Yesterday, I finally finished a short story I’ve been working on for the past four months or so. It clocked in at a healthy 15,000 words–much longer than any of the other short stories I’ve written.
And I asked myself, “Does that make this a novella?” Because, I had no clue. I was just writing a story.
Turns out, the answer to that question is, “No.” At least according to the categories used for the Hugos and the Nebulas. (I figured those were as good a source as any.)
So, in case you were also curious, here you go:
Novel – 40,000 words +
Novella – 17,500 words to 39,999 words
Novelette – 7,500 words to 17,499
Short Story – under 7,500 words
Of course, there’s also flash fiction, which is not defined by either of those. I generally think of flash as under 1,000 words, but I don’t think that definition is universal.
And I don’t think these categories are universal. But they’re a good start.