Story Lengths – Novella

Next up in this mini-series is my personal favourite to read – the novella length!

So here’s where lines start to become very blurred, word count wise. A general consensus amongst many sources would say novellas are roughly 10,000 to 40,000 words but I’ve seen all manners of numbers cited. “Wait Chris, what’s between a short story and a novella then? There’s a 4,000 word gap between them!” Well, I don’t know how to answer that. A short novella? A long-short story? Well sometimes they’re called novelettes but my opinion is that a story written in that gap would be difficult to publish as it doesn’t cleanly fit in print magazines or standalone books so I don’t personally tend to focus on it.

Some of the greatest stories put to print are novellas. To name a few – Heart of Darkness, Metamorphosis, At the Mountains of Madness, The Old Man and the Sea. What sets these apart from the other lengths I’ve already covered is that you are really steeped into a story but the focus is still usually on one central viewpoint or storyline. For me, this tends to create a tension and urgency that is hard to put down.

While I haven’t written a novella myself, I definitely have interest in trying it out! In my projects folder, there are a few story ideas that would translate well to this length. Its been tough to find spare time lately but hopefully I can complete a new story or two before the year is done.

Keep turning the page,

Chris

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