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  1. U.G. Ridley

    U.G. Ridley I'm a wizard, Hagrid Supporter

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    Chapter word counts?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by U.G. Ridley, Aug 14, 2016.

    I've been looking for various authors' word counts per chapter, but just can't seem to find them. The closest I got was one guy who'd written an article about the average difference between word counts in famous books' early chapters and late chapters. Is there a website for this or something?
     
  2. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure, but in my opinion far too much is read into chapters.

    Sorry, that was about as helpful as a pair sunglasses made out of chocolate.
     
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  3. U.G. Ridley

    U.G. Ridley I'm a wizard, Hagrid Supporter

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    I think chocolate sunglasses could be pretty helpful if you are having a bad day
     
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  4. izzybot

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    We've definitely had some threads about chapter length, though the only one I can find at the moment is this one.

    This post on stack exchange might be of some use to you.

    Hmm, and there's this, but it's only a few examples unless you want to download her ebook.
     
  5. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you're willing to do a tiny amount of work, you can estimate chapter lengths yourself. Count the number of words in ten lines, divide by ten to get the average number of words per line, then multiply by the number of lines on a page. That gives a good estimate of number of words per page. Count the pages in a chapter, multiply, and ta-da, Bob's your uncle. Also, your calculator display shows you the number of words in the chapter, in case you don't care about your relationship to Bob.
     
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  6. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Something Wicked this Way Comes. Contributor

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    I do not think asking a Battery Operated Boyfriend (Bob) is the way to determine how long a chapter should be. :superlaugh:

    From the books I have read it varies widely. Some have 20-40 page chapters, and others 2-10 pages. Personally I like longer chapters,
    as well as chapters that do not run altogether as they could have just as easily been put together until the need for a transition occurs.
    There is always the option to just cut out chapters entirely, though that is a road less traveled. Though that is something you will have
    to figure out for yourself. Good luck, and hope you figure out what works best for you and yours. :)
     
  7. Commandante Lemming

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Different authors and genres vary wildly on this. I personally shoot for chapters that are about 5,000 words but that's just where I generally like them.

    Thriller chapters tend to be very short on purpose to keep you turning pages, but other than that I'm not sure there's a rule - except maybe that you can afford longer chapters if you have a longer book (I've heard epic fantasy chapters can get a lot longer because you have a big book, slow pace, and readers that are interested in a lot of worldbuilding). But there are exceptions to every rule - and you have people like Terry Pratchett who don't even USE chapter breaks.
     
  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I think the lack of data is a clue that chapter length really doesn't matter. If it did there would be a gazillion articles out there about it, like there is for word count.
     

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