I love a good novella. Sometimes you need that fast and dirty read to pull you out of a book hangover.
There are times when I don’t want to dive into a full length book because I can’t binge the whole thing at once. And that is where the novella comes in. However, not all novellas are created equal.
There are some authors that can toss 30k words in a document and give a succinct fully developed story. And then there are some authors that need those at least an extra 30+k to develop those words. Throughout my reading career I have read some really poorly written and structured novellas.
Why doesn’t the novella work?
The author doesn’t take the time to create anything that pulls you into the story. They throw words together without any true meaning behind them. When i finish the novella without knowing anything more about a character than when I went into it that leaves me disappointed. (And this is not counting those PWP stories… that is a different animal in itself.) Just because a story is short doesn’t mean it can’t give me everything that I want and need in a 250-350 page story.
Some authors that can give me perfect character development a well developed story and such an engaging sorry that I need more. They leave me wanting to learn more intricate details of the stories.
Pet Peeves of the Novella
So sometimes a novella doesn’t work because the story isn’t detailed but other times a novella isn’t worth the effort because there are mistakes throughout. I don’t understand the thought process behind the fact that an author doesn’t take the time and effort to correct mistakes if they are putting out a book with only 20-40k words. Poor editing is a hot button issue for me on a regular day, but when it takes me 30-60 minutes to read a book I want it to be pristine.
There should not be missing words or plot holes. There should be a connection and effort in the words on the page.
Novellas and authors that get it right
What do hear more about Novellas?
In June of 2022, Becky and I were joined by podcast contributor Carolina and we broke down the novella and gave ALL THE RECS.
Listen to it here!