I want to write a very short book of 100 pages. I want to put into it what I've suffered throughout my life: Hardships, failures, disappointments.... as an inspiration that, despite hardships, I survive!

And, at the end, I want to add conclusion that the protagonist (which is me, who had been bereft of every thing) ends up in the belief that he wouldn't let others suffer, who suffers more less like the protagonist....

Now the question is what do I call it: a novel, novella, short story...how to start; where from to start?

Please I seek your guidance.....

  • just call is "My Struggle" a novella! ;)
    – ashleylee
    Mar 13, 2019 at 19:13
  • Welcome to Writing.SE! Please note that we try to focus on one aspect per question to make it easier for other people with similar problems to look these up and get the exact answer they are searching for. Another thing is that we can't tell you where exactly to start. Especially with something like an autobiography it's up to you do decide which moments were especially important in your life in respect to the message you want to bring across. That's why that kind of question will get downvoted or closed here. We can help you with information about how to write, but not what to write.
    – Secespitus
    Mar 13, 2019 at 19:38
  • If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Have fun and good luck with your project! I hope you will find this site useful in your writing process and share with other users struggling with this topic what you will find out during your journey!
    – Secespitus
    Mar 13, 2019 at 19:38
  • 3
    I don't doubt this question is a duplicate of something, but my belief is that the underlying question is about biography, which has nothing to do with novel vs novella, even though the OP seems to believe it does.
    – Cyn
    Mar 13, 2019 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


It's called a memoir.

Memoir is a subset of autobiography, which is a subset of biography.

A biography is the story of someone's life. Autobiography is when you write your own biography.

Memoir is writing about your own life but without the scope of a biography. Your book may span many decades, but it's short and focused on certain events.

Since your book would be nonfiction, it does not get classified as a novel, novella, or short story. If you are instead writing fiction that is based on your life, then you could use these terms.


First of all, is this a short autobiography? Or a work of fiction with a protagonist based on yourself? In the first case, I would jsut call it a short autobiography.

If this is to be fiction, than you could use one of those terms. This question and the one linked from it give some standards for terms based on length, but you already know how large you want the work to be. I wouldn't worry about the terminology. Would you be doing anything different if you called it a "novel" vs a "Novella"? Write it at the length it seems to wok best, and then if you need a term when posting it or marketing it, you can pick one based on the descriptions in the other questions.

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