1. Graham Penman
    Offline

    Graham Penman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    8

    How long should a chapter be?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Graham Penman, Jun 24, 2014.

    I was just going over parts of my novel and keep thinking my chapters maybe to long or short. They are all roughly 15-16 pages. Is there a general rule to chapter lengths or does it matter as long as it's not dragging on?
     
  2. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    A lot of answers will be as long as you need them to be. And to a point they'll be right. But I think sometimes genre can play a part in chapter length. I've noticed Horror and Action/Crime genres love shorter chapter. Every scene is like a mini cliff-hanger
     
    Graham Penman likes this.
  3. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    A Place with no History
    As Peach said, there is no set requirement.
    I've seen big authors have one or two page chapters and some that drag on forever.
    As long as you don't have excess fluff in a chapter (1000 words describing someone's clothing) it won't really matter how long it is :p
     
  4. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Graham Penman,
    As others have said, there isn't a hard and fast rule for chapter length. Some might point out, for example, that YA tends to have shorter chapter lengths than novels targeted at adults.

    It's a matter of style, story being told, and how you as an author want to structure the story.

    If you are concerned what's 'common' go to the bookstore or library, and check out recently published novels in the genre you're writing, and that are similar in storyline to what you're working on. That would give you a ballpark figure.

    That being said, I cannot see an agent/editor turning down what is otherwise an excellent story because the chapters are too long (or short). I've never heard of such an occurrence. That chapter length is not a difficult thing to address in edits/revisions.

    Good luck as you move forward.
     
  5. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    One suggestion: get used to expressing length in terms of words rather than pages. Page totals can vary based on font size and style, line spacing and margins. Word count is word count.
     
  6. Graham Penman
    Offline

    Graham Penman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    8
    So far, on the novel i am currently working on, i have written 2 chapters and used 6633 words.
     
  7. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    In my current draft, I have one chapter of 800 words and others that are 10,000. They are as long as they need to be.
     

Share This Page