Today, it’s all about the novella.
According to Wikipedia,
A novella is a work of narrative prose fiction, longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. Publishers and literary award societies typically describe a novella’s word count as falling between 15,000 and 40,000 words, although definitions vary.
The English word “novella” derives from the Italian novella, feminine of novello, which means “new”.
On average, a 100 page book is around 25,000 and, in my experience, few books marketed as novellas ever reach 200 pages. Many famous books are actually novellas: Animal Farm (111 pages), The Little Prince (88 pages), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (144 pages), and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (152 pages).
I love novellas. A great novella has room for a plot that snags your attention, characters that are quickly established but feel fully real, and a focus that stays true from the first word to the last. It’s often an introduction to an author or a series and, when the last page is finally read, I can’t wait to delve into more.
My favorite novella is Courtney Milan’s A Kiss for Midwinter–although even as I write this, I think of others I adore: Frozen by Meljean Brook, Tress by Larissa Brown, Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey, Harlot by Victoria Dahl, and at least three more stories by Ms. Milan. And, I know I’m missing many more.
So, tell me, what novellas do you love and why? Do you like it as an art form or do you find it lacking? Inquiring minds are desperate to know!