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A Novel is a long work of written fiction. Most novels involve many characters and tell a complex story by placing the characters in a number of different situations. Novels are long—generally 200 pages or more, so novelists can tell more richly detailed tales than authors of briefer literary forms such as the short story.

Many readers consider the novel the most flexible type of literature, and thus the one with the most possibilities. Writers can produce novels that have the tension of a drama, the scope of an epic poem and the rhythm of a lyric poem. Over the centuries writers have continually experimented with the novel form, and it has constantly evolved in new directions.

The word novel came into use during the Renaissance (14th century to 17th century), when Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio applied the term novella to the short prose narratives in his Il decamerone . When his tales were translated, the term novel passed into the English language. The word novella is now used in English to refer to short novels.

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