If they’re not tied together, the authors don’t have to worry about coordinating details with the other authors. With a generational novella collection, the stories are tied together, but they don’t take place simultaneously. This also doesn’t require much interaction with other members of the team.
A giant caution here, though: Readers really like for the stories in the collections to be closely connected. Those types of novella collections have higher sales than the other kind.
I’ve been on teams where all the members stayed in close contact and worked out any places where the stories overlapped, making sure they didn’t have different details. And I’ve been on teams where each person wrote the story alone and only tried to connect at the end. This brings up all kinds of problems.
My suggestion is for the whole team to choose a couple of months to write their stories, hopefully leaving at least one month at the end to iron out difficulties before the deadline. For two of the novella collections I’ve been in The Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner and Wild West Christmas, we worked together to plan the fictional town where the story is set. I’ve created a map of each town using the input of all the authors. Those were valuable. With Wild West Christmas, I even drew a map of the ranch and a plan of the ranch house that we all used in our stories.
With the close connection and critiquing each other’s stories, the team will end up with a much better product to send to the editor. That makes less work for them, too.
Writing a novella for a collection sounds easy. It can be if you’re careful to plan into your schedule time to interact with the other team members. Not doing so could lead to chaos either right before deadline or before the galleys come out.
Planning and teamwork have contributed to some very good collections.
Actually this year, I’m in two Christmas novella collections: Wild West Christmas—with Kathleen Y’Barbo, Vickie McDonough, and Darlene Franklin—and Christmas Love at Lake Tahoe with Jeanie Smith Cash, Jean Kincaid, and Jeri Odell.
There are 4 books here, so we will draw 4 names from those who leave a comment here on the blog along with their email contact. Drawing will be Monday, September 14 after noon.