Home » How to Start Writing a Novella: 7-Step Guide for Beginners

How to write a novella in 7 easy steps


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How to Start writing a Novella
What will you learn?


Have you ever dreamt of crafting a captivating story that falls between the realms of a short story and a full-length novel? Writing a novella may be the perfect endeavour for you. Novellas provide a unique opportunity for writers to delve into a concise narrative while still exploring rich characters, thought-provoking themes, and evocative emotions. In the mind of every writer, there is a fundamental question “What is the difference between a novel and a novella? And how long is a novella?” Novella is a story falling between a short story and a full-length novel, but the word count for a novella is not defined, but it can be somewhere between 17000 words to 40000 words. But how do you begin this creative journey? In this comprehensive guide presented by BookCoverHub, we will walk you through a step-by-step process, ensuring you confidently embark on your novella writing journey.

From generating ideas to refining your final draft, we will explore the seven essential steps that will set you on the path to crafting a compelling novella. Join us as we unravel how to write a novella, guiding you towards creating a narrative that will captivate readers and leave a lasting impression.

Step 1: Define Your Novella’s Concept 

Defining your concept is the crucial first step in starting your novella. The spark ignites your creative process and sets the foundation for your entire story. Take the time to brainstorm and explore different ideas that captivate your imagination. Consider themes that resonate with you, characters that intrigue you, settings that inspire you, or conflicts that evoke emotions.

Allow yourself to venture into various genres and experiment with different plot structures. This exploration will help you discover what truly resonates with you and what you are passionate about writing. As you sift through your ideas, pay attention to the concepts that evoke a strong response within you.

Once you have a collection of potential concepts, refine them by clarifying your central theme or message. What is the core idea or lesson you want to convey through your novella? This theme will serve as the backbone of your story, driving the narrative forward and giving it depth. It will help you shape your characters, their motivations, and the conflicts they face.

Remember, your concept is the foundation on which your novella will stand. The guiding force will steer your writing and ensure coherence throughout your story. So take the time to define and refine your concept, ensuring that it resonates with you and offers your readers a meaningful and engaging journey.

Step 2: Crafting Novella Outline Template 

Creating a comprehensive outline is a fundamental step in the novella writing process. It is a roadmap that guides you through the narrative, ensuring a well-structured and cohesive novella outline template. Identify the significant plot points and pivotal moments driving your story forward. Consider the key events that shape your characters and propel the plot.

Develop a basic structure that includes an engaging introduction to hook your readers, a rising tension that keeps them engaged, a pivotal moment that reaches a peak of intensity, and a satisfying resolution that ties up loose ends. This structure provides a framework for your story, helping you maintain a sense of direction and pacing.

In Novella Outline Template, the key events and character arcs should be mentioned, ensuring they align with your central concept and theme. As you map out the progression of your story, consider the motivations, conflicts, and growth of your characters. Ensure that each event and character arc contributes to the overall development of your novella.

By creating a comprehensive outline, you gain clarity and organization before diving into the writing process. It allows you to see the big picture while providing a detailed framework. With a well-crafted outline, you’ll be able to confidently navigate your novella and maintain a cohesive and engaging storyline.

Step 3: Develop Memorable Characters for Novella 

Developing unforgettable characters is essential for creating a captivating novella that resonates with readers. Here are some tips for beginners on how to develop compelling and three-dimensional characters:

Deep Understanding:

  1. Take the time to understand your main characters deeply.
  2. Delve into their thoughts, emotions, and motivations.
  3. Consider their past experiences, their desires, and their fears.

The more you understand your characters, the better you can portray them authentically.

Goals and Motivations: Explore your characters’ goals and motivations. What do they want to achieve? What drives them? Understanding their desires and what they are willing to do to achieve them adds depth to their characterization.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Give your character’s strengths and weaknesses. No one is perfect, and flaws make characters relatable. Show their strengths to make them admirable and their weaknesses to make them human. This balance creates a dynamic and realistic portrayal.

Backstories: Craft meaningful backstories for your characters. Their past experiences shape who they are in the present. Explore formative events that influenced their beliefs, fears, and relationships. This history adds layers to their personality and enriches their characterization.

Relationships and Impact: Consider how your characters interact with others in the story. Explore their relationships and the impact they have on driving the plot forward. Characters’ interactions can reveal their strengths, vulnerabilities, and personal growth throughout the novella.

Emotionally Resonant: Strive to create characters that evoke a range of emotions in readers. Craft them in a way that readers can empathize with, admire, or even feel disdain towards. Characters who elicit emotional responses deepen readers’ investment in the story.

Growth and Transformation: Allow your characters to grow and transform throughout the novella. Show their development, change, and lessons learned. Characters who undergo personal growth add depth and complexity to the narrative, making it more engaging and satisfying.

Remember, developing well-rounded characters takes time and effort. Continuously explore and refine your characters as you write, allowing them to evolve naturally within the story. Crafting compelling characters creates a rich and immersive reading experience that keeps readers hooked until the last page.

Step 4: Set the Stage for Novella with Vivid Settings 

The setting of your novella has the power to transport readers into a whole new world. Whether it’s a bustling city, serene countryside, a mysterious forest, or an otherworldly realm, the right setting can captivate your audience and enhance the overall reading experience. It is a canvas upon which your story unfolds.

When describing the setting, aim to create a vivid and immersive experience for your readers. Use sensory details to engage their senses and evoke an emotional response. Describe the environment’s sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures to bring it to life. By appealing to the reader’s imagination, you can make them feel alongside your characters, experiencing the world you’ve created.

The setting should not be mere background scenery but an integral part of your storytelling. It should shape the mood, atmosphere, and even the plot of your novella. A dilapidated mansion can evoke a sense of mystery and intrigue, while a sunlit beach can evoke relaxation and joy. The setting can also influence the characters’ experiences, their actions, and their interactions with each other and their surroundings.

Making the setting an active participant in your storytelling creates a more immersive and engaging reading experience. So, take the time to craft detailed and evocative descriptions of your novella’s setting, allowing it to become a character in its own right, enriching the narrative and captivating your readers.

Step 5: Write the First Draft of Your Novella 

With your outline, well-defined characters, and atmospheric settings established, it’s time to begin writing your first draft. It’s essential to resist being overly critical of your work at this stage. Instead, focus on getting your ideas onto paper and allowing your creativity to flow freely. Let your characters take the lead and guide you through the story.

Embrace the process of writing imperfectly. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and explore different possibilities. Remember, the first draft is a raw and unpolished version of your novella, and its flaws and inconsistencies are natural. The key is to let go of perfectionism and allow your ideas to take shape organically.

By freeing yourself from self-judgment, you create a space for your creativity to flourish. Embrace the joy of storytelling and enjoy the process of bringing your characters and their world to life. Trust that the editing process will come later when you can refine and polish your work.

So, dive into your first draft enthusiastically and let your imagination run wild. Write without constraints, embrace imperfection, and revel in the magic of storytelling. The journey has just begun, and your first draft is the starting point for crafting your novella into a masterpiece.

Step 6: Edit and Revise Your Novella Draft 

After completing your first draft, it’s essential to distance yourself from it. Set it aside for a while, allowing your mind to rest and gain a fresh perspective. When you return to it, you can approach the editing and revision process with a renewed outlook.

During the editing stage, focus on elements contributing to a well-crafted novella. Evaluate the plot coherence, ensuring the story flows logically and all loose ends are tied up. Pay attention to character development, ensuring your characters evolve and grow throughout the narrative. Examine the story’s pacing, ensuring it maintains the right balance of tension and release. Refine the dialogue, making it authentic and meaningful.

Polish your prose by eliminating unnecessary words or phrases and enhance your descriptions to create vivid imagery. Ensure a consistent tone throughout the novella, maintaining the desired atmosphere and emotional resonance.

Consider seeking feedback from trusted friends, fellow writers, or writing groups. Different perspectives can offer valuable insights and help you identify blind spots or areas for improvement. Embrace constructive criticism and be open to making necessary changes to strengthen your work.

The editing and revision process is an opportunity to refine and elevate your novella. It may involve multiple revisions, but each iteration brings you closer to your desired vision. Embrace the process as an essential part of the writing journey, knowing that the final result will be a polished and engaging novella.

Step 7: Finalize and Share Your Novella 

It is the most notable question in every writer’s mind: “How to publish a novella? When to publish a novella?” After editing and revising your draft correctly, you’ve arrived at the final stage of your novella-writing journey. Now it’s time to polish your manuscript and prepare it for publication. Start by proofreading your work meticulously, focusing on grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Ensuring your novella is error-free will enhance its professionalism and readability.

Consider enlisting the help of professional editing services to take your novella to the next level. Professional editors can provide valuable feedback, identify areas for improvement, and ensure your work meets industry standards.

Once you’re satisfied with your final draft, explore various publishing options. Traditional publishing involves submitting your manuscript to literary agents or publishers, while self-publishing empowers you to control your work thoroughly. Digital platforms provide opportunities to reach a wider audience through e-books or online publications.

Craft an engaging synopsis and query letter to capture the attention of literary agents or publishers. These materials should highlight the unique aspects of your novella and entice them to read your work.

If you choose self-publishing, navigate the process by researching reputable platforms and understanding the necessary steps for formatting, cover design, and distribution.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end with writing the novella. Embrace the publishing process as a chance to share your work and connect with readers who will appreciate your story.

Unlock the power of Your Pen: Write a memorable Novella using Book Cover Hub’s Guide! 

Writing a novella can be an exciting and rewarding experience for beginners. By following these seven steps suggested by Book Cover Hub, you’ll gain the tools and knowledge to craft a captivating story that leaves a lasting impact on your readers. Remember, writing is a journey, and your novella may evolve and change. Embrace the process, stay dedicated, and have faith in your abilities. Whether your novella becomes a stepping stone toward a full-length novel or a standalone work of art, enjoy the satisfaction of creating something uniquely yours. Now, armed with this guide, it’s time to let your creativity soar and bring your novella to life!

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Syed Inam Ali Naqvi
Syed Inam Ali Naqvi

Syed Inam Ali Naqvi is a content writer, with a track record of producing high-quality ebooks and books. He is consistently delivering valuable insights and practical advice to his readers. His writing is not only informative, but also engaging and inspiring, making him a popular choice for those seeking guidance and direction in their personal and professional lives. Whether through his books, articles or stories, Syed is dedicated to helping others achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

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