1. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    How long are your chapters?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kratos, Jul 31, 2008.

    I know each writer has their own length for chapters, and none is right or wrong. I just want to simply ask each person how long their average chapter is.

    Mine right now are at about 2000 words, but each chapter shows one of four main characters, so I have to have a lot. I plan to increase the chapter lengths later.
     
  2. Jade
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    Jade Active Member

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    Mine aren't very long either. Average about 1,500 words at the moment.

    I try to get the main events in, and then I go back through adding details.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They are as long as required, no more, no less.

    Anywhere from two pages up to a couple dozen, I'd say.
     
  4. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I use the mini-skirt rule: Long enough to cover the essentials; short enough to be interesting.

    They range from 4 to 30 pages. (Sorry, I don't use word counts until the first draft is done)
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I love it! :)
     
  6. skip slocum
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    skip slocum Member

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    4,000 words or 6 pages on Microsoft Word at font size 12.
     
  7. Flozzie
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    Flozzie Active Member

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    It varies. My shortest are just one page in word, and the longest four or five pages. Usually they are two or three pages.
     
  8. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Mine seem to be around between 20-30kb. Since there are about 1700 words in 10kb of my writing, I guess that means my chapters are usually between 3400-5100 words.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That is one of my new favorite quotable lines! :D Do you mind if I use it?
     
  10. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Cog, glad you like it.

    Wreybies, feel free to use it.
     
  11. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    My shortest miniskirt, sorry, chapter consists of one paragraph, sufficient to say what needs to be said. My longest...hmm....thirty pages - ish.
     
  12. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    ^ Ditto- amazingly good quote lol.

    Mine vary from around 500 words, as they are short flashes to introduce my main character, as he doesn't actually turn up for a little while into the book, to long action packed ones that vary. My average is somewhere between 3500-4000, and the longest is 8000, I think.
     
  13. Last1Left
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    Last1Left Active Member

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    3,000-6,000 words is about my range.
     
  14. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    lol @ the mini skirt rule.

    As a reader, I like shorter chapters. A big turn off as far as reading a novel goes, is super long chapters that begin to feel like a chore to get through. I read by chapter, so that's why I like it when a writer doesn't have really long chapters. Plus, it makes your progression in the novel feel as if it goes by faster (or is it just me?). So as a writer, I try to do what I personally like as a reader. I try to keep my chapters under 5,000 words, definitely under 6,000. If they get too long, I divide them up.
     
  15. That Guy From That Place
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    That Guy From That Place New Member

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    Miniskirt rule... That has to become standard.

    As for me, I break between time skips. Like, I wont have three days occur in one chapter. If my characters are gonna call it a night, it's best to let the reader break as well.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how can an 'average' figure help in any way?... between 2 and 24 pages, for instance, using cog's figure, will come out to 11 pages as an average... but how many of the chapters in his imagined book will have 2 pages and how many 24?... and what good does knowing the 'average' size do anyone?...

    sorry, but that seems like one of those silly, futile questions that have no clear answer, to me...
     
  17. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love that rule. I promise to carefully "study" all the miniskirts from now on . . . just to be a good writer!
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's certainly one way to address the issue, or to skirt around it.
     
  19. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    haha.... punny....
     
  20. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Well, at least now you have a "good" excuse. Oops, I meant reason.
    So all the guys who ogle my legs are just trying to improve their writing?
    *sound of ego deflating*
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You'll just have to speak to them to find out if they can compose a complete sentence. If they can't, either they are stricken dumb by your beauty, or perhaps just plain dumb.
     
  22. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oops . . . I got distracted by the miniskirt fantasy and forgot to answer the chapter length question.

    The answer is simple. Each chapter is as long or as short as necessary to accomplish its role in developing the overall plot of the book.

    I would also offer an aside - it is my impression that many of today's readers don't have long attention spans. For that reason, in my current book I made the chapters read like a mini stories, each with it's own opening action, a middle story that deals with some conflict and a mini-climax that completed the chapter but did not resolve the bigger plot conflict. The book is 512 pages (paperback size) with 21 chapters.

    Now, can I get back to mini-skirts? LOL
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    a HEM!
     
  24. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Sometimes people are just curious about what others do. :/ It doesn't mean they're going to take someone else's way of doing things as the "standard," they just feel like knowing. The answers aren't supposed to help anything as far as I could tell, though I wouldn't know the OP's motives. I didn't find the question too silly. One person's silly question is another person's curiosity being piqued. It resulted in a funny quote that a lot of people here seem to have enjoyed, at least.

    And for some people there is a "clear answer." I gave mine, for example, and a lot of others have too. *shrug*
     
  25. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I'm like the poster above, as long as necessary to cover the action. You can always increase or decrease later...
     

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