"You will never remember the great if you do not remember the small." - A look at Novellas
I feel like this quote is an excellent example on how novellas are usually treated. Even the smallest novella can be something great, and that's how I felt about two novellas I have recently read, which is what gave me this idea for this blog post. The first one I want to mention is where the title quote comes from: The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo. This small but beautiful story follows Chih (they/them), a traveling cleric, who meets an elderly woman named Rabbit, and upon their meeting tells them the history of the exiled Empress In-Yo, who Rabbit served as a handmaiden. Although only around 100 pages long, Nghi Vo's writing style is simple, very minimal in description, but it leaves an incredible impact of what was left unsaid and overlooked. A lot of the writing leaves an impression of what had happened, told through stories within stories.
The second novella is Hugo Award Finalist This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. The book follows two time traveling spies from rival factions who communicate through letters where they write of their longing, survival, and freedom until their strands of time become beautifully intertwined. This book is not an easy read because you are thrown blindly into this time-war ravaged world with a dream-like love story told in a poetic prose adventure... woo that was a mouthful, right? But let me say once you're in the story, it is one of the greatest reads you will ever experience.
Both of these novellas, though small in size, contain stories that are far greater than some of the longest novels to-date. Novellas allow for more exploration of a character, place, theme, etc. and are not, by any means, minor works. A story is a story, regardless of length.
So, long story short (like novellas are a long story short! Get it? No? I'll see myself out): Give novellas a chance. Or better yet, challenge yourself to write a novella!
Purchase The Empress of Salt and Fortune: Purchase This Is How You Lose The Time War: