I just finished writing my first novella. It was not as easy as I had expected. Having pounded my way through one novel and blundered my way through another and having authored hundreds of shorts, I truly thought a novella would be a piece of cake, or at the very least a whole cake. This novella has been occupying my time and thoughts for over a year now. And that is a very long time for a novella, something that will not be an easy sell.
I often thought novellas were a good bridge between the novel and the short story, but I was dreadfully wrong. The novella is not just a short novel. It is a precise and telling of long story. It is a novel with all the fat trimmed off, leaving only a lean story without fluff, without secondary character development, without side stories. It is a show-ready house rather than a lived in home. It is also far more complicated than a short story. While short stories tend to stay within the realm of the immediately important, Novellas can broaden the scope and show the importance of things that might be glossed over in a short. The structure of the novella is also more like a novel in the rising action. Short stories are often more direct to the climax. Novellas sway towards it like a roller coaster.
All and all, a great experience that I’m glad to be done with.