1. ulubelu
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    ulubelu New Member

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    How many words in YOUR 'typical' chapter?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ulubelu, Jun 21, 2012.

    I know this question has many different answers (meaning, it doesn't really have an answer), but how many words do YOU normally write in a normal chapter? :)

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  2. GillySoose
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    GillySoose New Member

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    For me it's generally 2000+, I don't think I've gone over 5000... yet.
  3. Skodt
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    Skodt New Member

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    usually around 2400-2500, but I have one that is 7000, and a few at 5000.
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Member Contributor

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    I guess I write longer chapters than most. Mine average 10,000 to 12,000 words. Dunno why. Maybe I just don't like chapters and want to have as few of them as possible.
  5. Skodt
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    Skodt New Member

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    I think as a reader I enjoy chapter breaks a lot. It gives me a stopping point, and breaks down the reading so a longer book don't seem so daunting. Just some food for thought.
  6. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Member

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    The first draft of my YA novel I was having 6000-8000 words a chapter, but in my 2nd draft I have cut it down to about 3000-4000 words per chapter.
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Member Contributor

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    I don't like too many chapter breaks. They make a story annoyingly choppy. As far as stopping points go, I like to read, not to stop! I also like long books - they're luxurious, not daunting. ;)
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Member Contributor

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    I don't like too many chapter breaks. They make a story annoyingly choppy. As far as stopping points go, I like to read, not to stop! I also like long books - they're luxurious, not daunting. ;)
  9. michaelj
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    michaelj Member

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    I go for 2500-4000 words a chapter personally.
  10. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It's been a fair while since I last wrote a novel, but I've never been a fan of regular chapter sizes. Chapter size is an important weapon in a writer's arsenal to help him or her get the pacing right. Shorter chapters speed up the pace, whereas longer chapters can slow it down. So I used to go more by where it felt right to put the breaks. I think they're like breathing -- if you do it right, then you shouldn't particularly notice them.
  11. NeedMoreRage
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    NeedMoreRage Member

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    My current project's chapters range from 1,500-6,000 words, averaging about 4,500. But I think chapter length is something to be given some thought; it can have more of an impact on the pace of the book than I think some writers realize. I do want to try writing something with very long chapters in the future, though.
  12. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt New Member

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    I try to stick close to 5000 words per chapter. However I have noticed that the my novels tend to end with a longer chapter followed by a shorter chapter.
  13. Mokrie Dela
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    Mokrie Dela Member

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    i agree; often when reading i barely notice the new chapter.
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't have and would never have a 'normal' chapter... chapter length would vary according to each book's needs and each chapter's...

    standardizing chapters should be avoided, imo... as should any sort of formula parameters in re 'creative' writing...
  15. Show
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    I tend to average 5K for each chapter (but I've gone REALLY high), but since I have so many sub-chapters of varying sizes, it's possible (and even likely) I'll split them up them later.
  16. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix New Member

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    It depends. But they usually go from 1,500 to 2,000. I don't measure them up and make a chapter. I make a chapter and then I look at the word count.
  17. louis1
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    louis1 Member

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    I don't often think about where I want my chapter breaks. most the the time, it's just natural to cut at a certain place so I just do.
    I write a couple scenes and when one finishes in a way I think would ''hook'' the reader, I change chapter.
    Oddly enough for me it's always close to 2000 words. 1500 at minimum and sometimes it goes up to 4000.
  18. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Member

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    I agree that standardising chapter lengths can be a problem if it effects the pace or tone of the book. Forcing a chapter break at the wrong time or not having enough can effect the reader's experience.

    Having said that, I guess my chapters usually range from 2,000 to 4,500. Sometimes a long chapter follows a really short one or vice versa. I usually just write as many words as are necessary for that particular part of the story.
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