Novels and Novellas: The Key Differences Every Writer Needs to Know
If you are planning on writing any type of content, it is important that you know the key aspects of each one. Two of the most commonly written content are novels and novellas.
Both are very popular, and if you could write in either format, this would be a great achievement. Before you start on any of these writing formats, you should know the key difference between the two.
Here are the key differences between novels and novellas.
A novel is a long form work of literature that is complex and imaginative in nature. It is meant to entertain and tell a story to readers. It is also a sequence of events which includes a large cast of characters, settings, and leads up to an ending.
Key characteristics of a novel
If you are going to write a novel, it is a good idea to know the key characteristics of the writing form. This will help you avoid making mistakes during your writing sessions.
Novels have a higher word count
A key difference between a novel and a novella is the word count. The usual word count for a novel is around 80,000 to 120,000 words in general. However, some novels have even gone over the said word count. The word count is also affected by the genre you are writing in. Some genres such as Fantasy and Science fiction have a higher word count than genres such as Action/ adventure and Mystery.
Writing a novel will take a good deal of time
The act of writing a novel is no joke. It is a long-time commitment, and will usually take months or even years. This is a key difference between the novel and a novella. You will have to come up with a key concept for your novel, write a manuscript, have it checked and edited, and then have it published. This entire process takes a great deal of time, so if you are going to write a novel, you will need to put in the time.
A novel follows a strict structure
As you start writing a novel, it is important that you follow a strict structure. No matter what type of genre you write in, it is important that you follow a strict structure for your novel. You should at least have the following in your novel.
The exposition is the first part of the novel. This is where you introduce readers to the characters and settings of your novel. It is also the part where the status quo is set, and backstories are explained.
This is the part where the main conflict arises, and the story will actually get moving. During the exposition, you will just slowly show readers the key concepts of your story, the rising action on the other hand will move the overall events of your story along. This is by far the longest part of a novel.
This is the highest point of the story. The climax is where all the tension gets to its breaking point, and all of the conflicts get addressed. When you write the climax, you should take your time, and lead up to the event.
After the events of the climax has taken place, the falling action of the story will occur. This is the part where the overall tension of the story relaxes, and some loose ends are tied.
The resolution is the last part of the story, and is meant to give readers a sense of closure. This is the last chance for you to address and subplots and events in the story.
Should you write a novel?
If you want to prove that you are truly a writer, and you want to be a professional, then writing a novel is a great way to do this. Remember that writing a novel is no joke. This is by far the longest writing project you could take up, so you should be prepared to put in the work.
Think of a novella as a mini-novel. While it is almost as complex as a novel, and has a cast of characters, it is nowhere near as long as a novel. Think of a novella as being between a short story and a novel. If you are going to write a novella of your very own, you should know how to compress your ideas into a shorter word count.
Key characteristics of a novella
It is far shorter than a novel
The biggest difference between a novel and a novella is the word count. While a novel usually has a word count minimum of 80,000 to 120,000 a novella has a minimum of 17,000 to 40,000 words. This makes writing a novella so much easier, and faster to write.
It has fewer conflicts and subplots than an actual novel
Yet another key difference between a novel and a novella, is that it has fewer conflicts and subplots. Remember that a novella is nowhere near as long as an actual novel. This means that you can’t add too many subplots and conflicts into the novella.
It could be read in one or two sittings
While a novel takes at least multiple readings to complete, you could read a novella in just one or two sittings, depending on your reading speed.
Should you write a novella?
While writing a novella is easier, and less work intensive than a novel, you should not underestimate the work involved. Remember that a novella is kind of like a mini-novel, and is almost as complex as a novel. If you are going to write a novella, you should take it seriously, and even consider it as preparatory to writing an actual novel.
As a writer, it is important that you know the key differences between a novel and a novella. Remember that you may be writing in these two formats, so you should be knowledgeable. With this article, you’ll be able to spot these differences very easily.
Now that you know the key difference between a novel and novella, why don’t you self-publish some content of your own. Writers Republic is more than ready to help!