Chapter Page Count

Last updated on 3 years ago
LawMatheson
LawMatheson Posted 4 years ago
I had some questions on chapter word/page count, and I started to get some answers on my chapter posting, but I figured there was a better place to ask those things.
My question is, how long is a good chapter? I am trying to write a novel that a LOT happens. The main character, Neil, is new to town, and as soon as he enters, things get wacky, and don't slow down. I wanted the reader to feel this some too, you only keep up if you are paying attention. How often has that happened to other people in their own lives? For me, I seem to get into some pretty serious situations two or three times a year that I have to work hard to learn new things, and stay afloat, while still dealing with normal life (if that makes sense, I like to challenge myself). Reviewers keep saying that too much is happening in the first chapter of my series, but I would have to counter that NOTHING really has happened yet. People and events set up in the first chapter, don't come back and take place for the rest of book one.

Back to my original question, how long is a good chapter? Ill just ask in Doc pages, because that's what i'm editing on. People say a 'scene' is a chapter, but that seems much too short for me.

Advice?
"We learn from failure, not success." Bram Stoker
Darkfire
Darkfire Posted 4 years ago
Chapters can be as long as you like. There are chapters with a single sentence in them, and then there are chapters with close to 7000 words. You'll get the feel of how long it should be as you write, so just write. If you're like me, you'll later realize there are a lot of things that can be cut or left out all together so that the chapter fits fine and essential.
SEE YOU NEXT EPISODE
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 4 years ago
Consider a chapter to be like a scene in a movie. Each scene has one theme and then moves on to the next scene until the end. Books do the same thing.
LawMatheson
LawMatheson Posted 4 years ago
Thanks Darkfire I find that that is exactly how I write too! Only, I am having issues with the 'cutting' part. Don Roble, people keep telling me a scene a chapter, but what about books like Game of Thrones or The Wheel of Time Series where there are multiple POV's and sometimes multiple scenes for those few people, in a single chapter. In my mind my series is going to be nine+ books, all fairly large, with many different POV's. Is that a different writing style? Which leads me to another question, but it's separate from this, so I'll ask on another thread... (Thanks for the help though!)
"We learn from failure, not success." Bram Stoker
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 4 years ago
Multiple points of view by multiple characters is still one scene. I would venture a guess that you will be having long chapters. That's fine.
LawMatheson
LawMatheson Posted 4 years ago
Yea, my chapters are long. I try to cut them back as much as possible, but as an avid reader growing up, long chapters were never much of a turn off for me. So if I end up marketing only towards the audience that I would fall in I guess that would be fine, but I want to reach as many people as possible, so I should probably cut back...
"We learn from failure, not success." Bram Stoker
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 4 years ago
It's your choice but you have to write for yourself as well. A little compromise I would do but not a lot.

My writing is very short with little or no descriptive writing. I can do it but it's not my style and I would just be padding the story.

Edit out extraneous wordage but when you get to the meat-stop.
LawMatheson
LawMatheson Posted 4 years ago
Good advice! I took it to heart when I edited and then added to my first chapter. it will be my third editing of that story on this site, so I am not sure I will post it, but I did drastically change up the scene, to a point its probably important that I include it so that you guys can follow the new progression, but I don't want to annoy people. It is possible that I just pick up where the second chapter left off (which is into chapter three in the newest draft), I just want to know what others think that I should do. Help please?
"We learn from failure, not success." Bram Stoker
Don Roble
Don Roble Posted 4 years ago
No, post any changed part. If you don't, we tend to think you ignored us.If I think that, I stop reading and commenting on the story. If you do, we have the chance to see and comment on your progress.
LawMatheson
LawMatheson Posted 4 years ago
Perfect! I didn't want you guys to think that, I really enjoy the advice! Also, I am pretty proud of the change in direction from the first part. I am going to read it to myself out loud a few times and I will post later! I look forward to hearing your comments!
"We learn from failure, not success." Bram Stoker
Dcouch87
Dcouch87 Posted 3 years ago
I'm sure this is a large response, but I'm new here having just joined. I'd have to agree with the comments I've read however. As you write and go back over things you have previously written, you'll reorganize certain things, edit some things out, and change as you go. Don't worry about surviving chapters early on. Write some, then go back and reread it after a little time. You'll find the appropriate pauses to divide into chapters then. I wrote nearly 15,000 words within 3 chapters. Then when I went back a few days later while typing it from my writing, I realized one chapter could actually be two separate ones.
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