There’s no set length for a novella but they’re usually considered to be about 30,000 to 60,000 words or less than 150 pages. A novella might be a prequel to a series that helps set up the world or provide history on certain characters or it can be an in-between story in a series that features more minor characters.
Whatever the reason for an author writing a novella, readers can be very divided on whether they read novellas or not. For some readers, it’s just not long enough so they avoid them but I happen to love novellas, short length and all.
In particular I love when authors use novellas to give readers more stories in a beloved world. When I fall into a series I never want to leave it and I want all the stories for all the characters. Novellas can be a great way for authors to explore side characters and provide a more in-depth look into the world they’ve created. While I enjoy novellas, they’re not all a success, but I’ll always at least give them a try.
Quick to read – Novellas are great when you want to read something in just an hour or two. I enjoy reading novellas when I need something short to go between my last book and the next one. They’re great palate cleansers as well if you need something different.
Focus on the romance – With a short number of pages, authors can’t add a ton of external conflict and novellas are often focused almost exclusively on the couple and their relationship. I’m all about the character driven romance so this works great for me.
Left Wanting More – Oftentimes I fall in love with the characters in a novella and I want more of their story. A brief look into their life and relationship is not always enough to satisfy me so it’s hard to let go.
Not all authors can do them well – I’ve come across some novellas that are really lacking. I don’t expect the level of world and character development that I get in full length novels, but I still need to believe the characters are falling in love (if that’s how the novella is ending). I think novellas are more suited to Happy For Now (HFN) endings but some authors try to go for the full and deep love that just can’t happen in a few short hours.
Do you read novellas?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.