Short Story vs. Novella: 5 Key Differences

Short Story vs. Novella, do you know the difference? If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Many people are unsure of the distinction between these two types of writing.

In this blog post, we will discuss the key differences between short stories and novellas. After reading this post, you’ll be able to distinguish between the two genres and choose which one is best suited for your writing project.

The main difference between a short story and a novella is its length. A short story typically ranges from 1,000 to 20,000 words, while a novella falls somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 words.

The short story vs novella page count is the key difference, however, here are some other key differences:

Short Story Vs. Novella: 5 Key Differences

1. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 1: Plots

1. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 1: Plots

A short story often has a single plot, while a novella may have multiple plots or subplots.

One key difference between the two is that a short story often has a single plot, while a novella may have multiple plots or subplots.

This is not to say that a short story can never have more than one plotline, but it is more common for a novella to have multiple storylines. 

2. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 2: Tone

2. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 2: Tone

When you sit down to write a short story, you want to get to the point quickly. You don’t have time to waste on excessive descriptions or long-winded introductions of characters. In a short story, every word counts.

The language is direct and concise, with an emphasis on dialogue. The goal is to create a complete picture in as few words as possible.

A novella, on the other hand, allows for more development of both plot and character. There is typically more description in a novella than a short story, as the author has more space to work with.

The tone may be more leisurely, allowing the reader to get to know the characters and their motivations before the action begins. A novella can also be used to explore a single event or theme in greater depth than a short story.

Which one is right for you?

It depends on your goals as a writer and what you’re trying to achieve with your work. If you’re looking for something quick and easy that can be read in one sitting, a short story might be the way to go.

But if you want to sink your teeth into something a little meatier, with more complex characters and storylines, a novella might be a better choice.

3. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 3: Size of Cast

Short Story Vs Novella Characters

While it is true that short stories tend to have a smaller cast of characters, this is not always the case. Some short stories can have a large and diverse set of characters.

It all depends on the story that the author is trying to tell. For example, if the author is trying to paint a picture of a large and diverse community, then they will likely include a wide variety of characters in their story.

On the other hand, if the author is trying to tell a more intimate story about a few close friends or family members, then they will likely only include a small number of characters.

Novellas often have larger casts of characters because they allow the author more time to develop each character and explore their relationships with each other.

4. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 4: Moments and Events

4. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 4: Moments And Events

Short stories typically focus on one specific moment or event, while a novella may span a longer period of time and explore multiple events.

For example, a short story might focus on a character’s experience of a significant event, such as a funeral, a wedding, or an emotional breakup. A novella, on the other hand, might tell the story of a characters journey over a longer period of time, such as their experience of coming-of-age, falling in love, or struggling with addiction.

Both short stories and novellas can be either happy or sad, funny or serious. The important thing is how they both focus on exploring the inner workings of human emotions and relationships.

By focusing on one specific moment or event, short stories are able to capture the nuances and complexities of human emotions in a way that is both relatable and understandable.

Novellas, on the other hand, provide a broader view of characters lives, allowing readers to see how different events shape and change them over time.

5. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 5: Time To Resolution

5. Short Story Vs. Novella Key Difference 5: Time To Resolution

A short story usually has a quicker resolution, while a novella may take more time to unravel and resolve conflicts.

Although there is some overlap between the two genres, understanding these key differences can help you determine which format best suits your writing project.

Happy writing!

Short Story, Novella, Novellette FAQs Answered

What is the difference between short stories and novellas?

The main difference between a short story and a novella is its length. A short story typically ranges from 1,000 to 20,000 words, while a novella falls somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 words.

How long is a novella vs short story?

A short story typically ranges from 1,000 to 20,000 words, while a novella falls somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 words. This means that a novella is typically longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel.

How many pages are novellas?

Novellas typically range from 80 to 120pages in length, though this can vary depending on the font and size of the font, etc.

What is considered a short story?

A short story is a work of fiction that typically can be read in one sitting. It can be up to 20,000 words but tends to be less than 7,500 words.

Is there any difference between a novella and a novelette?

When it comes to Novella vs Novelette, the length is the only difference. A novelette is typically shorter, around 7,500 to 17,500 words, while a novella falls somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 words.

What is the word count for a novella?

There is no set definition for the difference between a novella and a novelette, but generally, a novella is longer—usually around 20,000 words or more. A novelette is typically shorter, around 7,500 to 17,500 words.

What are the characteristics of a novelette?

The length is the main characteristic of a Novelette (around 7,500 to 17,500 words.)

What is a novella?

A novella is a work of fiction that is typically shorter than a novel but longer than a short story.

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