What is a Novella?

In the world of creative fiction, great stories come in all sizes and styles. You’ve probably read best-selling novels and breezed through some action-packed short stories.

A novella is defined as a work of narrative fiction that runs between 20,000 and 50,000 words. Once a story exceeds 50,000 words, it is entering the novel territory. 

Fiction genres are typically distinguished by word count, but you can also think of the average short story as 10 to 25 pages and the average novella as 100 to 150 pages. A standard novel is 250 to 300 pages, so you may need a few days to get cover.

In terms of structure, a novella features more conflicts and plot development than a short story, but fewer subplots than a novel. Even though novellas may follow a traditional story arc and create the same kind of unifying effect that short stories are known for, they often lack the complexity and multiple perspectives found in novels.

Similar to novels and short stories, novellas may be written in a variety of styles, on a range of subject matter or themes. 

These are just a few prominent examples of novellas.

 Gothic literature

 Science fiction 

 Political satire/allegory


 Historical fiction

 Children’s literature


Writing a Novella doesn’t require a big investment in time, so there’s no reason not to try! If your story grows into something larger, check out tips for writing short stories and novels.

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