Your Questions Answered is a new feature of this site. Each week I’ll answer one question I’m asked either on Quora.com or by email. I’ll give priority to Quora followers or subscribers to posts at http://LiveWriteBreathe.com, so please mention that when you ask your question. I’m looking forward to helping you in this way.
Answer by Janalyn Voigt:
You structure a novella the same way you do a full-length novel. There are a variety of plotting models available but I prefer the classic three-act plot structure introduced by Aristotle way back when. Here’s my take on Aristotle’s Incline: Plotting a Novel in Three Acts.
There are significant differences between writing a novel and novella, mainly due to the novella’s brevity. Including subplots, as an example, only siphons words that would better serve to develop your main plot. Paring the cast of characters to those absolutely essential to the plot also helps conserve precious words. When writing a novella you might start at a slightly later time in the story, perhaps skipping or abbreviating the normal-life set-up and going straight to the inciting incident, where appropriate.
As always, its tough to generalize, and your story’s needs trump conflicting advice.
©2014 by Janalyn Voigt