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The novella and a novel what’s the difference

January 12, 2018
The novella and a novel what's the difference?

The novella and a novel what’s the difference?


This one of the common questions I’ve seen asked in writers groups, other is what readers prefer to read if its novellas or a full-length novel.


What is a novella?

A novella is a range of 20,000 to 40,000 words a few of the most popular novellas are A Clockwork Orange, Of Mice and Men, or The Great Gatsby.  At the time, it was common for stories in this length to be published and if you notice, most of the books published in the 30s to the 70s era where short. There were full-length novels.


According to the research, I made it is considered rather difficult to have a novella published traditionally. And if you notice, you see any novellas being published in this day and age.


Novellas are often focused on one character for development but it can have multiple characters. Novellas aren’t divided into chapters they go on like a short story it can be read in a few hours.      




The novella and a novel what’s the difference?

The novel starts from 40,000 words onwards this is the most common work of fiction and nowadays we see more novels on bookshelves rather than novellas. With a novel, you are not as limited as writing a novella. You can have multiple characters, subplots, twists and more room for dialogue.  


A novel depending on the word count, it can be read in a few days or a few weeks. The word length of a novel is debatable depending on the genre.


Sci-Fi/Fantasy this genre is usually the longest it varies from 100,000 to 120,000 words it’s expected to run long because of the amount of world building it takes to introduce the reader to the fictional world the writer creates.


 The Harry Potter series has 1,084,170 words; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has 257,045 words.




Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? has only 65,000 words.


Historical is the same as above.  


Romance 50,000 to 100,000 words sub-genres such as Erotica, supernatural, and chick lit are to bear in mind. Both Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey are both 100,000 words.


Crime/ thriller/mystery/ Suspense and horror 70,000 to 90,000 words these genres are lengthy for the suspense it entails.  



More posts 

 Top 5 motivational quotes about writing

How not to start a book

Happy writing and reading xx

  1. Great post – I ask this question to myself from time to time when I start something new and think how can I stretch this out to 40K plus words. I don’t. I can keep it short and fresh and make room for writing more novellas. How cool is that!

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