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What Is a Novella?

Updated: May 27, 2022

The novella’s history, which spans the globe, occupies a unique niche in the literary pantheon.

A novella is a narrative prose fiction which is more abbreviated than a novel, but longer than a short story. The English word novella derives from the Italian novella, feminine of novello, which means "new”. It was usually based on local events that were humorous, political, or amorous in nature; the individual tales often were gathered into collections along with anecdotes, legends and romantic tales.

Its development as a literary genre began with Giovanni Boccaccio, author of The Decameron (1353) which featured 100 tales (novellas) narrated by 10 men and women fleeing the Black Death in 1348. Novellas were also written in Spain by authors such as Miguel de Cervantes, whose book Novelas Ejemplares (1613), added innovation to the genre with his depiction of human character and social background.

A more realistic approach to storytelling developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The novella influenced the development of the short story and the novel throughout Europe. Often intended to be read in a single sitting, it featured fewer conflicts than a novel and more complicated ones than a short story. Chapters were optional.

Novellas are distinctive because they 1) often focus on one central conflict 2) aren’t overcrowded with characters 3) can sustain a fast pace 4) feature an unexpected turning point 5) express their themes through symbolism 6) encourage experimental and conceptual writing.

Tomestic’s Founder and CEO, Poet De’Medici, cites the components essential for successful storytelling: “...truth and authentic expression, thoughtful composition, rich characters, some form of discovery and a journey or a quest.”

Well-acquainted with what it takes to produce a compelling read, he’s also the author of a five-part novella series, ‘Above You, A Black Sun’, an unfiltered slave narrative which has played a pivotal role in cementing the cornerstone of our company’s foundation. Poet ultimately decided to incorporate the element of augmented reality to create an original interactive experience which amplified the historical significance of the material. In time, he determined all books could be converted into a new and exciting medium, which gave birth to Tomestic.

Tomestic wants you to experience what it’s like to bring a book to life. Go to our 'Products'

tab to see the different versions of ‘Above You, A Black Sun’ available. You can augment your reading experience with our Tomestic app, located on the Apple or Google Play store. We guarantee the combination of music, animation and video will create an indelible impression! After your immersion, spread the word about Tomestic and what we’re doing to transform the reading medium! #literature #booklove #goodreads #historicalfiction #augmentedreality #tomestic

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