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How To Easily Write a Novella

Updated on May 19, 2014

Welcome to a Style from the Past

I read a lot!

I mean a lot!

I take to heart the words of famous authors who have said that reading is a great exercise to improve one’s writing, but truth be known that long before I became a writer, I read voraciously.

I am always in search of new authors, and when I find one I enjoy, I sweep through their entire catalog until it is time to move on to the next author.

A few weeks ago I discovered Joe R. Lansdale, an American author who has won the Edgar Award, the British Fantasy Award, and seven Bram Stoker Awards. I like his style, his stories flow quickly, and he has a penchant for developing interesting characters.

I finished one of his novels and went online to order another from the local library. To my surprise, when I went to the library to pick up this new book, I discovered that it was not a novel, but in fact, a novella.

And here I thought novellas were a dead breed.

Oh, how wrong I was!

At over 120,000 words, my book is definitely not a novella
At over 120,000 words, my book is definitely not a novella | Source

What Is a Novella?

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

W. Somerset Maugham

A novella is a written piece of fiction that is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. The categories of fictional works look something like this:

  • Short story…..1,000-7,500 words
  • Novelette…….7,500-20,000 words
  • Novella………..20,000-50,000 words
  • Novel…………...50,000-110,000 words
  • Epic………………110,000 + words

None of the above is etched in stone. It is only given to you for reference.

There has been a resurgence of novellas in recent times, thanks to the ebook craze. Indie writers can now write novellas in a reasonably short time, sell them for $.99-$2.99, and then move on to the next project. The novella seems to appeal to today’s online readers, just as they once did, decades ago, when pulp fiction was the hottest trend.

But novellas also can be found sprinkled throughout our literary history, written by some of the giants of literature. An example you should all be aware of is Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea,” as well as Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.”

So perhaps you would like to give it a go, but don’t know exactly what the guidelines are for writing a novella. Luckily for you, I am here with the answer. The information that follows is not meant to be construed as the only way to write a novella, but rather a compilation of elements you will find in most novellas.

One Plot and at Most One Subplot

The length of a novella dictates that only one plot be developed. It is practically impossible to do more with 30,000 words. However, you still have the freedom to develop a complete storyline around that one plot, and you can certainly have complications within that plot. Just don’t mosey down a side trail and get lost in a subplot that will most certainly divert from the goal of the novella.

It all begins with an idea
It all begins with an idea | Source

One Point of View

My latest novel, “Resurrecting Tobias,” employs the use of first person as well as third person. I found it necessary to do that in order to adequately develop the three main characters, and in a novel of over 120,000 words, I had the freedom to do so.

That is not the case with a novella. Again, the length of the book pretty much dictates that only one point of view be used, and in most cases, that point of view is first person. Why? Because first person allows the author, in a short space, to create an intimate relationship between the protagonist and the readers.

Stephen King has a collection of novellas to his credit, and all but one is written in first person. If it’s good enough for King, then it’s good enough for this writer.

One Question Is Answered

This is closely related to the plot discussion mentioned earlier. All novels answer questions. Will the lead character survive a harrowing experience? Will the protagonist find redemption?

In a full-length novel, oftentimes there are more than one question answered, but not in a novella. It is practically impossible to adequately develop a story and answer more than one central question within the length of a novella.

One Style and One Tone

Do not flutter about, bouncing between styles, in a novella. You don’t have the time. Using more than one style or tone is an excellent exercise in novels, and great writers do it effortlessly, but even great writers are incapable of doing it in a novella.

A General Outline of a Novella

Again, this discussion is in general terms, so don’t feel compelled to follow these guidelines too closely. Still, it helps to understand what you are facing, before you attempt a novella.

  • Introduction…….1,000 words
  • Conclusion……….1,000 words
  • Characters……….1,000 words
  • Setting……………..1,000 words
  • Plot…………………20,000 words

Using the general rule of one spark for every 25,000 words, it is possible to have as many as two main events, or sparks, in a novella. More than that and you will never do them justice in your development of them.

What is a spark? It is a catalyst for lack of a better description. It is an action or event that propels the story.

Why Write a Novella?

I don’t know how many times I have had someone tell me that writing a novel is daunting and sounds overwhelming to them. The idea of carrying a story along in a cohesive package for 100,000 is simply too much for them to comprehend.

For those out there who feel that way, why not give a novella a try? Take it a step at a time, and you just might surprise yourself.

Begin with an idea, or a question, if you will. How does the boy win the love of the girl? Now write an introduction to kick off the story. Once the introduction is done, think of a spark, or central event, that will serve as the fuel for your story. Ride that spark, and at the same time, develop the characters and scenes. Then wrap it all up with a nice pretty bow and you are done.

Novellas also lend themselves quite well for a series of books. Just as in the old days of pulp fiction, you can develop a main character, and then take him/her through a new adventure in each novella. In today’s world of ebooks, once you attract a following to your series, each one should sell and sell well.

There might just be a large market for novellas in today’s world. The attention span of the new generation of readers seems to be about equal to a fruit fly, so shorter books just might be attractive to those readers.

The best reason for writing a novella, however, is because practice makes perfect, and although we will never reach perfection as writers, we can at least snuggle as close to it as possible by writing, writing, and writing some more.

Read often....write often!
Read often....write often! | Source

It’s Time to Get Started

I will leave you now. I’m sure you all have a wonderful idea for a novella just burning a hole in your brain. It’s time to let that fire roar. Call on your muse to help you. That little wench is just sitting around doing nothing. You might as well put her to work.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you Glimmer. I'll settle for "fascinating' any old day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I had no idea there were so many categories of stories. I have read novellas before, but always considered them short stories. This was fascinating Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad that helped, Mathira. Thank you!

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      billy, I was doubtful what the term novella meant before I read your post. You clarified lots of my doubts. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always a pleasure, Deb! Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Entertaining and informative, just how I like it. Thanks, Billy, for another piece of the puzzle.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Dianna, and it was my pleasure. Good luck with that book this summer.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Thank you for defining this term. A novella may be the best route to when writing a first book.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Ann, your catch-up is appreciated.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      I'm playing catch-up, bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Ann! You've been here so much today I feel like we had a cuppa tea together. :)

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      These details are so useful. I knew a novella was a small novel but that's all I knew. The word 'spark' meaning event is also new to me but it describes so well a catalyst to get you writing.

      Interesting information and great inspiration here, bill.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Without a doubt, Anna, the novella is seeing a huge comeback in the literary world, and it's all because of ebooks. They offer great value for the money.

      Thanks once again.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      I read e-books as well as paper ones and the novella is a powerful marketing tool. The novella is free, then the first of a series heavily discounted... then you are hooked... you have to read the next seven books as you are caught up in the characters and the whole world they reside in.

      Interesting and helpful hub.

      Anna :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, they are making a big comeback, thanks to ebooks...go for it my friend.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I thought novellas were dead in the water as well. This is heartening as I often like to write stories that are too long to be categorized as “short stories” and not lengthy enough to qualify as a novel. I’ve bookmarked this wonderful hub, Bill. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, vkwok, and thank you.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      I've always wondered how they were different from novels. Thanks for sharing about Novellas.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great examples, Brian. I had forgotten about Steinbecks...shame on me. :)

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Thanks for this very good overview of the novella form. It has always been my favorite literary form. Among my favorites: Hesse's JOURNEY TO THE EAST; Melville's BILLY BUDD; Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN; Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, I feel the same....about meeting you. :) Have a great day my energetic friend.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Ha! You still do EPIC work. Amazing person you are. You inspire and I'm so glad we met when we started our careers here at HP. It feels so good to be writing articles here again. I admit: I like this so much better than blogging. It just feels right. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, believe me, I do understand. I was once like you. :) Happily I have mellowed a bit over the years. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      You're right, hehe. Husby accuses me of having a hard time "just being" - but I DO "just be" - early in the morning, before the world wakes up, I sit down and do some meditating. Maybe it's the ol' Catholic guilt, but if I'm not contributing to my household, my school, or otherwise doing something for/with friends, the planet - to generally make a difference, I feel too guilty. Rarely do I just sit. Even in the evenings: husby has to twist my arm to watch a movie. But we make a point of doing just that on Friday nights. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Ryem, and it is nice to see you again.

    • Ryem profile image

      Ryem 3 years ago from Maryland

      I always learn a lot from you, Bill! Thanks for spreading your knowledge. I'm definitely sharing this hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Jeannie. Good luck with those ebooks.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thanks for breaking down the number of words for novellas, novels, etc. I've always wondered that. I need to get back in the swing of things and write more eBooks myself. Thanks for the information!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, it's amazing that someone as busy as you is considering writing a novella....some people are just born to always be doing something, and you are one. Challenges help us grow, and you are growing at an incredible rate. Thank you, lil' Sis.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, that is fantastic. I'm so glad this helped you. Best wishes on that series.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, the family is intact, thank you, and blessings to you always. Thank you for taking the time to visit.

      hugs, love, and blessings heading eastward

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aaron, I hope one day you do. I would be thrilled to see my name in credits. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Faith, and thank you for always being here.

      blessings my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, you are a good writer, and good writers can write a novella. Maybe one day, yes?

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      grand old lady, you owe me nothing. Friendship is enough for me. Best wishes on your novella and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! That was kind of you and yes, many of them do turn into movies, which I also find odd.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Harishprasad, you are far from ignorant my friend, but thank you for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, they have a name for everything, even if we don't know what it is. LOL Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Parrster, thanks for your thoughts. There is no doubt that simpler is better.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Oh my goodness! Thanks for sharing this. Actually, I DIDN'T know about novellas and you know I've been thinking about what you said with finding your writers' voice. Now that I have some time this summer, I want to try some of these shorter pieces - I have those unfinished novels, but I really, really feel like they're amateurish and too simple. I might try this style and see if that resonates. :)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you Billy you have so inspired me to make The Self Employed Housewife a series of Novellas! My other novels are all near the 140.000 word count, but now that I've learned something about the word count of a Novella, and I've started to re-edit my first 10 chapters, I now know what to do. Publish the housewife story as an ebook is probably far more suitable anyway. Voted up and tweeted!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      As you always do, dear Bill, you have clearly explained how this works. It is something I may embark on one day if I ever take the time.

      Meanwhile, I will read the works of others ...

      Take care of you and Bev and the CHICKS...you still have them, right?

      Many Angels are winging their way to you this early morning hour ...ps

    • Aaron Sparks profile image

      Aaron Sparks 3 years ago

      Thanks for the tips, i would certainty use them when writing my first novella. who knows...maybe you'll get a credit also in my first page :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Ah, yes, a novella! Now, that may be doable at the present time. Thank you, Bill, as always, for sharing your insight here.

      Peace and blessings

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the information, Bill. I'm not really interested in writing a novel, but a novella sounds appealing. This is a project that I might try!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Dear Billybuc,

      I figured if I read you long enough I'd find what I'm looking for, and this is it. You see, I actually wrote a novella which for me is an inferior piece of writing compared to a real book. This article of yours produced clarity. Now I know there is no need to expand my book but to just stick to the novella and work it out and improve it. Thank you, Billy Buc. I owe you big time. Looking forward to your book Resurrecting Tobias.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Bill. Some novellas can cross over into movies I believe. That seems odd if they are short. Thanks for explaining the novella so thoroughly. You must have been a great English teacher and have taught many skills on this site and are so easy to read. Sharing. Blessings. Audrey

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      Though I'm not into writing either novels or novella, the way you teaches this art like a true teacher, it can turn even an ignorant like me into a novella writer ! Lol.. Bill, I love your style and words you use. You make stones speak. Voted up.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi bill, I suppose my ebook would be classed as a Novella, but funnily enough I hadn't even heard the term before I had written it! lol! great advice as always, nell

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 3 years ago from Oz

      Love Muaghams quote. I like the Novella, they generally make an easier read for the time poor and are far easier to write (from my experience). My Novella Truth to Tell, was the most enjoyable of the books I've written. Everything is simpler, as you said, and I like simple. Voted up and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, I agree with your point about learning from every single writer whose work I read. There is always something we can learn if we are willing. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • profile image

      suzettenaples 3 years ago

      Yes, we are lucky to have you, Bill here on HP. You define a novella quite well and it is a good starting point to the final goal of writing a novel. Reading is so important to writers and to affecting their style and novel ideas. I learn something new about writing from every author so read. It could be something good or something I would never do, but I learn from every writer. I was and continue to be a voracious writer. Nice article!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Ann! My thoughts...if I'm going to write that many words, I might as well add a few thousand more so I can call it a novel. :)

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Bill, I totally agree - and as you say, it is a good start and not insurmountable. I shouldn't talk anyway, I haven't written even a short story in years!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      one2get2no, I agree with you, and I think that is the greatest advantage to writing a novella.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oops, thanks, Melissa. I appreciate you point it out. I hope to see a novella by you soon. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Dr. Bill. Good to hear from the voice of experience.

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 3 years ago from Olney

      Hey Billy.....very interesting hub....I believe the novella is a nice bridge between the novelette and the novel if the author isn't able to create any more characters or other sub plots. Voted up and shared.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 3 years ago from Minnesota

      This was really helpful Bill. Trying to write a novel really can be overwhelming for some of us novices, but the novella format seems a little more simplified and might not be a bad place to start! Plus, I have also noticed that many ebook authors start off with a novella which they offer free or very cheap, hoping to draw readers in for future novellas or novels.

      FYI, I think your spell check corrected your book title to "Resurrection Tobias" instead of "Resurrecting Tobias".

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Good information. I enjoyed publishing my novella, "Murder by the Homeplace," last year. It was the perfect format. Hope you and your readers check it out! ;-) Available on Amazon.com... ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Flourish, I literally howled at your comment. Way too funny my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, a part of me agrees with you. I don't see a novella in my future, but....there are those who completely shut down at the prospect of writing 100,000 words. For them, I think if they gave a novella try, they would find out 100,000 is not insurmountable and in fact very doable.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I think it is a viable solution for those who are afraid of the challenge of a novel. Thanks for the visit my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Seafarer...I don't worry about stuff like punctuation in comments, but I appreciate you caring enough to mention it....and thank you for all that sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      elnavann, you can do it. Start small and develop larger.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Seafarer, if you can write 65,000 words on gardening, you can write anything. I firmly believe that.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      It was very helpful how you broke this down. It was almost -- dare I say it -- like a recipe!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Bill, if you keep pumping out all these great ideas, one of us might come up with a great idea for a story that will be published!

      To me, though, a novella is a novel-wanna-be. Sorry, but I can't get past that. It's sort of like reading the condensed versions in Reader's Digest, which I seldom did. If you're going to go through all the work of developing a plot and the characters, why not just write a novel? Why not either write a short story or a novel?

      But then, that's me. I still enjoyed reading this and it did encourage me to write more!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good information on the novella and various lengths of other kinds of books. I appreciate you pointing out the differences. No doubt, the novella is the right length for some. Thank you.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 3 years ago from New England

      Hey Bill,

      Please excuse the punctuation errors on my last message. My server crashed during the 5 minute editing window. Yikes.

      Also want you to know that I Tweeted and Pinned your hub...and "Liked" it on my book's Facebook fan page. :0)

    • elnavann profile image

      elnavann 3 years ago from South Africa

      Hi. Sounds great - I never thought of doing that and maybe that is the way to start developing that serious idea. a full novel is such a daunting task for an ordinary aspiring writer

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Sha! Glad to be of assistance.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you hlwar. I think "novelette" is a fairly new term, like the genre "young adult." The business changes over time as the public's tastes change.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 3 years ago from New England

      Great, useful hub about the word-count breakdown of book lengths and their names....and great description about what works for each. Thanks so much! If I can write a 65,000 word gardening guide, I can write a novel....and even a novella, depending on my goal....but I'd want to do it at a saner pace than the publisher had me do it. Your hub was very encouraging.!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Rafiq. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you could, Eric! Give it a go, and thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, I think it is a great way to get started in the book business.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Ruby, I'm willing to bet you already knew it. Modest that you are. :) Thanks my dear, and have a great week.

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for the low down on the various categories and word count depicting each. This is very useful information, as usual!

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      hlwar 3 years ago

      I knew what a novella was and the word count, but I've never heard the term 'novelette' before. Learn something new every day. XD

      Anyway, this is a great overview of a novella, and definitely inspiring for those intimidated by writing full-out, epic novels. I myself never plan to write anything specific; I just sit down and write, and however many words it turns out, so be it. (^o~) For reading, however, I find myself drawn to the shorter books. My attention span isn't what it used to be and I prefer a quicker pace.

      Thanks for another thoughtful and useful hub, Bill!

    • Rafiq23 profile image

      Muhammad Rafiq 3 years ago from Pakistan

      Useful hub Bill! Thanks for such a useful and interesting information.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great Stuff -- I think I could handle a Novella.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Novella sounds a better task and you say it so perfectly in your well written hub than you

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      So a novella is different than a novel? How come i didn't know that? Hee, so much to learn and thankful we have a great teacher to lead us on. Thank you again...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, if I were to write a series, I think I would go the novella route. I think that genre lends itself well to a shorter form. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vicki! I appreciate you following and of course, I appreciate your friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Arun, I am confident that you would write a novella. Any qualified writer could do it.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree completely, Donna You are writing novels, and the digital book arena is ripe with novellas. Thanks for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the visit, Martie. I think ebooks have provided a new market for novellas...at $.99 per book, many people are willing to pay for an extended short story.

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      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Great hub and interesting information. I've written both novellas and novels and I like them both for different reasons. Sometimes when I'm reading, I enjoy shorter stories and for that reason, novellas are great. I read/write novels when there is a lot more detail needed.

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      Vickiw 3 years ago

      Hi Bill, this is such an interesting and informative Hub. I am pleased you have a writing website, and will join you there ASAP!

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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      I can at best think of producing a short story or an essay but to go for a novel gives me a real fright. But your tips may be a shot in the arm to give our creative brains a bit of a stretch. Thank you for the excellent hub.

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      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for the low down on what constitutes a novella. Someone once said that I write novellas, but I had to disagree, (just over 80K words). According to your definition, I was right. I think that novellas have become more popular now that digital books have reopened that door. Great article by the way! As usual, I love your work!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Kathryn. Nice to see you here again. I hope you give this a try. It might be a good stepping stone on the way to a full novel.

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      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Hi, Billybuc, this is very useful hub. Many writers are writing novellas instead of novels without even realizing it. I see a novella as a stretched-out short story, so I use the guidelines of a short story. I am curious to visit your writing blog.

      Voted up and very useful!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks breakfastpop. I always appreciate your visits.

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      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      I totally understand what a novella is thanks to your excellent hub. As always voted up, useful, interesting and awesome.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, I love it, Lizzy, and you know I do. Give her a hug for me.

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      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I have never really thought of writing a novella, since my stories sometimes blossom once I start writing. But you have provided enough information and guidelines to make it easier to attempt, if I decide to do so. It might be a nice project for me to work on when I have time.

      As usual, I enjoyed your article, and look forward to reading (and gleaning information from) more over time. Thank you for sharing this with us.

      I hope you had a very pleasant weekend. It was gorgeous in my neck of the woods, and I went to the park to relax, read and write.

      Have a great week!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fantastic, Vellur!