Richard posted this question on my “Ask A Question For My Blog” page:
My question is about novel structure and word counts. Using the Snowflake Method, I developed my story with multiple subplots that intersect meaningfully with the overall plot/theme. The result of my planning session created 12 chapters (3 each for act 1, 2a, 2b, and 3).
At 100k words, this averages around 8300 words per chapter. Since my story has multiple POVs, the chapters are currently broken into multiple scenes — anywhere from 500 to 2500 words each — all adding to the approximate 8300 word target count.
I’ve both seen and heard other writers that use single scenes for each chapter. So, my question is, what does the industry standard generally dictate? Should each 1500 word scene get its own chapter number? Or should I continue with the plan to keep chapter breaks dependant on significant story events rather than a switch in POV?
(Note: The mid-chapter POV changes keep the scenes in chronological order to prevent jarring the poor reader as this is intended for a YA audience.)
Randy sez: 1500 word scenes would be about six pages of manuscript and maybe 4 or 5 pages in the printed book, depending on page size and font size and all that. I shoot for an average of 2500 words per scene, so if I were writing your book, I’d probably have two scenes for most chapters. I’m not writing your book, so you get to decide. I’ve noticed that James Patterson has incredibly short chapters — a few pages each. I think with a YA novel, you might want to go with one scene per chapter. That makes it easy for your reader to decide to read “one more chapter.” And then another and then another.
There really isn’t any industry standard. Some authors like longer chapters. Some like shorter ones. It’s up to you. However, there is an industry average, and it seems to be about 8 to 10 pages, give or take a little.
If you’ve got a question you’d like me to answer in public on this blog, hop on over to my “Ask A Question For My Blog” page and submit your question. I’ll answer them in the order they come in.
Short chapters really suck me in. Books with those are the ones where I end up sitting up to 2-3am reading when I had planned on going to be at 10:30 because I have to go to work the next day. This causes me to love and hate them all at the same time.
Congrats! Keep Writing!!
Hey, I have around 100 words per chapter and I have 5,800 for 5 chapters. Is that okay?
Elyse E. says
It is on the smaller side, as my 12 paged chapter is over four thousand words, but thats ok! Small chapters are nice. There is no maximum or minimum for chapters, so dont worry about it!
no a chapter should be a minimum of 3k words if it is a chapter book
Just to clarify: Randy, do you shoot for 2500-long scenes or chapters?
Randy sez: 2500 word chapters. I shoot for 1000 word scenes.
I’m currently writing a romance. My chapters are anywhere from 1000-1500 words. I have tried but cannot manage to write anymore than that in the chapters. I’m on chapter 7 right now, what would you call this book? It’s not exactly a novel because of the short chapters, but I’m aiming to complete the book with 30 chapters. Also is it possible to still have a good book even with short chapters?
Amias Davies says
The average book has 300 words a page, so if you were to stick to that and write 1000-1500 words a chapter you could have a book ranging from 100-150
Amias Davies says
And one more thing, if you were to go with that your book will be a Novella (17,500-40,000 words) or a Novel (40,000 or above)
Yeah m8 its possible. it would be more of a short story, though, depending on the length
I’m on chapter 1 and it is about 10 pages. Is this too short?
Too long? Okay length?
The chapters I read as of now are about 12-20+ pages a chapter. So, I guess it depends on the demographic you are going after. If it’s a YA novel maybe strive for more words a chapter. However, if it is for a middle school student to read that’d be fine!
You would call it a novella.
I appreciate your comments and understand your point. Ive tried to leave most scenes with a bit of “cliffhanger” or “mounting tention” feel to hopefully enspire the reader to one more scene, rather than one more chapter. But I also remember as a young reader the feeling of accomplishment when the chapter numbers flew by (for books written that way).
In a critique forum I frequent, I was recently called “the anti-James Patterson” LOL
What is your YA fiction?
You spelt INSPIRE incorrect and you are writing a book.
“Incorrectly and yet you are writing a book” would be more grammatically correct, but since you seem to know everything about writing, I thought you’d know that. So what if they spelled inspire wrong? It was simply a quick comment, not an already edited manuscript. Drafts take dozens of edits and re-edits to get a somewhat polished book; it’s not going to be perfect the first try.
DAAAANGG GURL, ur smart and way to roast her goood job
Wally Trevathan says
You have a syntax and grammatical error in your–statement?
Wally Trevathan says
And yet is a coordinating conjunction–the person who tried to copyedit it missed the commas-in-compound-sentences.
Oops. The chapters in my YA fiction are 7,000-8,000 words long :/ The last books I read before finalizing the setup had very long chapters and that’s how I calculated the length of chapters. There are several scenes in each chapter, so it’s downsize-able.
I hope the publishers won’t be put off by it, and if they want to cut it down to more chapters, I won’t protest.
Jessica Sabin says
As a young reader I don’t care how long the chapter is as long as the story is good.
The first chapter of my book is 701 words long…o.o
Lol I know how you feel, I writ on Wattpad and am trying to make longer chapters. But I simply use don’t have enough time.
Or I just forget…oops. :p
Wow… I write and can’t type a sentence without spelling something wrong.
I’m very impressed in myself.
*checks to see if spelt anything wrong*
David Calvin says
I just bought Grammarly – Awesome when you’re on the fly. I don’t make many errors, but this thing catches ’em! Tells me when I am using an overused word, too many of the same words, etc.
I write on Wattpad. I tend to space out my parts like pages, makes it easier to read for people and allows me to see how many pages have done. If you want to see what I mean, you can look me up as Rantourus.
Don’t sweat it most chapters take days even weeks at a time to write. It’s a natural thing. My chapter for my story are about 2000 words long. If you need any help just ask.
Yeah, I’ve been writing the first chapter of my book for a year and a half now.
I am writing on Wattpad too! I’m sunnyday41. I’m not going to publish it until the whole book is published because my commitment is terrible. I’ll read it if it’s published!
I’m on wattpad too, although I write fanfiction along with original stories. Four years ago, one of my stories got kind of popular. Mine is laineboyx. I follow back 🙂
What is your YA fiction?
I usually go for 2,5000 to 3,5000 word length chapters in my own WIP. Seems long enough that I don’t feel like I’ve just started a chapter and it already ends (personally, I don’t like super short or super long chapters 🙂 so no Patterson for me).
Do you mean 2,500 or 25,000 just curious sorry
Bonnie H says
Probably 2,500. 25,000 would almost be half of a novella on its own!
I’ve actually noticed that 2500 words is actually around 6 pages, so 25000 would be about 60 pages.
Giuliana D says
If you mean 2,500 to 3,500, that is a good length I think, as long as your story is good! In my novel, my chapters range from just below 3,000 words up to 5,000 words.
Miriam Cheney says
James Scott Bell uses really short chapters in his lastest series. For books 2 and 3, I was up until 3am. Pacing is really important in a novel. I wonder if focusing on shorter scenes/chapters–@ 1000 words like Randy mentioned–helps the author keeps things moving.
A J Hawke says
Great post on length of scenes and chapters and I find it helpful to have such practical information. I have found that chapters of 2,500 or less get better critiques in my critique group. This leads me to believe that too long a length of chapters has the danger of the readers getting page-turner fatigue.
As with any rule, it can be broken as needed, but for now, I’m going to push for 1,000 words for scenes and 2,500 for chapters. Again, thanks for a useful post.
I always thought that you break your story into chapters by intuition. I usually just feel where I want to make a significant pause between one scene and the other – and there I start a new chapter. Is the chapter length really that important? Some writers don’t break their novels into chapters at all.
I’ve never worried about the length of my chapters. Sometimes they’re only two pages!
David Calvin says
Stephen King, in The Shining, did a half page chapter.
Wally Trevathan says
When you are King, publishers will allow a lot of dead space on a page. First time authors probably need to be efficient and be on the low side of word count–less risk printing a shorter book.
Wally Trevathan says
Wayne Reimer says
In books I read that have very long chapters, I find myself counting the pages to the end of the next chapter, and getting very discouraged and restless if I have many pages to read before I’m allowed to stop. I hate putting a book down mid chapter. So for that reason, I would personally write shorter chapters. But I have to honestly say I’m just as worried about what people will think about my chapter lengths… which is why I read this article.
Morgan robinson says
Robert Traynor says
Chapter length should be dictated by the flow of the story and nothing else. Worrying that someone might resent a long chapter because he or she doesn’t want to leave half of it unread before getting some shut-eye is like worrying that you might have boiled two-minute noodles for an extra five seconds. Just concern yourself with writing an enthralling novel, and all will be well.
Morgan robinson says
Thank you! This thread is madness!
Ferrin Baldor says
Ha, the comment section is encouraging to read. I just finished the first chapter of my rough draft, and it topped off at ~2700 words; wasn’t sure if it was too long/short, so I decided to check here. Thankfully, I’m set to work on the nextt chapter!
By the way, Randy, love your blog. I used the Snowflake to develop this manuscript; you’re awesome.
Mine range from 1250 to 2000 per chapter. With most around 1600. Do you think this is too short?
I think that is perfectly fine, so long as your story is fast paced enough for it to work
u mean my range and u forgot ur commas
Thanks for this info!
Phillip that is awesome! Sounds interesting. I would definitely love to purchase it when you’re finished.
Jason R. says
I like to think I’ve found an interesting medium for my chapter lengths and where I leave them off at. For example, the book I’m currently writing has a short 9 page Chapter 1 to intro the main protagonist, that ends with a shocking revelation for him before going into Chapter two, which is roughly 22-23 pages long (I have to double check) and ends with
“Cody? Was die sache?” Whipping his head around, Cody stared at the other man with reddened eyes and tear stained cheeks in uncomfortable silence for a brief moment.
Then with a blood curdling scream, he collapsed, fading into the soothing dark of unconsciousness.
Talk about a cliff hanger there eh?
At the absolute longest, I think my biggest chapter is 32 pages, but covers alot, as it’s the chapter with the big twist being revealed and all.
Well, I literally just finished the prologue for my book that I’ve been imagining for about 6 years now, well it’s more of a series but only the first book has a plan of how I want it to go. Anyway my prologue ended up being about 3000 words, it has a fair build up with a tense and fast paced conclusion that is designed to hook people’s interest. I think this is ok, though my actually chapters are likely to be longer as there is not so much pressure on me I feel to sell the story. I mean obviously I want to retain interest but the prologue for me when reading a book is what grips me into loving the story and direction of the book, and I keep reading to kind of understand the prologue, if that makes sense. By the way, just so people get some context my book is high fantasy or what seems to be called ‘epic fantasy’ more and more these days. personally prefer the term high fantasy as epic fantasy seems rather boastful to me.
I like calling it high fantasy. I think if someone called my story epic afterwards, id accept it as a great compliment. I agree 100% about the prologue being so important. I replied to your comments because I too have been imagining a story for more than 6 years. My best advice is never to stop working at it, and make a set time to sit and write. Even if you don’t actually write, sit there at the computer. Good luck, and hope to read your story one day.
the first chapter of my book was only two pages long so I decided to make it a prologue, since I felt that two pages was too short for a chapter. It just didn’t feel right to tack it on at the beginning of the next chapter considering it quite a bit of a Chang in the rhythm, mood, scene, and time. I’m still debating whether it’s the right decision, but once I get further into the writing, I think I’ll know better about the pacing.
Here’s a suggestion from a reader, not a writer. I would say 99% of what I read are mysteries. The thing that bugs me the most are the ones where the author felt obligated to put in a comment at the end of a chapter that hints as to what’s coming. Something like, I thought things couldn’t get any worse, or, I didn’t know I’d never see him alive again. Being told in advance that something is going to happen ruins the suspense, as far as I’m concerned. We don’t want an advance warning. So if any of you are writing mysteries, please don’t do that. 🙂 As far as short chapter lengths, James Patterson drives me nuts with his 3 page chapters. But that’s just a personal opinion. I prefer chapters that average 8 to 10 pages. And I have no idea of how many words that would be.
John Robenault says
I feel your pain.
I love JP’s chapters… He’s my favourite author
I have read some of his and the stories themselves are good but he seems to be fixated on having no chapter longer than 2 1/2 to 3 pages for no particular reason other than he likes short chapters. Currently my favourite author is Lee Childs, the Jack Reacher series.
I came to this thread looking for answers on the average word count per chapter. I’m writing a fantasy novel myself, and find myself averaging 3,500 – 6000 words each. But the basic feeling I’m getting, based on the comments here, is that there is no set standard. I’m glad I found this site though, and I’ll be back to join the discussions.
Stephen Todd says
I would just stick with what would be good pacing for the story. If the plot is moving too slow then I find a good point that would make a great cliffhanger and then use that break as a way of speeding up the plot leading into the next chapter.
I am currently writing a fantasy novel, but I write short chapters averaging from about 1000 to 2000 words, but I plan to write longer chapters. Should I eventually rewrite the shorter chapters to make all the chapters about the same length, or is there a simple way to transition the length with readers barely noticing?
Well continue writing your story and if it makes sense to go back and see if you are able to rewrite it longer without changing the story too much, if not then don’t worry about it.
It’s all about the pace of your story. How is the protagonist’s voice, emotions, etc? How significant are the events in the plot? Is there anything you wish to highlight???
I have formed my books so that each chapter ends right after something has happened. Sometimes, if my chapters end up being 11 or 12 pages, I’ll split them up. I’d rather have 6 or 7 page chapters than 12. One is 2 pages, because it’s a very short scene that ends abruptly. Follow the natural breaks, and don’t worry about it too much.
Michael Miller says
I will usually go with 1,000-1,500 words a chapter
i am not sure if that is even a decent rate
Cooper Levine says
I’ll go with whatever I feel like at the moment I’m writing. If I want a short chapter, it’s short. If I want it long, It’s long. I usually get an average of 1K words per chapter.
John Robenault says
That’s about what I get as well. I, personally prefer shorter chapters.
I think its decent
Ian Crouse says
Chapters should be as long as it takes to move the story. My current WIP has a chapter with one line (one page) and the longest is 21 pages. Current writing averages, on this WIP, will come to around 42,000 words total and 13 chapters. So around 3230 words per chapter, average.
I just double posted in one comment… How cute of me. *facepalm*
Matthew David Lennartz says
Greetings one and all,
I am an aspiring author working on my first novel. My experience so far, when considering word count or chapter size, has been varied. For example, the first chapter of my book has a word count of around 5400; however, chapter 5 overshadowed my prior result significantly: 10,900 words. It is my opinion that passion, logic, and to a lesser degree the outline, balance to determine how you write a chapter and the evidence thereafter. In so doing, the story determines the absolute girth of the chapter and, as a result, the novel.
Just spent 2 hours looking for answers but this page was the closest I’ve found online to answer. Which is preferable: Consistent-length chapters with several scene breaks or smaller chapters with one scene? I keep flip flopping over this while writing my 2nd novel.
About to start my 3rd, and I swear, I’m going to ignore the whole chapter/scene problem entirely and just put in TOC headings for each scene. (I keep navigation turned on in Word while writing).
Right now, revising, it’s becoming a mess because I can’t decide… I thought I was done with this issue, with ~20 page chapters (~6,000 words). But, when revising, this is difficult, vs having each scene clearly visible.
I tried using Scrivener to resolve my difficulties but that software just wasted a month of my time so I quit using it.
I’m convinced now that, with a complex plot, lots of scenes and characters, one-scene-per-chapter is the way to go. Even if it gets condensed during final revision.
Just so you know I never notice chapters. I never knew writers stressed so much over them or else I might have looked to see what chapter I’m on. All that matters me is that it flows. If you are worried about chapter length to the point it is stressing you out might I suggest The Book Thief and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. They both handle the idea of chapters in a much different light. I hope this helps.
I love both long and short chapters. If a book is good then i enjoy reading. I have zero problem with long chapters. It makes me happy and excited i still have a long way to read before the chapter ends. All it means to me is the book is long. I dont care about where a chapter starts and ends. I go by what im reading whats happening, how much excitment i am getting from the book. I tend to stop reading when i feel fulfilled. Even if its in the middle of a chapter or the last page.
I have a question, but first I will brief you a little. It’s a large post, sorry for that, and I will therefore post two/three separate comments, simply to post it all.
This is [ Part 1 of 2/3 ]
I’ve never read a book, I actually find it quite boring, perhaps because I’ve never really given it a go, although, I do enjoy a good story, I tend to watch a lot of films, all types, and I believe I have quite a creative and imaginative mind and think that I could write a really good story, something epic, I don’t wish to appear ignorant or anything but, keeping in the back of my mind that it’ll be an epic read/story whilst creating something and typing it up, can’t do any harm, surely…
Anyway, the novel I am writing is a sci-fi psychological romance, I think that genre title is accurate, at least with what I have in mind, I think it will be one of those that messes with your head a little from the moment you start to get into the story, I’m trying to get that imprint on your mind that something is missing, without clearly indicating what so ever, that anything is in-fact missing, you should be hooked, eager to know how the story ends, by the time you’re at the end of the book, it should leave you feeling, quite literally, speechless, with just a slightly open mouth and that faint smile, with only one word bouncing around “wow…” Or so… that’s my intention, to create a simply superb story, I’m being highly ambitious with it, time will tell whether or not that was a good choice.
My question is this, I would really like someone I could speak to every now and then on a one-one basis, a few e-mails perhaps every few months, a little catch up, but the idea is that, if you’re writing a book, I could do the same for you in return of course, and that is for you to read what I have written so far, and give any feedback, anything at all, is it interesting to you, does it seem to go off track and not make sense, would you classify it as a different genre, thing like this, just some good old fashioned feedback. I’m looking for a few people ideally, as oppose to just one person. I will paste a small amount of the novel so far below, to give you an idea, I will happily mention the idea for the plot/twist in a one-one email, to give you a better idea as to where it’s heading, I think knowing that makes the below story so far, more interesting, because knowing how it will end, or at least, having an idea how it will end, knowing the plot/twist, makes the current story make more sense, gives more depth straight away, and just, more interesting I think, I might be too close to this, that’s why I want a few other readers, testers if you will. Unsure if to publicly post the plot/twist idea…?
Regardless what you think the story is about, I can almost guarantee you’re wrong, the finished product, the story should be 99.99% different than what you originally thought it would be having read the below, the twist, the plot, the turn of the story, the “end” of the story, I feel is incredible, and leaning more towards the unexpected.
Perhaps the opening for the book should be “Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and decide on your own, although, I almost want to tell you to continue reading, because I want to blow your mind.”
Sorry for the large post. I will be looking at perfecting this story over time, including my writing technique, this is just a rough copy, idea.. Any and all feedback will be appreciated.
And let me know if you want to exchange emails or something.
I also feel it’s important just not conform to other’s ideas, it actually irritates me. For example, having to read other peoples books in order to be successful writing your own book, to me, is ridiculous, I shouldn’t have to listen to someone telling a story in order to be creative and telling a story of my own, right?
Just thought I would mention this, I’ve read a lot online regarding novels, and everyone says the same thing, read read read, read lots of books, or you will fail. I laugh in the face of this, sometimes people can be creative and original all by themselves, and succeed all by themselves, not having to take advice, or learn from others, sometimes, it’s a natural process, or so I like to believe. 😀
I personally just read other highly rated fanfictions online to get a general idea on chapter length and occasionally some of their ideas. Just basing a novel off collective scraps of other people’s ideas is not something that I want to do however.
I feel like you should read to allow your vocabulary to grow, to pick up how grammar affects the book, and how theme and mood and other literary device work and what doesn’t work. It’s hard to know if you like something if you don’t experience it. It’s just like trying different food. Maybe you want to add sarcasm to something but there are certain ways to do it so you don’t sound like a pretentious butt. Reading other people’s work gives you a sense of what you like and how you feel when it is presented. It isn’t about stealing other people’s ideas, but about understanding yourself better. Maybe you don’t like a way an author presented sarcasm and you could see a better way of doing it that works for you. And a personal question for you: Why do you want to be a writer if you don’t want to read?
Rebecca Rennie says
Fantastic. My book is magic realism crossing over with fantasy. All my chapters are between 2,700-5,000 words long. From what I read here, 5,000 is actually a bit long….The book is about 109,000 (or it will be once I have cut a few thousand words from it)
Oh wow, all of your books seem to be extremely long. I have absolutely no idea how long my book is going to be, (it’s about 21 000 words so far) with chapters ranging from 4000 words to a little over 5000 words. Good luck to all you writers! I have a few questions:
How long should an average novel be?
How old would you recommend to start writing a novel?
Thank you guys.
Am I the only person who never notices chapters? I seriously can’t remember having to finish a chapter to stop reading. I just read until I have to do something else or until I get to tired to read anymore. I think the last time I stopped at a particular chapter was with a Harry Potter book back when I was in elementary school.
I was looking up some more generalised info on chapter length for some research on my own project and came across this conversation, and kind of glad i did, but i wanted to mention something in relation to a few comments here that.. im not sure if its the right wording, but ive developed a bit of my own technique around (bareing in mind, and i can already imagine all the eyeballs rolling into the back of their heads here dont get me wrong, that im only putting out what ive noticed about how im writing as a complete and utter newbie picking up an old hobby and am determined to actually finish something) that ive noticed blends from –
Chapter length should be around -2500 words (which is what i picked up when i started on my novel all of about 2 weeks ago) compared to
Chapter length should end logically or comfortably (paraphrasing here.. kind of) with one or two locations/activities and or 1 scene etc…
So what i did when i did my little plan was –
Synopsis – whodat? whatdere? whylong? – and the general novel length i was aiming for was the 75000 mark which i read is mid length? not sure.
I split into manageable bits – prologue, story, epilogue – and found i needed x amount of chapters for the main story, so in regards to what i already knew what i wanted to happen, split it four ways into 6 ‘Chapters’ each. So – i hit on – How is the mini story going to start, middle and end? and went from there.
So, the observation i get is that – As i write to my own ‘Chapter’ plan, things get moved about or i cant find enough of… something…. to flesh out a chapter, and in a couple of places X happening in one ‘Chapter’ and Y happening in one ‘Chapter’ end up being written together and end up converging into the same leaving me short by…. however many words i was targetting.
But in other places, its more than made up for, by other scenes that i have gotten right into and have gone rather long.
The end result – Is that when the entire act is written to the plan i want, i know EXACTLY which parts need beefing up, and WHAT i need to beef it up with (i.e. in one chapter my guy has gone off to a neighouring village, So half that part is la de da im walking thats pretty then the other half is him sitting on a cart talking to an old man about these old warriors. I got everything i absolutely needed him to say, all the humor i wanted in it, and all the visual i wanted…. and ended up half a ‘chapter’ short with absolutely zero clue of what to switch the conversation to.
Once all of my ‘Chapters’ are written into the ‘act’ in its entirety, i can then go back and reasonably place my – CHAPTERS – as in the actual story flow where they need to be, and that – is where the actual WORD count doesnt seem to matter a jot.
I hope this was more than a wall of text for you. Sorry if its not!
Thought id follow up with a TL;DR comment sorry –
Exact word count for Chapter i.e. 2500 gives me my framework to work around.
The STORY chapters, will fall around the completed text written around the framework, then split up as needed to suit the flow 🙂
Hi everyone i’m Lola. I have been working on my story for the past few years and i am finally putting it on paper. What would be your advice for some who is a little scatter brain. because at first i tried writing by chapter but other ideas would pop up and i would have to write them down and that would be the beginning of a random chapter. Any tips?
don’t ever think you have to write in order… you can start writing at the end and finish at the beginning. i think part of the reason i’m such a slow author is because i do this. i write other ideas on a separate document when they pop up, as well as a main manuscript
I’m writing a YA book with multiple POV and my chapters are approximately 2,200 words each. With 2 scenes per chapter. Is this good or should I have bigger scenes? This is my first book and I’d love advice!
hey guys is 2300 words too little for a first chapter?
Nope! In fact, I’d say that’s pretty good. My first chapters generally go from 1,500 to 2,000 words depending on the genre. Ultimately, it’s up to you. 🙂
Good luck on your writing!
I started my novels at like 1800 words. But as I got the feeling for it, they ended up being around 3000-3500 words, 1000 words per scene. I also write on Wattpad.
I hadn’t really thought about chapter length. I’m still on my first draft but the variation is 1840 words in the shortest chapter to 2131 words in the longest. I hadn’t planned them to be similar length. As it’s YA semi-fiction (fiction based on real life events) I kept each chapter focused on a different character (or at least a different antagonist).
One thing I’m finding is the more I develop my characters the more they’re evolving in different ways from how I first imagined them. I’ve found that the more I ‘live’ their lives, the more I find their character and responses evolve. The biggest problem I find is needing to go back and change names as I slip into the real names of people rather than the fictionalised versions. I try to do this one chapter at a time and write one chapter every day.
i am writing a book about….. well its based off of a game called oblivion, but also ties into skyrim a little, if any one on here plays any of the elderscrolls,it has to do with the elven aldimary diminion, and the story is about a guy who meets some friends in a bar, and well they are talking about how they cant wait to be free from the elves and, well the empire had to surrender to these elves, and they have over powered tamriel, and now pretty much controles all of cyrodiil, well these men are very… how should i say this, they want revenge, the reason they want reveng is cause well these elves have killed their live stalk, their family killed, and the females of the family… well i think you guys can figure out what i was going to say, anyways, so thewy are forming a huge army , and i started this story 3 months ago and i have 9945 words, and only 31 pages… this might take a while, also this is my first time writing a book and trying to make it over at least 50 chapters long… i really want to try to publish this book before im 19, im 16 now, so i dont have alot of time, but i do at the same time, anyways if anyone reads this comment on here thanks,,,, 😀
David Calvin says
I’ve thought about doing that, but won’t. I bet that’ll kick your imagination into gear!
also like some advice for my first book!!! thank you
Hey, Isaiah, I have tried to give myself a deadline for my books, but I have found that it is much harder to write them when I have set an end. Write and see where it takes you. If you ever find yourself having writers block or knowing what to write, but unable to put it into words, try grabbing a piece of paper and jotting down your ideas. I find myself going from page to keyboard a lot and I have found that at times I have a clearer mind writing one way or the other. Staying in front of a computer or with a blank page in front of you too long could prevent you from writing, and it can also be discouraging. Dabble and find what makes it easiest for you to write.
So, I have been writing this series for several years, which consists of maybe five books. I have changed it several times, seeing that I have flaws. I have a book on Word that is almost three hundred pages long with 186000 words… I have noticed that the chapters have a tendency to be on the long side with the occasional short one. It is a fantasy book and I was wondering if this is too long for just one book or if I need to make it shorter for my readers to find it more enjoyable.
Spikes Donovan says
I wonder if the length of news stories can give us any direction. I have a story a bit longer than yours – but, I made three books out of it. I have been toying with the idea of doing single scene chapters with 1000 to 1200 word counts per chapter. The book would be about 55,000 words long. Just see how it goes. Remember, people skip over large segments of Tolkien when he gets wordy about the landscapes.
Also, given the paradigm changes in literature, a fantastic idea can be written poorly and still fly off the virtual shelves at Amazon.
i will try your idea thank you again, and it think the story might be a little to long, but it sounds good already for how many shapters and words their is
and what is it about??
My book is about a world just on the other side of a teenage girl’s closet. Secrets have been kept and they begin falling apart. There is magic and a legend. She always thought that she wasn’t worth anything or had a purpose. She finds her purpose in the end and discovers that she is significant.
yay, im almost finished with my story, im trying to think of a good ending of the great war.
ok, i finished my book, now im doing gramer and all that good stuff, and well its going well
I find that I tend to underwrite, which means I have to pay close attention to word count when I’m writing chapters. My goal is to write around 2,000 words per chapter, have the book be thirty chapters, equalling to about 60,000 words total. My first chapters are normally much shorter than the rest of the book, but thankfully I managed to turn the first chapter I’m working on from 1,000 to 1,886 words adding details to fill in all the little gaps.
Thanks for the post! 🙂
thats a good idea
Ahri Fiore says
Im in the middle of a YA novel that im writing as well, and im aiming for about 2,000-3,000 words per chapter, and including a few scenes, maybe to inside it, and leaving on a cliff-hanger, or something that’s going to draw the reader into the next chapter, something intriguing. but i have seen quite a few novels where the chapters are short, i have even seen a few that had a one page chapter. So i say, write to your strengths, and to heck with the word count. Make it however long or short you want to make it, as long as it flows with your story and it vibes with your story-telling style
How many words are there in 8-10 pages, approximately?
How big should the text be I currently have it set to eleven.
I say that you make it however long you want to make it. It doesn’t matter its your story unless you work for a company it doesn’t need to be a certain length. Make it as long, or as short as you want it to be. Naming a book is kind of a different story though. You want a book title that’s gonna draw the reader in and make he/she want to read it. If you make a boring title the readers not gonna want to read it.
2000 words in a chapter are okay ?
Or it will not work ? I have tried not to overstretch anything so I am a little confused.
Please give your suggestions .
Write in what you feel comfortable with, DON’T over describe, to much detail takes away from the experience, leave some stuff to the reader to think up.At the same time though explain stuff a lot if you have character with interesting facial features explain it in a way that suits the character even if it’s long.
AND REMEMBER! just because you have a word goal, doesn’t mean you HAVE to hit it or stop at it. if you need to explain more go ahead, you finished the scenes you needed then stop you don’t have to continue.
also Ive got only 4000 words written, including marks like: ” ‘ . ,()
Rainwave Juncture says
Alright party people, let me just say that while chapter structure is invaluable, trying to limit or extend your chapters to any particular word length can prove madness-inducing and ultimately counterproductive. You should start and end your chapters at exactly the point that feels right to you. So much of this business is grounded in intuition. You feel your work, you don’t analyze it. That’s what the professionals are there for. From experience, agents, editors, and publishing companies tend not to get hung up on chapter length, and if they do, it’s usually a very simple fix. Some authors don’t even divide their works into chapters at all. Be creative and have fun with it. This is your art, your soul written down for all to see. Chapter length is the least of your problems. Okay, I’m done preaching. Good luck to all of you.
Alex Kidd says
I feel like my first chapter is too long (currently about 1700 words), but I can’t find a way to divide it in half. It’s probably not that important, but oh well.
I’m writing a novel and was told to make my chapters about 10,000 words long, would that be to dragged out or is it okay if I manage to keep the events connected.
Craig Ilschner says
I’m starting my first book at age 10 and I’m decent but no one ever likes to hear my stories. My prolog is is some where between 1200 words is that to short ???
Craig Ilschner says
I’m starting my first book at age 10 and I’m decent but no one ever likes to hear my stories. My prolog is is some where between 1200 words is that to short ??? or to long ! Writing is very confusing!!!!
Beach Boys are Gr8 says
For the first part, I’m sure someone would love to read your stories! And honestly when I think of prologues, I always feel as though they should be shorter. Just a point of view of mine.
Craig Ilschner says
Question. I’m currently writing a YA fantasy novel. Although I’m not completely sure what direction my writing will take me, I’ve been thinking that around 12 chapters. I have heard that a chapter should be 5,000 words, especially for fantasy. I’m not completely sure, because I feel like I’m just adding fillers. Currently my first chapter is 2.595 words. According to a book page count, that is 9 pages. Is that too much? Too little? Just right? I’m just not sure. I guess will update??
I have finished my fantasy novel, which have 16 chapters. Every chapter is so long, my books pages are 523 is that good?
Calliope Greenleaf says
Definitely! Some chapters can be short, others long. It all depends on 1. How you want it, and 2. What works best for the scene.
This was a nice read and comments helped. I’m on my first book. A year ago I started and I have 7 chapters and 22,160 words. I was worried about the chapter lengths but I feel confident it’s how I want it. And when I proof read I add and subtract where needed in edits. Good luck everyone.
Craig Ilschner says
what kind of book should i write in your guys opinion long short fantasy, action . Making up your mind is one of the hardest thing in writing.
Craig Ilschner says
what kind of book should i write in your guys opinion long short fantasy, action . Making up your mind is one of the hardest thing in writing.
Rita kumari says
Nice and not very long chapter ,
It was so good
Kait Rose says
For anyone who loves to write use the app wattpad. There are free books to read on there and you can write your own books on there. You share them with everyone, so you can get feedback on how you’re doing.
Hot Lips says
Spent a lot of time telling people, “It’s up to you.” Obviously! Captain Obvious eventually gets on to answer the question though: “…there is an industry average, and it seems to be about 8 to 10 pages, give or take a little.”
Thanks Capt! 😛
yeah, excuse my punctuation, grammar and stuff I’m doing this really fast
Isabel Griffin says
That’s odd, I find myself writing 3000 words at most per chapter. Since my pages are at most 300 words, and I write at most 10 pages per chapter. Leaving me with a maximum value of 3000 words per chapter. But maybe how I write is just bigger. I use Times New Roman at size 12 with line spacing set at 1.15.
Isabel Griffin says
Typically though, I would shoot for an average of 2200 words per chapter. Since a page is about 250 – 300 words long, and chapters are about 6 – 10 pages long, leaving the averages of 275 words per page and 8 pages per chapter. That when multiplied together, get that average of 2200 words per chapter I was talking about.
woooaaahhh SO MANY FREAKING PAGES i cant do this
Oh god, SO MANY PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT THEY HAVE 10-PAGE CHAPTERS!!!! My chapters range between 1-2 pages!!! PLEASE HELP ME
Being an avid reader. I like the idea of separate chapters. For example, take The Shining. Near the end, Dick Halloran becomes more of a prominent character appearing in chapters about him coming to save Danny. It seems a bit non-sensual two have that in the same chapter as Danny’s mother getting with the mallet for example. As you are so drawn to the adrenalin rush you would want to read the parts that increase your adrenalin. You end up reading Dick’s chapters as well as the chapters at the Hotel.
So I guess I’m trying to say, do different POVs, but it seems to work better once the plot starts to become exciting. For my first book, I’m writing 1000+ on 13 main chapters with other smaller chapters in between. I have decided to do chapters that only converge right at the end once it becomes intresting.