What’s the difference between writing a novel, novellas, and short stories?

What’s the difference between writing a novel, novellas, and short stories?

Written by sophiehandrix, In Education, Published On
February 26, 2022

Novels, novellas, and short stories are all basically tales. These three together will look like a three-step stair. It is because novels are longest, then novellas, and finally, as its name speaks, short stories are brief. Many of us are aware of novels and short stories, but not novellas. We’ll get into it in this blog post. We will briefly discuss all three of them and discuss which one is best to write in 2022. All three of them have different word counts. However, the only difference among these three is not only words count. The difference lies in the structure, format, and words, too, altogether.

Difference between Novel, Novella and Short Story

Short Stories

You have held storybooks in childhood. Some of those were thin, and some were thick, having a lot of different stories- they are all called storybooks. Stories’ word count varies between 1000 words to 7500 words and is usually 7-10 pages long. A famous short story is The Night Driver by Italo Calvino, which has almost 2800 words. A short doesn’t have vast time frames in it. Even if it has, it describes it in one or two lines, whereas novels discuses plenty of pages in such cases. Unlike a novel that discusses over courses of years and even centuries, it talks about the present moment.


It’s a thick book, having 300 pages and only one story, that’s how a novel is. The word count is 100,000 to 120,000 and has almost 400 pages. However, the novels are lengthy, but they are not filled with unnecessary words that are only meant for increasing word count. They are long and detailed because they are written like films. Novels contain depth about scenes, characters, story plot, how a character walked and expressed feelings.

A novel has multiple tensions involved in its story. Novels are not fast-paced. While reading novels, you will become anxious about what would happen next when you are in the middle of a 400-page book. So there would be many mysteries to unfold. Novels are very detailed, and they can make you feel intense because it is like a film. Also, people read them for many months, so they become attached to the novel and when it ends. For example, the famous novel The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides has 82000 words on 296 pages.


Novellas are shorter than novels and longer than short stories. A novella has a word count of probably 10,000 to 45,000 words and 150 pages. For example, a novella named The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Novellas focus on a single central conflict.

Who decides the type of text?

A publisher decides whether he would name your text as a short story, novella, or novel if you traditionally publish your book. If you are self-publishing your book, you can hire a professional editor who will edit your manuscript and tell if you should publish it as a novel or novella.

Should you write a Novel, Novella or Short Story?

To identify which one of these you should write, you need to write your story without considering these terms. Think about how you tell someone a story by heart when they ask you. Do you go into details, like describing the place and minor things, or talk less and briefly tell the story? However, it won’t always tell you if you are a better novel or short story writer since some people speak less but can write more. So, it’s better to write your story and, when it is finished, see if it is a novel or novella. Whatever you write should captivate readers, and that matters the most. Since there is a lot of saturation and competition in the market, it would be challenging to stand out.

Moreover, writing a novel is not a piece of cake. It can take years to finish a novel. J. K. Rowling took six years to write Harry Potter and see how successful her novels are. So, don’t be quick to complete your book. Write it the right way! But these metrics should not stop you from doing what you want. All you have to do is analyze things and realistically do the work.


In short, novels are like 3 hours movies, novellas are 15 or half-hour short films, and short stories are 5-10 minutes long comedy videos or other genre videos we watch nowadays. And you know, all three are very enjoyable and exciting. So if you ask which one of the three is more enjoyable, there is no answer. All of them can leave their effect on your soul. And it depends on the person’s taste if he likes to read long texts or not. However, a novel can make you feel more intense since it is very detailed, like a film, and you don’t read it in one day. Some people take two to three months to read a novel. And if a person reads a thing for a long time, he is sad when it finishes, and that’s completely normal and okay.

Moreover, if you have written a long or short story, you can contact any good book marketing services to get guidance and help edit and publish your book.

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