Random Inspirations

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Five Reasons to Love Novellas

on September 23, 2013

As I’ve been hammering out my Amish YA fiction novella, I’ve realized how much fun novellas are to read and to write. Did you know that some of the most famous classic literary works, such as Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea and Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol were novellas?

Novellas comprise the literary genre halfway between short stories and novels. As their name implies, novellas are shorter than novels, yet longer than short stories. However, the main trait that distinguishes novellas from the other genres is their level of conflict: Novellas have more conflict than short stories, yet less conflict (and less developed conflict) than novels.

Since novellas are often intended to be read in one sitting, they’re usually written without chapters, but I’ve found that there’s really no right or wrong. I’m writing my novella with short micro-chapters, and I find that these chapters break up the plot more neatly and improve the overall flow.

There are just so many reasons to love these cute little “mini novels.” Here, I tell you five:

5 things to love about novellas

5 of the many things to love about novellas

  1. Since they’re shorter than novels, they’re a quicker, more focused read.
  2. They leave readers more satisfied than short stories because of their deeper conflict.
  3. They’re ideal for reluctant readers of any genre, especially YA, because of their length and the relative simplicity of their plots.
  4. They’re a challenging writing exercise because they encourage authors to choose words and descriptions more wisely.
  5. They’re ideal for reading — or writing — in a series, because they really are addictive.

With all these strengths, it’s no wonder that some of the best-known classics were novellas. In fact, I think novellas are ready to make a comeback, especially in YA!

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4 responses to “Five Reasons to Love Novellas

  1. Though i have slogged my way through a few 1,000+ page books; i still feel the pain. As a reader i appreciate the author’s challenge to be concise. The best design looks simple and effortless but often takes more planning and smarts to pull off. Excited to read the novella!

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