1. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    How long should a chapter be?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Nightstar99, Aug 18, 2016.

    I've finished my first draft and am now trying to edit what I have into a book.

    Its Science Fiction - anyone have any ideas how long a chapter should be ideally?
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think there's a hard-and-fast rule. But you may want to check the most popular works in the genre, because that's what will likely shape readers' expectations.
     
  3. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think most often, it'll be 3-5000 words in sci-fi. But I wouldn't worry about that. Just make sure you break at good points and let the length sort itself out. My chapter-end reading experience depends far more on whether or not the author's left the story in a good place than how much I had to read to get there.
     
  4. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    It should be as long as it needs to be.

    Truisms aside, you might want to check out the opinions expressed in this thread on the board, or this post on stack exchange.

    Seriously though, your chapter breaks should be in places that best serve the story, not dictated by word count. Obviously you don't want a 10k chapter - let your reader put the book down, they need to eat sometime! - but some can run long and some can run short. Good breaks in the story are what you're looking for here, regardless of wc - again, within reason; in editing something a while back I realized I had 6700w and 9300w chapters back-to-back, among 2-5k chapters otherwise. Decided to find places in those to put in some non-chapter breaks, for breathing room.
     

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