what is a 'novella'? somebody tell me. honestly, i have no idea. is it the same or different to a 'novelette'? is a 'novelette' like a 'novella' except with a little frilly skirt around the edges of it? is a 'novelette' a 'novella' but with lattice-style icing on the cover?
wikipedia says that a 'novella' is "a narrative work of prose fiction longer than a short story but shorter than a novel" and that "the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000 or 60 to 130 pages."
are science fiction 'novellas' to be categorised separately to regular ones?
later wikipedia says "Occasionally, longer works are referred to as novellas, with some academics positing 100,000 words as the novella‒novel threshold." 100,000 words, i think, is about 400 pages. which would mean about 70% of fiction is novellas, maybe even higher if you look at modern Japanese fiction or French fiction or something. maybe like 1% of modern French writers have produced a novel in the last 20 years.
i wrote a novel a while ago, which i posted on here, which was eight words long. my novel doesn't count i guess.
i propose the term 'short novel'. it is not a new term. i did not invent it. but maybe when someone is unsure they should just say that instead.
i also propose a situation where the academic who said the thing about 100,000 words being the cut off point sits in a chair, and is beaten around the face with a series of double-spaced, single-sided, printed-out A4 word documents. the document is agreed to be a 'novel' if it makes the academic say 'Ow'. the academic might be stoic at first, but i think they would start saying 'Ow' at around the 75-80 page mark.
i just bought les savy fav's new album. i am listening to it for the second time. i am even more excited than i was writing yesterday's post.
i sold somebody a copy of Pan today.
Dan Rhodes expresses a slightly different thing -- saying 'why don't more people write short novels?' -- here, and also gives a list of 10 short novels he likes. i liked his novel, Gold, which was 198 pages (about 45,000 words) long.