Chapter Length

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Postby Gaming Ikari » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:37 pm

Length is a terribly subjective topic, and can depend largely on the style in which an author chooses to write and the feeling they're going for. In regards to word count (which I find more accurate than file sizes, for a variety of reasons mentioned above), some of my stories have chapters averaging at 5k per, while others float between 2k to 3k words.

What determines chapter length for me is a question I ask myself at the end of every scene I've written thus far: What's happened in this chapter to advance the plot? If I answer to myself with "This, and this, and this," I consider that the cut-off point. Long chapters annoy me as an author because it means I've got to do a lot more work if I decide, mid-writing, that I want to go back and verify a particular plot-point. Besides, I've noticed that beyond roughly 4k words or so, my writing slows down significantly. Just a weird mental block, I guess.

As a reader, I don't necessarily care about length, I care about plot. I've been annoyed by 15k words of absolutely nothing happening and pleased by 2.5k words of plot advancement.
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Postby Battlekrome » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:40 pm

overall plot / pacing should determinehow long a chapter goes

so from a word count, 2k-10k is a good range with longer being good if you can pump it out fast enough but not if you take 6 months to put a chapter out
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Postby Tenebrae » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:33 am

I'm not too good at writing, and often have trouble with writers block. I won't settle for less than 1k, and prefer to get above 1.5k, but it's rare I get much above 2 or 3. My longest is about 5k, but that was after a major re-write just before I posted it, suggested by my beta.
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