Why You Can Write Novellas As Well As Books

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In the case of novellas, what was once old is new again in the publishing world. Thanks to print anthologies and e-readers, this story mode is regaining a surge in popularity. Why should you care? If you're writing a full-length novel, rest assured that format's not going anywhere, but you might want to try your hand at novellas, too. Here's why.

Novellas are short.

People want a good read, but they might be super busy. Novella lengths range from 12,000-30,000 words. Stories in this format can be read while commuting to and from work or during an interlude between errands.

Novellas are easily-accessible.

Online selections are available with just a click of a mouse. Print versions are often part of a bigger anthology, so you can get several stories in one book. Readers are always looking for a deal.

They're a great tool for novel writers to hone their skills.

It sounds counterintuitive, but penning a novella can help you stick to the plot and keep the focus on your main characters. The novella's tight structure leaves little room for sub-plots or elements that don't significantly contribute to the story.

If you're a published author, writing novellas can be a boon to your career. Readers love to see their favorite characters in new stories. Perhaps you might pen a short piece of your hero's origin, well before he fell for the heroine. Or you can tide the reader over with a story set in that same fictional universe while they wait for the next book release. Your novella can also introduce the audience to your newest series.

Finally, penning novellas can be energizing for all writers. If you feel that you're not ready for a larger piece of fiction, writing a novella can boost your confidence. That's not to say the form itself is not artistic or profitable. Many writers make their living from writing great novellas.

The publishing world has changed, but with the resurgence of novellas and short stories, it's never been a better time to be a writer.

Do you prefer the shorter style of novellas or the traditional novel format?