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"There is no hard-and-fast definition of what either a novel or a short story is—at least not in terms of word count—nor should there be. But when a writer approaches the 20,000-word mark, he knows he is edging out of the country of the short story. Likewise, when he passes the 40,000-word mark, he is edging into the country of the novel. The borders of the country between these two more orderly regions are ill-defined, but at some point the writer wakes up with alarm and realizes that he's come or is coming to a really terrible place, an anarchy-ridden literary banana republic called the 'novella'."

A type of Prose Fiction which is essentially a short novel which is longer than the novelette. Described by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America as any work between 17,500 and 40,000 words in length. Depending on the definition, they can also be described as a Short Story.

Novellas are relatively uncommon in modern English language publishing due to there being little market for them; they are too short to justify charging the price of a novel-sized book and also too long to fit comfortably in a modern literary magazine. However, there are notable exceptions. Novellas were popular in digest-sized magazines since they could be marketed as "containing a complete novel". E-publishing has also meant a resurgence of the format.

Quite a few video games in the 1980s came with novellas, which acted to provide Backstory that wasn't possible to squeeze into the games themselves.

Novellas tend to have simpler plots than novels, but these plots necessitate more complexity than in a novelette due to the added length.

Compare: Novel, Novelette, Short Story, Light Novels.