The shorter length of the novella poses a series of questions: where do I start my story? When do I end it? And how do I fit in everything I want to say?
A good way of quelling these worries is to look at the categories of novellas themselves. These categories are not confined, but do offer a great starting point for story inspiration. Knowing what type of novella you are writing you can easily pin-point your audience and fictional goal.
In general, novellas fall into one of three categories: literary, inspirational and genre.
These groups are not formal and each is multifaceted, and carries plenty opportunity.
If you like mind-games a literary novella might be for you. These kinds of stories often forgo a complex plot-line in favour of psychological detail, emotional expression and the exploration of a character’s psychological depth. ‘Heart of Darkness’, by Joseph Conrad is an excellent example.
If you’re drawn to the lighter side of things, an inspirational novella might fit you. These stories usually avoid darker themes in favour of uplifting tales or fables. Additionally, inspirational novellas are great for all ages - meaning you can tailor your story for children and adolescents, too.
Struggling to fit your style into one of these? If you’re the imaginative type, why not try a genre novella? Ranging from sci-fi to suspense and fantasy, genre novellas tell exciting, short and easy to follow plot lines with the goal of telling a good story fast. The famous post-apocalyptic story, ‘I am Legend’, was originally written in novella form.
As you can see, writing a novella doesn’t have to be hard - all you need is a starting point, and off you go.