Is there a difference between "novel" and "novella"? If yes then what exactly?

I have discovered two "Nightwings" books:

I started to wonder, if there is any difference between these two word. And if any, is it etymological or just logical (i.e. number of pages).

  • 1
    Did you check a dictionary? If so, please edit your question to include what you found and what you're still unsure about
    – gotube
    Oct 9, 2023 at 7:16
  • 1
    Novellas tend to be shorter than novels (but longer than short stories). But the distinction is down to the author or the publisher and is purely arbitrary. There is no hard and fast rule. Oct 12, 2023 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


Novels are longer.

There is no formal definition of a novella in terms of pages, words, or other measures, but the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association says it is between

17,500 and 40,000 words; at 250 words per page, this equates to 70 to 160 pages. (quoted from Wikipedia novella)

Novels for adults are typically between 50,000 and 100,000 words, but some are longer or shorter. There is clearly variation and a degree of individual choice. A writer who normally produces 100,000 word novels, might think of a 60,000 word piece as a novella. One who works mostly in short-form fiction might consider their 30,000 story to be a novel.

  • My uncle was very fond of crime, Western and science fiction paperbacks. he had a very large collection which I was allowed to browse. My grandmother said to me 'You'll ruin your mind reading your uncle's novelettes'. Oct 8, 2023 at 9:33
  • 1
    Yes, and this is another aspect of the word novella (or novelette) - it is used disparagingly to mean "not a proper serious novel, but something of lesser importance or value"
    – James K
    Oct 8, 2023 at 13:13
  • @MichaelHarvey See also this answer.
    – tchrist
    Oct 8, 2023 at 18:14
  • @ThePhoton Clarified.
    – James K
    Oct 8, 2023 at 23:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .