Novellas. The spotty teen of the literary world it seems. Not as cute and concise as the short story, nor as mature and deep as the full blown novel. But wait a second, could it be that our sulky teen is just misunderstood?
There isn’t a single definition of what a novella is but, broadly speaking, they usually have a word count of about 15,000 – 50,000 and a structure with a single central conflict and less subplots than you might find in a novel.
As I’ve been working on the second draft of my current WIP, I’ve started to realise that it might not end up being a novel in it’s length or structure. And I’ll admit, it made me feel bad. It won’t be a real novel, I moaned, I won’t be a real novelist! Oh woe, woe and thrice etc etc.
Then I did a bit of research and was confronted by the fact that a number of classic works that I own and love can, in fact, be classed as novellas. Animal Farm, A Clockwork Orange, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Christmas Carol, Of Mice and Men – I could go on. Not only that but in this digital day and age, a work being a novella won’t be an issue. Length isn’t a selling point for an ebook.
I no longer feel bad about the fact I’m writing a novella. I know I’m in good company. Great company in fact. Actually I’m rather intimidated by that list…
I’ll never be a real novella-ist! Woe, woe and thrice etc etc.