1. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Chapters length

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by FictionAddict, Feb 11, 2011.

    How long are your chapters?

    My first draft has chapters that goes from 20 to 35 pages in Times New Roman 12, space between lines at 2,0. Is that good length?

    Thank you all for the help, always.
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    10-12 pages 3,000 to 7,000 words.
    It doesn't matter about the length. All that matters is that used those words to tell the story. ^^
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my current work I have chapters ranging from 900 words to 7000 words (may break that one), a chapter is as long as a chapter is but I find 3-5000 words is about where I like them when reading.
     
  4. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I don't think chapter length is very important. Good transition between paragraphs is probably more important.
     
  5. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    To the OP - how many words is that?

    I tend to prefer chapters that don't go on too long. Too short is annoying too.
    Happy medium is best. :)
     
  6. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Too short is probably better than too long though. I think the mind likes variety on many levels, and maybe chapter length falls subliminally into that category.
     
  7. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    In one of the chapters that has 20 pages, the number of words is at 5477 until now. I haven't editted it yet.
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    You know, I don't think I check the length of my chapters ever :p I know my scenes range on average, between 1-3 thousand words, with extremes of under 100 words to over 5,000 if something dramatic is going on... I use, usually, one or two scenes if one of them is long, between chapter breaks, and sometimes 5-10 scenes if there are a lot of little under 1000 word scenes in a sequence. I just go with when it feels natural.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    individual chapter length or having them all the same size isn't important, as long as they don't get too long... what goes into the chapter is what matters...
     
  10. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    L. Ron Hubbard would disagree with you. lol.
     
  11. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    2,000 - 7,000 words.

    It rarely remains consistent throughout. I might try and shorten some chapters in the rewrite but I won't lengthen any unless there's content worth adding.
     
  12. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mine typically average about 5K now with some being shorter and some longer. I've had a few go past 10K and some below 3K.
     
  13. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I have one or two chapters that only consist of around 300 words.
     
  14. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    The trend in modern fiction is to go with shorter chapters, James Patterson being the most dramatic example. But chapter length is pretty much determined by plot points or changes in setting, or the beginning and ending of a scene. In modern fiction, the trend seems to be toward lots of shorter scenes. We have shorter attention spans these days, I think.

    But then the Gospels are made up of very short chapters, so maybe there's something good about short chapters.

    I read a lot of novels now that I am reviewing them, and I prefer a chapter around 2000-2500 words in length. But to each his own, I suppose.
     
  15. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    But, have you ever read a book and said to yourself, "That chapter was way too short." I can't honestly say that I've ever thought that.
     
  16. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that the most important thing when it comes to chapters, is that each chapter feels like a meaningful chunk of story. As long as that is delivered, and the chapter length fits the audience you aim for (a easy read book, or a book for children or young adults might prefer shorter chapters) I think the chapter length can vary greatly without anyone noticing.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    from the grave?!
     
  18. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I was just using a roundabout way of saying I don't like L. Ron Hubbard's writing. I should have just quoted "what goes into the chapter is what matters."
     
  19. Henry The Purple
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    Henry The Purple Active Member

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    Will vary depending on what you are trying to achieve, be it one page or fifty.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i knew you were kidding, gy... was just joshing you back... fyi, i can't stand his stuff, either... and james patterson's 1-2 page chapters are annoying as bleep... plus waste a lot of paper and are a cheesy way to plump up his too-short mss... with regular sized chapters, his novels would be novelettes!
     
  21. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Oh, ok, ha ha. I've looked at James Patterson books but never got interested enough to read one.
     

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