Nicole J. Simms

The Novella Challenge

Post date: 21st March 2017
The Novella Challenge

I’m writing a novella. Well, not right now, but I will once I finish the planning stages. If you’ve seen my writing goals, you will know that one of my goals is to turn a short story into a novella.

Why a novella? Well, there are two reasons for that. The first reason is that my story idea is too big to be a short story (you need to allow your story to be the length it needs to be not what you want it to be), but it’s too small to be a novel, so a novella seemed the perfect length. My second reason is that I have written flash fictions, short stories, novelettes, and two novels, but I haven’t tried writing a novella. So I thought now would be a perfect time.

Since writing a novella is new to me, I thought it would be a good idea to find some tips and advice. So I trawled the web in search of answers and found these three useful websites: How to write a novella: 6 essential tips, How to Write a Novella, and Differences Between a Short Story, Novelette, Novella, & a Novel.

What is a novella? Well, a novella is a story roughly told between 20,000 and 40,000 words. It has fewer conflicts than a novel, but more than a short story. It doesn’t have chapters like a novel. And it’s unlikely to have a subplot, but if it does, the subplot will be a small one. This is a rough guide, but the links above will explain further.

Now searching on the internet can help me to learn about the novella. However, there is still one way that is the best way to learn how to write a novella, and that way is to read novellas. I was surprised to realise that I had already read novellas: I have a Stephen King story collection called Full Dark, No Stars. This collection has four novellas titled, 1922, Big Driver, Fair Extension, and A Good Marriage. However, I still feel that I need to read more, so I have created a list of novellas in different genres to read, see below.

Novellas I plan to read:

  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell

Writing this novella will be an interesting challenge. My plan is to work on this in-between editing my novel. So between the novella, novels (I plan to start writing my next novel in November), flash fiction collection, and short stories, I will be a busy writer.

If you have any tips on writing a novella or you are considering writing one then let me know.

Keep writing folks!

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