Site icon Douglas W.T. Smith

How Writing a Novella Helped My Writing

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Since publishing Shadow Of The Wicked, I’ve had a lot of people asking me why I chose to write a novella instead of a full-length novel. I’ve had people suggesting it to be too much effort, or was I looking for a specific target audience. The truth to why is below but first, if you’re new to this term novella, I’ll discuss what it is and then answer, why I chose to write one.


What Is a Novella?

So, what is a novella? A novella is a story that is shorter than a full-length novel but longer than a short story. Novellas incorporate many narrative and structural elements of novel-length stories, but they often focus on a single point of view. The interesting thing about form and structures is that you don’t have to always follow the rules. My novella Shadow Of The Wicked has two point of view characters telling the story.

I wanted to tell the one story from two perspectives because life isn’t always one-sided.

How Long Is a Novella?

This is where it gets confusing. Depending on your source there are differnent GUIDELINES to your word count. For my blog’s sake, I’ll use Reedsy as an example. On their post, Word Counts: How Long is a Novella, Novelette, and Short Story? It suggests that 17,500 – 40,000 words.

Novellas vs. Novels: What’s the Difference?

The most obvious difference between novels and novellas is page length and number of words. However, beyond this superficial difference there are many structural and thematic hallmarks of novellas that make them their own standalone genre of writing. Some of these include:

How It Helped My Writing?

I wrote a novella to fine tune my writing.

How? Think of a novella as Act 1 within a novel. While writing Shadow Of The Wicked I had to make sure I had to make sure it was fast paced and coherent. No subplots. No pantsing ONE central conflict. I won’t spoil my book but that’s what it is. It asks one question and answers one question.

Will magick be restored or extinguished?


Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll discuss the techniques I used to write a novella. If you want more publishing tips, make sure you scroll through the blog and check out my Youtube Channel


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