Am I doing this right? (Chapter lengths)

So, recently I have been noticing that my chapters have been getting shorter and shorter. Curious about it, I looked back to find that some of my first chapters were just as short–and my middle chapters can be quite long. I have been trying to keep my chapters where they have one or two scenes that are relevant to each other, breaking up any additional scenes that change the flow of thought. Now I’m wondering whether or not I should combine more chapters to mix it up so the chapters aren’t all falling below my “normal” bar.

To show you what I mean:
The first five chapters had between 1k-2.5k words. Chapter six had 4k, and from then until chapter thirteen had between 2k-3.5k. The next four chapters level off at 2k-2.5k, and the rest I have written (chapters nineteen to twenty-seven) all have below 2k.

Are these too inconsistent since they shift throughout the novel? Should I combine chapters to make long ones inside the spans of otherwise short chapters?

Spider-hawk? You sound like one of the characters in my main story! Do you like riding wyverns? :wink:

I would have to say that the only time I have ever been aware of chapter length is when I used to read to my daughters at night, and wanted a chapter that lasted about 15 minutes, no more, no less!

One thing I have noticed on Wattpad, however is the more chapters you have, the more reads you get. This has not meant that I have started to write one-page chapters, but it does seem to be a thing. People are even putting chapters in short-stories!

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I think you should not worry about that at all.

I only pay attention to my chapter length for two reasons:

  1. It is easier to receive and work through feedback on a chapter under 2K
  2. It reminds me to pay attention to producing as exciting content as possible as often as possible
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Don’t worry too much about it, unless you’re trying to write something really commercial. My chapter lengths vary from 500 to 5k, and I haven’t gotten complaints yet.

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Most of my chapter lengths are 1k, if no one has complained. Then you shoule be fine.

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Chapters should be as long as they need to be. If you feel some chapters could benefit from being merged, go for it!

My cheaters can range, in my current WIP, from 3k to just under 6k.

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@TwelveRealms kinda? Hehe, I wouldn’t mind riding a wyvern
While more chapters does equal more reads, I’m looking more towards getting published than becoming Wattpad famous (though if the two are one and the same, that would be nice).

@ErinIsobelM @calmwolf
Wow, those are big you two have! How does that affect your story flow? One of my issues with my short chapters is that the next chapter usually occurs within a few hours of the previous one, and I have done time skips mid-chapter before. (The ones I am considering combining have less than a five-minute gap between them.)

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Most of my chapters happen also happen a few hours of each other, or it completes a full day. A lot of the time one chapter = one day, though here and there some time skips for a few weeks or a month. I don’t think it’s much different, only, maybe I have more things happening in my chapters or descriptions?

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Mine just stayed with 900-2300 words.

I believe that as long as a chapter achieved its purpose, then I’m doing fine.

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I don’t think our situations are comparable. Usually, there’s weeks or even months between my chapters, and I also frequently change POVs. So my chapter length is determined by what has to happen in it, and who is telling it. I do have chapters that occur within a few minutes or hours of the previous one, but usually the POV will be different in those cases.

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Hm, I see the difference. Thanks though, that further confirmed my suspicions that I had.

It’s interesting, because when I write for Wattpad, my story structure is completely different from when I just write for myself. My Wattpad story is more moment-based – one chapter is a particular moment in time – while for other stories, I sometimes write long paragraphs describing multiple weeks.

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That’s how my first drafts all look because I do my best to ignore transitions in the early stages. Describing days at a time feels natural to me, but at the same time looks completely misplaced in my stories.

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I would say you’re fine. Some people only do 1k while others do 5k. Your length seems fine.

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I read somewhere that a chapter was 2.5k-5k words, but I usually write around 2k words per chapter. As long as it’s 1k, then it’s probably not an issue. Chapters can vary by length.

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I mean, I have one chapter near the beginning of DoF 1 that is only about 550 words. But that’s all the longer it needs to be. Everything else is north of 1,300 with most clocking in north of 2k.

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I think the 4K is the only outlier, but 1-3k is pretty normaly. My chapters range from 1.5k to 3.2k normally, though when I started I wrote much longer chapters (4-6k)

Wattpad tends to err on the side of shorter chapters, but you have a good average and I think so long as the story is interesting, people won’t care too much about chapters lengths. :smile_cat:

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Interesting @ErinIsobelM! I only use first person POV. Though mine are long they only once in a while skip that far in time. Though my chapters to tend to cover a full day or at least half a day.

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You can have inconsistent chapters because there are different scenes and different things that go into a specific scene in a chapter. I’ve read books where they can have 10-20 pages in some chapters and 4-7 pages in others. And personally, my chapters tend to be inconsistent as well. I have chapters that are 4,000 words long while most are about 1,200-2,500 words long with the few that are between 400-800 words. So, it all differs based on the content within the chapter itself. :wink:

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Normally when I write, I don’t really focus on how long my chapters should be. (Shocker IK XD but i can justify that )

My words don’t exceed more than 1k . As long as IK that whatever it is that I am writing makes sense and that ik what I am doing. I just want to make sure that the words relate to the chapter and i just don’t ramble or bog sentences down to make it longer. When I write, the flow naturally comes and thats when I know where its going so that ik where to put a full stop.

I just trust my gut feeling and go with the flow. Thats about it :).

p.s the good thing about wattpad is you can always come back and edit and see if you have missed out on anything :slight_smile:

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