Ginevra

Writing Chapter Stories? How many and how long?

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shingami dude were all mortals dont sweat it its just an mistake!

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I have 2 stories that fit the long chapter story category

One is sitting at 13 chapters right now- writers block set in *bangs head on desk*

Each chapter is probably about 3,000-4,000 words maybe 5,000 tops

The other story is at 6 chapters and the first few were 2,000ish words somewhere around chapter 4 or 5 it hit about 4,000 and now im sitting at around 5,000 wordds per chapter.

It seems to be working so far. I also found that for the longer chapters, spacing is vital! Space between paragraphs, between dialouge. It makes it so much easier to read than a big block of text.

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1. It;s not about how many chapters there are, it's about how much each chapter drives the story along. Each keystone event should have it's own chapter, Sometimes there will be more than 1 key event in a chapter depending on chronological spacing, but there must ALWAYS be at least one key event per chapter. If you just have entire chapters where nothing important happens the story will become monotonous.

2. Chapters should be at least 1000 words, and should never reach 3000 words. You're target should be roughly 2000 words. If you don't reach 1000 words you're audience will be left wanting more and you won't have enough room to drive the story forward. If you have more than 3000 words the reader may get tired and take a break half way through the chapter, which will break up the immersion.

3. As a writer I abide strictly to the 2000 word rule, a High-school habit I never broke out of I guess. As a reader I like to read an entire chapter from start to finish then be satisfied with it, so I can take a break. I should never have been reading a chapter for so long that I get bored and leave it, at the same time I shouldn't read a short chapter and be left thinking "Is that all?"

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Here's my rule of thumb: A chapter that requires little to no scrolling should not be posted.

Therefor, I prefer at least five chapters with fifteen hundred words, at a minimum, and two thousand words, at a maximum, inclusive, of progression (word count is a beautiful thing) because anything longer gives me, and - possibly - other authors, the feel of a lecture rather than a chapter within a story..

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Haha, my favorite answer to this question is: "The chapter ends when it ends." XD

Realistically, there's perfectly good published fiction with 1-page chapters, and others with no chapter breaks at all. It's largely up to author style, the type of story, story length, genre conventions, etc...

I had a friend once who likened it to breathing, which I thought was a great way to put it. Everyone breathes, but everyone breathes at a different rate, and may speed up or slow down depending on the needs of their body. Similarly, a story will have "breaths" with chapter breaks coming at natural points between those "breaths". Just like you wouldn't think to yourself, "Okay, I'm going for a run and my muscles will need more oxygen, so I'm going to start breathing heavily now," you probably don't need to slavishly plan out exactly how long your chapters will be. When you come to the end of a breath, end the chapter. Otherwise, your reader will start to feel literary suffocation or hyperventilation. ;)

Though I will say that for myself, I have often found that chapter breaks often comes at natural breaks in the story structure (for example, I'll often have a chapter break just after the catalyst, just after the midpoint, just after act breaks, etc...) which combined with my target story length, helps me to get a rough estimate for how long my chapters "should" be.

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