Wednesday 27 October 2010

The November Novella Challenge

As I have a really busy month coming up in November, after committing to NaNoWriMo, I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time for reading, so when I saw this challenge I thought it was ideal, as I had planned to concentrate on reading novellas, through November.

So here are the details of the challenge which has it own blog called The November Novella Challenge

The idea is simple: read novellas in November.

There are a few different levels to choose from:

Level I: Read one (just one!) novella by November 30, 2010

Level II: Read four novellas (one each week, mayhaps?) by November 30, 2010

Level III: Read eight novellas (two a week?) by November 30, 2010

Level IV: AKA, the As Many As You Freakin’ Can level: Read as many novellas as you freakin’ can by November 30, 2010

I am going for Level Three as I had hoped to read at least two a week.

I did go to the library to pick up a few novellas to read. Excluding Three Men In A Boat, I picked up three to read.
1) The Prisone of Zenda by Hope
2) The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
3) Artic Summer by E.M. Forster.

I have also downloaded two novella's to hubby's IPad.
1) The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
2) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.

I do have a little dilemma with this challenge and I wondered if you could help me. I am a little confused as to the size of a novella. How many pages should it be in order to still be considered a novella rather than a novel? Any one have any ideas? I have a few books in my collection that I think could fit , but I am struggling to work out whether they fit into this category or not.

If you feel brave, come and join the challenge.


  1. My good deed for today - to answer your question. Typically it would seem it's 50 to 100 pages OR as another site informs us 17,500 to 40,000 words OR as yet another site says 10,000 to 70,000 words. Still confused? Me as well.

  2. When I googled it it said 50-145 pages, and i'm sure that was the guidelines last time I participated. One if my choices has 152 pages, i'm sure 7 pages won't so any harm. Good book choices, classics seemed to be easier to find at this length x

  3. According to wikipedia (who knows everything, right?) a novella is anywhere between 10,000 and 70,000 words. they also have a list of novellas in case you are running low on ideas :

  4. I was going to ask you the same thing about page counts! I know short stories go up to like 12 or 13k, and then you have novelettes which are like between there and maybe 25k, and then maybe novellas are 25-40k? I see the comment above me says 10k to 70k but I know that can't be true because most commercial fiction these days is around 50-75k, and there are many stories that are 10k. Just to give an example, the original word count of Wake by Lisa McMann (a normal sized book) is only around 35k. Of course, it has a lot of white space, but so does a prose poem book or a novel in vignettes. I'm not sure there can really be a full definition. I personally define novella as a small book that I can't fully consider a short story but also can't fully consider a novel. Rather vague, huh?

  5. I was thinking that I don't have any novellas, but after seeing your choices I think I might have more on my shelves than I think. I'm so far behind on other challenges right now though that I'm not going to add another.

    Good luck with the challenge!

  6. Petty Witter - thank you for looking that up. I kept only getting word counts and that doesn't make it easy when you are looking at sizes of books. I thought over just over 100 would be OK.

    Kathy - thankyou.

    Katrina - I will keep that in mind and go upto 150 pages.

    Mommablogsalot - I did find that list on Wikipedia and I am keeping it as one of my favourites for the challenge.

    Amanda - I think I will go with page count as it just makes it easier to pick books for the challenge.

    Alyce - I have abandoned all my other challenges.I am going to go for short challenges for in the future as I lose momentum with the long ones.

  7. Vivienne, I think about 150 pages would be tops for a novella, but I could be mistaken. What a terrific sounding challenge--enjoy!

  8. Good luck for your reading challenge and NaNoWriMo!

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  10. I think joining this challenge sounds like the perfect idea for you for November! Though I have to say I'm mighty impressed that you're hoping to read eight!!! Read eight novellas *and* write a book--pretty damn impressive, my dear!

  11. I think a novella is under 160 pages or so. I know a novella when I see it! :-) Good luck on NaNoWriMo! I'm going too. This novella challenge is a great idea but I don't think I'll join. There's a few books I want to read to keep me inspired durrng November.

  12. good luck! I think a novella is too long to be a short story but too short to be a book.

  13. since most of the time the definitions of a novella are given in word count, I tend to ignore them. But basically, I consider them to be 60-150 pages, but ideally 80-120 pages.

    Thanks for joining!

  14. I'm in! Just read a novella by Brian Moore called Catholics, and I plan on reading a few more as I'm on vacation next week. I'll also try to put up reviews on my blog: Big Book, Big Evil.


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