Message from discussion Query - on chapter length
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From: Brenda Clough <BrendaWri...@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Query - on chapter length
Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2012 21:00:21 -0400
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On 11/2/2012 3:06 PM, Nicky wrote:
> On Friday, November 2, 2012 7:02:13 PM UTC, Raymond Daley wrote:
>> Is this the right place to ask about this or should I be asking in the
>> .written group?
>> I'm looking at trying to write longer stuff than short stories and aiming at
>> something novellette sized so something between 15,000 and 30,000 words
>> Is there such a thing as an average chapter length?
>> Just so I've got a rough idea of how much to aim at or what is considered
>> too long.
>> I've never tried writing chapters before, normally most of my stories are
>> just one piece.
>> Any kind of advice would be appreciated.
> I don't think there is a standard chapter length. They can be as short as one sentence and as long as a whole book. When I write for kids I make them between 1500 and 2000 words long because it is an easy chunk to read at one sitting and produces a particular rhythm. You can choose whatever length suits the pace of your novel.They also don't need to be all the same length.
There is no standard length. In the past (think Dickens) a chapter was
where the serialization broke off, to be continued Next Month. You can
still view the cliffhangers that occur at the end of each chapter of a
Victorian novel, to be followed at the beginning of the following
chapter by some exposition to catch the reader up and clue in new arrivals.
Considerations you (as a modern writer) may mull over include:
Suitable chunks for reading aloud
Artistic factors: cliffhangers? characters going to bed at the end of
each chapter? The end of the war and twenty years pass? Scene changes?
The need to keep ebook uploads in increments that systems can handle.
Editor/publisher demands ("our readers like short chapters")
If I were you I would not worry about it. Write it; leave a couple of
line returns anywhere a break in the story calls for it. You can always
break it into chapters later. At this stage it is a meaningless thing
to fuss over -- like worrying about the font they'll use on the cover.
My latest novel SPEAK TO OUR DESIRES is available exclusively from Book