There does not seem to be a clear definitions or strict parameters as to what a novella is. Basically a novella is a short novel, a fictional narrative that is longer than a short story. The novella seems to range any where between 8,000-30,000 words (75-100 pages). They don't seem to have chapters and are great for someone looking for a quick read.
The novella typically focuses on one story line. It does not usually have multiple points of views.
Some novellas are simply just written as a stand alone story, while others complement a series or trilogy. I have been finding that they are a great outlet for authors to write a back story for popular characters from an ongoing series.
This can benefit both the readers and author. The author is able to put out a shorter piece of work in a shorter period if time or between novels. It can also be a great way to put out a cheap or free down loadable books to entice readers to want more.
I think it would also be a great approach for someone who has always wanted to write a novel but was intimidated by the undertaking. A goal of maybe 20,000 words can seem like a more obtainable goal.
On the flip side writers more accustom to writing short stories might find that the have a story that needs more time to develop. A novella might give them enough time to build the world or setting in which the story will take place and some characters need time to build a romance.
I am wondering if maybe one of my not so supporting characters in my book might need their own novella.......