1. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26

    Random Questions about posting/writing/word count

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lmc71775, Aug 8, 2010.

    Here are some random questions looming my mind.

    I thrive on feedback as it really helps motivate me to continue, but what if your comments stop? Do you continue to post your novel in the one you have posted? I know you're not suppose to start a new one so what do you do?

    and also...

    how many words make a chapter?
    what is the standard word count on a page?
    what's the word count for a novel?

    I think mine is a novella with 35K words, but I want to expand it somehow to make it a bona fide novel.

    Right now I am revising it and am worried it's no good because I am no longer getting comments.

    How do you keep your working novel/novella thriving on the boards? I notice that after the newness wears off people no longer crit.
     
  2. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I write short stories related to my main story so I don't ruin my chances of publication. Then I can get critcism on them.

    A Novel is usually 50-80K unless its young adult then thats about 40K

    Words that make a chapter varies I did read its about 5000 on average. However my chapter 6 in my first novel is only 712, I have similarly short ones in books I have read.
     
  3. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Maybe it is good, and people can't find improvements to suggest?

    To answer your other questions, a chapter can be as long or as short as you like. Specifically, as long or as short as it needs to be. I've seen chapters of a single sentence, and chapters of several thousand words. It's not so much about how long the chapter is, and more about putting the chapter breaks in the right place.

    As a reader, I prefer shorter chapters, as they allow me to read in bursts, if I don't have a large amount of time to be reading. Also, chapter size can directly influence the pace of the book.

    Standard word count on a page depends whether you're referring to novel size, or manuscript format.


    I'd have said that's a bit on the short side really. Most publishers wouldn't look at a novel much under 80k, and some novels can go up to 200k (though unless you're very well established, you won't be able to sell one much over 120k). It also depends greatly on the genre you're writing.
     
  4. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Thats true it may just be the genre I am looking at, and with it being young adult.
     
  5. BlueWolf
    Offline

    BlueWolf Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Germany
    I can answer these (and it is my opinion):

     
  6. Ragdoll
    Offline

    Ragdoll Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think you should rely on feedback to get motivation, and certainly not post your novel online. Shouldn't it be the joy of writing that gets you going? (or something like that...) What you could do, as an alterative option, is show your novel to a close friend or relative, someone you trust. Then they can review your piece and help you get better.
     
  7. Norm
    Offline

    Norm Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Michigan
    # of words in a chapter: However many you want, but think about your target audience too and how long of a chapter they would want to read at a time.

    # of words in a novel: I think 80-100k, but don't be afraid to cut it short if you just feel like additional words would be filler.

    # of words on a page.. I have no idea but your publisher will handle it.
     
  8. Lmc71775
    Offline

    Lmc71775 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    26
    Thanks everyone for answering my questions. Ragdoll it's funny you say that, because that's just what I did. I showed it to my mom.

    And NO, I didn't post all of it and never will. Only excerpts
     
  9. minstrel
    Online

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I don't get it. Some of you advise against making long chapters because the reader might not want to read too much at one time. Well, there's no law against putting the book down in the middle of a chapter. I can't imagine thinking "I don't like that book because its chapters are too long to read at one sitting."

    Seriously, WTF?

    I say make your chapters any length you want.
     
  10. Norm
    Offline

    Norm Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Michigan
    Myself, and many others I've asked (mostly around my age) enjoy using the end of a chapter as a stopping place for a reading session.

    Also, this is just me now but I'm sure other are the same way. When I finish a chapter I usually peek at the length of the next chapter and use that when deciding if I want to read more. Because of this, chapter length has a big impact on the pacing of a book (for me at least). Also, I've found myself getting bored of a book because a chapter is too long and it fails to hold my interest throughout.
     
  11. minstrel
    Online

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    To me, this is bizarre.

    Take your favorite novel and remove all the chapter breaks, so that it's one long piece of text. Exactly the same text - same words in the same order - but no chapter breaks. Would you say it's now boring? Would it not be your favorite novel any more?

    If a book you found boring was broken into shorter chapters, would you like it more?
     
  12. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I wouldn't necessarily enjoy it more, but it would be easier to read. I don't like stopping reading mid-section, as then I have to flounder about when I pick the book up again, looking for where I stopped reading. It's just an annoyance, really.
     
  13. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,970
    Likes Received:
    5,494
    I just realized why some people can stop at at chapter breaks, and why I can't even imagine doing such a thing: I'm guessing that they actually sit down to focus on reading?

    I read when I'm cooking dinner, when I'm on hold on the phone, when I'm waiting for three minutes at a bus, when I'm on that bus, when I'm walking on a fairly clear sidewalk, when I'm walking toward the back of the grocery, and so on. If I have thirty seconds when my eyes are not totally otherwise occupied, I'm reading. And I don't do a lot of reading where I'm just reading. Since you certainly can't finish a chapter in thirty seconds, chapter breaks have no significance for me.

    ChickenFreak
     
  14. BlueWolf
    Offline

    BlueWolf Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Germany
    A chapter is a natural break in a book - be it to go to another 'scene' to otherwise. However, the better writers leave the chapter hanging (Dan Brown is a prime example), leaving the reader wanting to turn to the next chapter so that they can find out what happened, only to discover they have to read that chapter, and so on it goes on ...
     
  15. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    as many as there needs to be... some bestselling authors write 2-3 page chapters and some write ones that are long enough to be mini-books... there's no 'right' or 'wrong' number...

    if you follow the standard format, there will be about 250 per page... see format details here: http://shunn.com/format/

    most-preferred for the adult market is 80-100k, but sci-fi and fantasy can be a bit longer, if it's good enough... YA can run much shorter, depending on the age range being targeted...
     
  16. Loaded-Dice
    Offline

    Loaded-Dice Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    Chapter size is irrelevant. Sure, for some people it makes it "better" or "easier" to read in the manner they prefer, but looking from a cold hard cash point of view; how many people check chapter sizes in a bookstore? Would that stop someone from purchasing a novel? I highly doubt it, and anyone who would decide against buying a novel because the chapters are too long / short, would be, imo, too fickle and picky to enjoy any novel in the first place.
     
  17. minstrel
    Online

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    And don't forget that no novelist has ever received a letter from the Pulitzer Prize committee or the Man Booker Prize committee saying "Your novel is wonderful and we'd love to award you our prize, but you have been disqualified because the chapters are the wrong length."

    (At least, I think no novelist has ever received that letter ...)
     
  18. Phlogiston
    Offline

    Phlogiston Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    UK
    As far as chapter lengths go (and for a fair few other things too) I think a good piece of advice is this: Write what you would like to read.

    I like the approach of Terry Pratchett. He didn't like chapters, so he didn't work in chapters. Worked for him. GRRM structures his books around chapters so much that they are an integral part of the story telling.

    Experiment, have fun and find something that works for you.
     

Share This Page