Let's Talk Novellas
Contrary to what my brother thinks, a novella is not a fancy term for a romance novel (sorry, Tom).
Nor is it a Spanish vampire book.
In short, a novella is, well... a short novel. Maybe that doesn't sound as exciting as a Spanish romance novel; however, novellas are pretty exciting in the literary world.
Today we're going to talk about novellas and hopefully, together we will learn something new about them! (:
What is a novella?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a novella is a short novel or a long short story.
And there you have it. That's all folks.
There is still a lot more to a novella than the Oxford Dictionary's definition, so let's dig a little deeper, shall we?
The novella began to develop as a literary genre during the early Renaissance (circa 1300). The first example was Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron. It was a collection of novellas that consisted of 100 tales told by a group of people outside of Florence trying to escape the Black Death.
Novellas are intended to be read in one setting, so they are generally between 20,000-50,000 words, which is anywhere from an 80-160 page book. With so many 500+ page novels out there, it's easy to see how difficult it can be to tell a compelling story in such few words. Let's just say, the phrase every word counts is vital in this situation. If you want to read more about novella from an author's perspective, check out Ian McEwan's article from The New Yorker. It's a good one!
Because the author has a word limit, the structure of the story is different from those novels that are thick enough to be used as a doorstop. Typically, there are fewer conflicts presented in the story. While novels tend to have multiple subplots thrown into the mix, a novella might only feature one.
Now that we've learned a little bit more about the novella, let's end this post by looking at some examples!
All images and books summaries via Goodreads