A novella is simply a story that is shorter than a novel but longer than a short story. The minimum length would be around 12,000 words; the maximum 30,000. It shares some features with a short story, in that the action must start quickly and the number of characters will be limited. But the longer word count allows a relationship, a character or an issue to be explored in more depth. It is also easier to develop a plot with a beginning, middle and end.

Like a novel it is normal to divide the text into chapters, ideally ending on a cliff-hanger or revelation so as to keep people reading. Novellas have become popular with e-publishers: they are ideal for readers who have only a limited amount of spare time and are quicker than novels to write and edit.

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