Difference Between Novel and Novella

Key Difference

The writings, books have much more worth than the set or pool of words. They teach us entertain us and even transmit the culture or rituals. Novel and Novella are two of such fiction prose which serve the similar purposes. Both are the genres of fictional prose writing, which can’t be differentiated just depending upon the word count. The most general difference which is used to differentiate it between novel and novella is the length or the word count. The novel is said to be the fictitious prose narrative that is of more than 200 pages or 40,000 words, whereas Novella is said to be the fictitious prose narrative that contains lesser pages than 200 and has word range of around 20,000 to 40,000. Apart from this novel and novella can be distinguished on the basis of complexity, the novella has lesser complex plot than a novel, whereas novel has more characters, themes, and sub-themes, that is why it is more complex.

Comparison Chart

NovelNovella
Word Count/LengthThe novel is said to be the fictitious prose narrative that is of more than 200 pages or 40,000 words.Novella is said to be the fictitious prose narrative that contains lesser pages than 200 and has word range of around 20,000 to 40,000.
DefinitionA fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism is known as a novel.Novella is fictitious prose narrative that is longer than a short story and is shorter than a novel.
Characters & ComplexityMoreLess

What is Novel?

A fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism is known as a novel. The book-length here means of large size as the other factious prose narratives it is being used with are pocket sized or are compared with the pamphlet size. Short stories and novellas are other two genres of fictional prose writing, which are of smaller size as compared to the novels. The term novel is derived from the Italian word novella meaning ‘new.’ It can either be in a single book form, or it can be divided into different chapters and volumes, that is all meant to raise anticipation of the audience. A novel can’t be described as per their words limit it can vary in different cases. Other than this, novels have a more complex plot as it has more characters and comes with themes and sub-themes.

Examples of Novel

Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie.

What is Novella?

It is most commonly referred as a short novel or a long short story as this fictitious prose narrative is longer than a short story and is shorter than a novel. One can’t exactly differentiate it with a novel just keeping in view the word count. There are many other factors which distinguish it from novels like they have a lesser number of characters in it and have a lesser complex plot. Other than that, it is not divided into different volumes or chapters like novels. The term novella is also derived from the Italian word novella meaning ‘new.’ A reader can complete reading novella easily in one sitting.

Examples of Novella?

Animal Farm – George Orwell, Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck, Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka, A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson, A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess.

Novel vs. Novella

  • The novel is said to be the fictitious prose narrative that is of more than 200 pages or 40,000 words, whereas Novella is said to be the fictitious prose narrative that contains lesser pages than 200 and has word range of around 20,000 to 40,000.
  • A fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism is known as the novel, whereas novella is fictitious prose narrative that is longer than a short story and is shorter than a novel.
  • Novella has lesser complex plot than a novel, whereas novel has more characters, themes, and sub-themes that is why it is more complex.

Comparison Video

YouTube video
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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