By Tamera Lynn Kraft
Novellas are basically stories that are too short to be considered a novel and too long to be under the short story category. They are fiction between 15,000 and 40,000 words. Although novellas used to not be popular with traditional publishers because of the high cost of printing them, they have come into vogue. The main reason for this is because of e-books. A novella can be sold in e-book format for as little as 99 cents which makes it very popular with readers. Many publishers have created anthologies with a group of novellas around one topic, such as the Civil War or Christmas on the frontier. I have a published novella in both of these categories.
Although there are no hard fast rules in writing, here are some things to remember about writing novellas:
One Plot: Novellas generally only have one plot. They are too short to develop subplots effectively.
One to Two POVs: A novella does better with only one or two points of view. It’s too short for much character development, so by limiting the number of main character points of view, it makes it easier to have deep character development.
One Topic: Keep the main thing the main thing. You want to limit yourself to a brief span of time and one problem your character needs to overcoming. One major focus will make your novella stronger.
Write Tight: Novellas are shorter than novels. They require you to get to the point as quickly as possible. This isn’t the genre to use long flowing writing or descriptions. Novellas require tight writing.