The Return of the Novella

The ebook has given rise to the return of the novella and these have proved very popular with indie authors who often produce a series of books featuring the same characters.   I have done just that with the release of The Tregelian Hoard. The first in a series of three books.

The novella came to prominence in the Renaissance and one of the earliest novellas was by the Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio. Called The Decameron it featured 100 tales told by ten people all fleeing the Black Death.

Some notable novellas which have made the bestseller lists include Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote and The Invisible Man by H G Wells.

The length of a novella varies. The only real criteria is that it should be longer than a short story but not as long as a novel. As a result the stories featured are usually not as complicated as those in novel.

In modern times the novella fell out of favour. Publishers weren’t keen. The novella was neither fish nor fowl i.e. not a short story and not a novel. While magazines thrived selling short stories, it became harder to find a market for novellas.

That all changed with the advent of the ereader. A game changer in so many ways, the ereader coupled with indie publishing allowed writers to experiment with other forms, those writers found readers and novellas enjoyed a resurgence.

Evolution of Readers by John Blyberg courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

In these days of fast paced life committing hours and hours to a long novel can be tricky. Consuming a novella across a few days is more manageable, particularly if you do most of your reading on the commute into work. It is on trains and planes where the novella coupled with the ereader has really come into its own.

Three Ages of Reading on the Tube by Annie Mole courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

I am pleased this little gem has made a comeback. I am used to working to 100,000 words but I find writing novellas less stressful and more enjoyable.

If you are a reader, why not give a novella a try? And if you are a writer, why not try your hand at one? Either way a whole new world of opportunity will open up for you.





3 thoughts on “The Return of the Novella

  1. Akaluv 14/10/2016 / 1:45 am

    Oh, I can see how novellas are getting popular. I ride the train every day, so I agree with having something quick to read. However, I will always love a good book, though.


    • ellieholmesauthor 14/10/2016 / 5:18 am

      I agree – they will never replace the book but they now have their own place in the modern world which was I think an unexpected consequence of the rise in the ereader.


      • Akaluv 14/10/2016 / 6:09 am

        Yes, they have 🙂


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