7 Reasons You Need to Write a Novella and Not a Novel in 2024


1/17/20243 min read

person sitting front of laptop
person sitting front of laptop

As a writer, you may often find yourself torn between the desire to create a sprawling epic novel (40,000 words +) or a shorter, more concise novella (35-40k words). While both forms have their merits, there are several compelling reasons why writing a novella can be a wise choice in 2024.

In this post, we will explore seven reasons why you should consider writing a novella instead of a novel this year.

1. Time Efficiency

Writing a novel can be a time-consuming endeavor, requiring months or even years of dedication. In our fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity. Novellas, on the other hand, offer a shorter time commitment. With a novella, you can tell a complete and compelling story in a fraction of the time it takes to write a novel. This allows you to produce more work in a shorter span, increasing your productivity as a writer.

For those, like me, who struggle with ADHD a novella is a welcome friend.

2. Reader Attention Span

In an era of Tik-Tok-ification, distractions and short attention spans, capturing and maintaining a reader's attention can be a challenge. The other day a friend of mine said if a book is over three hundred pages, I'm out. I get it.

Novellas provide a perfect solution.

With their concise length, novellas offer readers a satisfying and immersive reading experience without overwhelming them with lengthy narratives. By choosing to write a novella, you ensure that your story will be consumed and appreciated by readers who may have limited time or attention to devote to longer works.

Great for reading on digital devices or consuming on commutes via Audible.

3. Market Demand

The publishing industry is constantly evolving, and market trends play a significant role in determining the success of a book. In the past a novella was a "no man's land" for publishing. Too short to be considered a novel, and not long enough to justify the cost of production.

Good news my friends, in recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the demand for novellas. Readers are seeking shorter, more focused stories that can be enjoyed in a single sitting. By writing a novella, you tap into this growing market demand and increase your chances of reaching a wider audience.

One of the greatest stories ever written was a novella, Ernest Hemingway, Old Man at the Sea.

4. Experimental Freedom

Writing a novella allows for greater experimentation and exploration of different writing styles and techniques. With a shorter format, you have the freedom to take risks and push the boundaries of storytelling.

Novellas provide an opportunity to experiment with unconventional narrative structures, unique perspectives, and innovative themes. By embracing the novella form, you can unleash your creativity and create something truly unique.

In a novel you commit to hundreds of pages and doesn't leave much room for experimentation. Novellas are the best laberatory to try new ways of telling a story without wasting years of your life.

5. Accessibility

Accessibility is a crucial factor in today's literary landscape. Novellas offer a more accessible entry point for both readers and writers.

For aspiring authors, writing a novella can serve as a stepping stone to a larger project, allowing them to gain experience and develop their skills. Sometimes a novella is a seed for a world set in a novel world.

For readers, novellas provide an accessible and affordable way to discover new authors and genres. By writing a novella, you make your work more accessible to a wider range of readers.

Let's be honest, people aren't going to read 1000 pages of an unknown author. They may take a chance on 50-100 pages of a newbie author.

6. Adaptability

In an age where books are not only read but also adapted into various forms of media, the adaptability of a story is a valuable asset. Novellas, with their concise and focused narratives, lend themselves well to adaptation.

Whether it's a film, a television series, or a podcast, the adaptability of a novella increases its chances of reaching a larger audience and gaining recognition beyond the written page.

Stephen King's series of novellas, The Body, Rita Heyworth's Shwashank, and serialized novellas Green Mile all became smash hit movies.

7. Creative Challenge

Writing a novella presents a unique creative challenge. With limited space and word count, every sentence and scene must carry weight and contribute to the overall story.

This constraint forces you to refine your writing skills and make deliberate choices, resulting in a more polished and impactful piece of work. Embracing the challenge of writing a novella can lead to personal growth as a writer and the development of a distinct authorial voice.

While both novels and novellas have their place in the literary world, there are compelling reasons to consider writing a novella in 2024. From time efficiency and reader attention span to market demand and adaptability, novellas offer unique advantages for both writers and readers.

So, if you're looking for a creative challenge or want to explore new opportunities in the publishing industry, consider writing a novella and discover the magic of this concise and captivating form of storytelling.