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Mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 05:37 pm:   

At what point does a story become a novelette, a novelette a novella, and a novella a novel?
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 07:51 pm:   

According to SFWA:

Short Story: less than 7,500 words.
Novelette: at least 7,500 words but less than 17,500 words.
Novella: at least 17,500 words but less than 40,000 words.
Novel: 40,000 words or more.

I don't know if that's the same all over, but I know that 40,000 words is pretty standard for a "novel". If I recall, the Writers Guild agrees with the 40,000 mark.

Personally I don't know that the split between novella and novelette is entirely necessary, but that's just me.

Jason
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 08:13 pm:   

In Portugal, a 20,000 word "novel" is pretty acceptable. On the other hand, big novels are very rare around here.

Best, Luís
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 08:21 pm:   

The lengths Jason mentions hold true for the Hugos, Nebs, Locus Awards, and the World Fantasy Awards. They are pretty arbitrary though. A number of famous novels are actually novellas by that definition.

Jonathan
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 08:27 pm:   

I've been reading a lot of Cornell Woolrich lately, and the same holds true with him. A lot of his novels are actually novellas.

It is pretty arbitrary, but those are the standards in the field.

Jason
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Ellen
Posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2003 - 09:09 pm:   

Jonathan,
The World Fantasy Award cutoff between short story and novella is 10,000 words, not 7500.

The Stokers cutoff is up to 7499 and 39,999. No novelette category either.

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