How many words per chapter?

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clint_csperry-org
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How many words per chapter?

Post by clint_csperry-org »

I have run across several facebook entries talking about chapters needing to be 3,000 to 4,000 words. Personally, I strongly disagree there should be any set number of words to a chapter. I am of the opinion, there should be exactly as many as it takes to contain the situation within the chapter, that might be 150 words or it might be 15,000. Either is okay. It is the content within that is important, not any arbitrary number convention.

What is your opinion on this?

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Kate_But_Not_Kaitlyn
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Post by Kate_But_Not_Kaitlyn »

I agree to an extent. I definitely think 4,000 word is a lot and setting a minimum can take away from the story. However, I know in my writing I write what I want to happen in the chapter and then I check the word count. If it's under 1,000 I go back and I see if maybe the story could be developed more. If not, it's ok.
It's more of a suggestion than a set rule.

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Post by DD129 »

I think the 3,000/4,000 word count is a good suggestion, especially when you don't know where to start. However, if you have more experience with writing books or just know what direction you want your story to go, then you should disregard the word count.

Ultimately, it's up to the author and what story they want to tell. If they really understand their book, then they'll know when to start and end the chapters, so there's no need to follow suggested word counts. I've seen books with chapters that are only 1 page long and books with chapters that span several pages.

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Post by rubinelli »

I think that having a set word count on a chapter is a little silly. I think that you, as the author, know best where a chapter should begin and end.

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Post by clint_csperry-org »

DD129 wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 09:14
I think the 3,000/4,000 word count is a good suggestion, especially when you don't know where to start. However, if you have more experience with writing books or just know what direction you want your story to go, then you should disregard the word count.

Ultimately, it's up to the author and what story they want to tell. If they really understand their book, then they'll know when to start and end the chapters, so there's no need to follow suggested word counts. I've seen books with chapters that are only 1 page long and books with chapters that span several pages.
:eusa-think:

I agree that it is up to the author. For someone just starting out, I would think they need focus on the quality of their writing more than any word counts. Sure they need to be aware of industry standards but that is something else.

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Post by clint_csperry-org »

rubinelli wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 11:12
I think that having a set word count on a chapter is a little silly. I think that you, as the author, know best where a chapter should begin and end.
My sentiments exactly! :tiphat:

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Post by clint_csperry-org »

Kate_But_Not_Kaitlyn wrote:
28 Jul 2019, 07:35
I agree to an extent. I definitely think 4,000 word is a lot and setting a minimum can take away from the story. However, I know in my writing I write what I want to happen in the chapter and then I check the word count. If it's under 1,000 I go back and I see if maybe the story could be developed more. If not, it's ok.
It's more of a suggestion than a set rule.
Interesting. When I am reading, I rarely pay much attention to the chapter breaks. I might use them as a hold point when I want a break from sitting and reading, but that isn't even very important. I tend to look for content, fluidity, and cohesive plots. Just me I guess.

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Post by Inkroverts »

Coincidentally- before I read this thread- I also write about 4000 words per chapter. Sometimes when I feel like I have a lot more to say I might write about 7000.

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