Novel vs. Novella:
The pros and cons of writing a novella
As most of you probably know, I am writing a novella series on Amazon. As most of you probably don't know (at least the new readers), I am also halfway through the process of writing a novel.
The novella I just wrote took me exactly 1 month from the time it first came to mind to published.
The novel has been an almost 5-year long process. And it's nowhere near being published.
That would be the main reason why I decided to go a different route with this most recent publishing process. And it paid off.
For all of you writers, whether you're in the process of writing a book or just thinking about it, I'd like to give you my run-down of the process of writing a novella. (I'll be honest - I had to work hard to come up with the cons.)
The Pros and Cons of Writing a Novella:
Con: It's not as common.
That's not to say that novellas don't exist- they do. It's just that when people think “Book”, they think novel. The next shortest thing after that is short story. A novella comes in halfway between, and it's not as common.
Con: You'll probably have to go with a series.
Why? Because Those are a more common than stand-alone novellas. I did a quick Google search, and the pages I scrolled through on Amazon and other outlets showed the majority of novellas were part of a series.
Now, this can be a pro for some (like me) who are long-winded and are constricted by the smaller word count, but it can be a con for those who just wanted to get a quick story written.
Con: It'll be harder to land a publishing deal.
Everyone (it seems) wants a novel. But I've been hard-pressed tracking down publishers who are even remotely interested in novellas. Those who are don't accept unsolicited submissions, and their online stores show that most (if not all) of their published novellas are series. If you're not in it to write a series, you might want to stick with Kindle.
Now we'll move onto the pros (I'm always a 'bad news first' type of person), and the reasons why I chose novellas over novels.
Pro: It does not take as long.
Not nearly as long. Not even remotely as long. Why? For me, a few reasons, but it all breaks down to the fact that a novella is a small novel. If a novel needs twenty chapters, 50k words, three plot twists and two climaxes, a novella cuts that all in half.
(That being said, the time to write a novella should-in a sense-take ½ of the time it would take to write a novel, not .001 of the time, like in my case. But I'm sort of a strange person, so we won't go with my numbers.)
But let's just say that for you it would take a year to write a novel. A novella would take 6 months or less. If you don't want to wait a year to be published, a novella would be the answer.
Pro: You can break up the story.
Let's say you're long-winded like me, and you have 80k words' worth of story to write, but the thought of a project that big scares you. Writing a novella gives you a rest, and a chance to sit back and admire being published when in reality, only a fraction of the story is done.
This is doubly-positive, because not only does it give you a break, but it also keeps your readers waiting and hoping for the next one. If you leave it on a cliff-hanger, then you can pretty much guarantee that the readers of your first book will come back for more. By doing this, you've already gained a following (no matter how large or small it is)
Pro: You can avoid the middle.
The dreaded middle. The lull that you are forced to wade through, hoping you can keep your readers interested enough to stick around for the exciting part at the end. If you're writing the story in two halves instead of one whole, you can possibly eliminate the middle- cut it off when the first bout of excitement ends, and come in when it starts again. You don't have to worry about the readers losing interest, because the boring parts are eliminated.
Pro: You have endless possibilities.
I know that I put the 'series' fact in the cons section, but it really can go either way, so it's in the pro section too. If you're long-winded (like me), writing a novella series gives you unlimited possibilities.
You could stick to just writing a sequel, or continue the story for three, four, or more books. It gives you the freedom to jump into any time in the characters' lives, come in years down the road, and create a new story with the characters you (as their creator) have fallen in love with.
I am more than grateful that this door of novella writing was opened to me, and despite the cons, the pros have completely won me over, enough to make my first published work the first in a novella trilogy.
What do you think? Have you written a novel or novella? Which option is better for you? Let me know in the comments!
(P.S., you can get my first book, "The Hidden Soul" on Amazon Kindle Here!)