I said, I have it down to a somewhat scientific formula. If I were to show you the plot plans for the rest of the season, you would see just how precisely I have each episode planned out.

And the same is true for last season.

Sometimes, I will throw in a chapter of one of my other books or another author's books at the end of the episode. But I've learned that when I do that, the episode feels especially short. That's why there isn't a chapter in the back of every episode. I would like to have one there. It's an awesome opportunity for me to promote another book of mine. But I also don't want you to feel cheated.

I'm not telling you this to be defensive. But I want you to know that I'm not trying to swindle you or rip you off. Every episode is nearly the same length. Sometimes a little more. Sometimes a little less. But no episode is less than 20,000 words. And 99% of them are a little over 21,000 words.

Okay, I also realize that me talking in word count is probably obnoxious. But that's how I gauge my manuscripts. So to put it in perspective for you... a word document page, one single page, is about 700 words, single spaced. I should probably say between 500-700 words. Sometimes I use a lot of fragmented sentences right in a row.

Like this.
And then this.
And then something like this.

If I did a bunch of those it would make the word count per page shorter. But on average each page holds about the same number of words.

So if an episode ranges from 21,000 exactly to the next episode at 21,700 words, that's the equivalent of me writing 35 word document pages compared to 36 word document pages. See? It comes out to more pages on your Kindle, but on the writing side, there's not much difference.

So. No. Love and Decay is not getting shorter. But I do understand why it might feel that way.

And I just want to reiterate that I am not being defensive about this. I just want your concerns eased. I really, honestly put a lot of thought and effort into each episode. And I not only have this season planned out to the end but I have Season Three planned out through each episode, as well.

I've gotten a couple other questions in private messages recently and since I've gotten them more than twice, I thought I better address them, too. Just in case someone is thinking them but hasn't asked yet.

In The Reluctant King, there have been a few questions about Amelia's age and if I changed it or not to accommodate Avalon.

I did not.

So, in Hopeless Magic when you're first introduced to Amelia, Eden thinks- in her head which is usually a stubborn, oblivious place to be- that Amelia looks about eleven or twelve. Eden is sixteen at the time. And Amelia's real age is thirteen. So Eden isn't far off, but she underestimates a little bit. But to share that with you wouldn't have fit into the flow of the story.

So even in Eden's head, the girls are only four years apart if we go with twelve.

However, I wrote that particular scene to give Amelia the "appearance" of youth and innocence. A character trait which she maintains throughout the series.

In Fearless Magic, she has been put in charge of taking care of Kiran when he's sick. And there, I tried to show her maturity. It's a few months later, and Eden is Seventeen at that time. In the timeline of the story, Amelia is fourteen.

In Endless Magic, Eden is in the Citadel and having "high school" with Mr. Lambert. Amelia is also a part of that. That is her first year in high school. Remember in Hopeless when they talk about Amelia joining Sebastian and Kiran and they say she can't yet because she's too young but that it will be soon? Well, by Endless, it's time for her to start high school and join her cousin and brother.

Eden and Avalon turn eighteen that year (after Endless ended but before the wedding) and Amelia turned fifteen. Three years is not that far apart when you're an adult, but obviously at the wedding, an eighteen year old Avalon would want nothing to do with a fifteen year old Amelia.

Why didn't a clarify Amelia's age in the first four books of The Star-Crossed series? Well... I thought it was cleared up in Endless when she goes to high school with them. But also, it was clear in my head. And I never intended to write these latest three Star-Crossed books, so it never occurred to me to drive the point more than I already had.

Does that make sense?

I hope so!

Ok, then.... a few questions were raised about Ava driving to Smith's house in The Fall.

In The Rush, I explain that Ava hates driving and doesn't want Ivy to drive. But when they go to Smith's house for the first time, Ivy explains that Smith would disapprove of Ava hiring a car, so she is forced to drive the Escalade. When it comes up again in The Fall, the same is true. Ava doesn't drive, except to go to Smith's house. And Ivy never drives until the end of The Fall. The behind the scenes thing is that she knows how to drive, she's just not allowed to.

My character back story has Sam teaching Ivy to drive during their relationship. And I could have mentioned that in either of the first books, but Ivy has a lot of pain and heartache where Sam is concerned. This series is not about Sam and Ivy, so I didn't want to dwell on too much of their relationship.

Ok. I think that is everything for now!!!! I hope that clears some things up! If you ever have questions, don't hesitate to ask! And sometimes I do Write-In Wednesdays where I answer questions on my vlog. (I don't do them often because I have a billion children and never get a true chunk of quiet time) But if you have something to ask, I will always answer it there too!



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  1. Trust me I don't think l&d is getting shorter.I am just now worried where the story is going to go in season 3 if you already have it planned out.don't think my emotions can take it.but trust me they will as I love this series so much xo

  2. I saw that mentioned (the length issue) but I never thought that. In fact, I always check the pages when I get it (so I can start gauging how much longer I have with the book before I get to the end.) And they are always roughly the same.

  3. I think it feels faster now than in the beginning because the story is so in tense and loving every word of it so you just want it to keep going and of course the end of it makes you "say what" and boom the end and your like NO NO NO....well, ok that's what happens to me.

  4. Cant wait for the teaser! Love the Starbright series!

  5. Will there be a book after Breathless Magic? No rush, but I'm just wondering. I can only imagine how long it takes to write so many books. :)