Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Do Chapters Have To Be The Exact Same Length?

I'm having a problem with the writing of a new novel and I'm not sure if it's serious. Some  of my chapters are really short and some are really long.When I say short, some are just a few pages, a thousand words, whilst the longer ones are endless pages with thousands upon thousands of words within them.

It's early days yet but I find it really annoying that they're not all the same length.I feel like they should all be the same uniform length.  Does anyone else have this problem?

So that I reach the required word count of 80-000 which turns my manuscript from a flimsy novella to a weighty novel. I've divided the above number by the number of chapters my novel will have to get an ideal of the ideal chapter length. I get really stressed out if a chapter does not reach this length as it's the bare minimum needed to qualify it as a novel. Which gets me thinking.



Do  chapters need to be the same length in a book?

Is it ok to have some really short chapters mixed in with longer ones?

Is there an ideal chapter length?

So after much reserach curtsey of the web, the good news is that no, chapters do not need to be the same length. When writing a novel it's a good idea to think of your chapters as mini stories within your novel that link together to form one big story. Some of these mini stories will be bigger than others.

So in that respect some chapters may be short, whilst others may be a lot longer especially if they are more complex.

It may be a good idea to have a few short chapters as well as longer ones which will help with the pace of the story.

But is there an ideal chapter length?

The short answer is no. It really depends on the type of novel you are writing. If your wor is a fast paced action thriller then short snappy chapters will keep those pages turning as fast as they can be read. Longer chapters will suit best a novel that may have a slow build up or a lot of depth.

So in short let your characters and plot dictate your chapters and not your word count.




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