Jump to content

How long are your chapters?


Recommended Posts

How long does everyone make their chapters? I've heard a long of different options. I've personally decided to aim for around 2,000 words per chapter. (Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.) My thought is that; first, I dislike reading long chapters, so I don't wish to subject my readers to that; second, the average person's attention span is shorter than it used to be (thanks Facebook. 🙄); and third, it forces me to look at the scenes themselves and make the best use of each while cutting the fluff. What about all of you? How do you decide how long each chapter is? 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

All I know is that I write and then cut out what needs to be cut out. I do, however, tend to fret over whether or not my chapters are too long or not. But I just tell myself to go back to them later and edit then. 😉

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Alley said:

How long does everyone make their chapters?

I do a chapter break about every 10 pages in my Word doc, so each chapter ends up being around 4K words. They're a little long, but I have scene breaks every 1K or so words.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, HK1 said:

They're a little long, but I have scene breaks every 1K or so words.

Maybe you should consider changing your scene breaks to chapters to help with your readership? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Alley said:

Maybe you should consider changing your scene breaks to chapters to help with your readership? 

That'd probably be a good idea! I haven't given chapter length and chapter breaks all that much thought. I need to experiment! 😄 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LinkPen

Well, my chapters often vary in length since I end them in order to produce the impact of suspense. But I usually swing between 2000 or 5000 words per chapter. Really for me it ends where the best effect is. As a reader I really appreciate chapters like that so I want to produce them as a writer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, HK1 said:

That'd probably be a good idea! I haven't given chapter length and chapter breaks all that much thought. I need to experiment! 😄 

So I do the same thing with long chapters but multiple scene breaks within a chapter... But if I make more chapters I have to come up with more clever chapter titles. 😆

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Exposition will have about 300 words per page. Dialogue, about 250. With an average of 275 words per page, 2000 words plus the space at the chapter head means an eight page chapter. One publisher who wrote about his preference said 7-12 pages per chapter. You are in the right ballpark.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine vary between 1,500 and 2,500, on average (that's doing one scene per chapter). I do have a couple that edged closer to 3,000 and one that made it to about 5,000 (there was a lot going on).

 

I think my goal will be to break the longer scenes down so that the chapters are all in my average of 1,500 to 2,500.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Chris Brown said:

But if I make more chapters I have to come up with more clever chapter titles.

That's neat! I am not brave enough (or maybe I am too lazy) for this, but always love to read the chapter names. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, paulchernoch said:

Exposition will have about 300 words per page. Dialogue, about 250. With an average of 275 words per page, 2000 words plus the space at the chapter head means an eight page chapter. One publisher who wrote about his preference said 7-12 pages per chapter. You are in the right ballpark.

This is explained well. 🙂 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, LinkPen said:

Really for me it ends where the best effect is. As a reader I really appreciate chapters like that so I want to produce them as a writer

I always said the same thing. Then a publisher friend of mine challenged me to split it up in an average length of about 2,000, and I found the there were good places to within each place to make a new chapter. Mine hit like @Claire Tucker, at about each scene. I had to learn the art of making the reader have questions at the end of a chapter without a cliff hanger. 😄 It was fun! Not that you have that same issue, but that it was my experience. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Zee said:

I’ve been working on making my chapters longer, to tell the truth—more like 3,000+ words.

Oh? Why do you want them on the longer side? Please don't take that as criticism! I'm asking to understand the thought process and if there are certain types of stories that are better with longer chapters. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Johne said:

imo

AH! It took me a moment to understand your teenage lingo. 😉😄 

 

🤔 Interesting. Is that because the word count itself for the book is usually longer? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Alley said:

Interesting. Is that because the word count itself for the book is usually longer? 


Yes. I view Masterworks of the genre as a general guide, and my chapters sit for length right in with the novels I'm using as guides. (But ymmv, heh.)  😉

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.