Question How many words should each chapter have?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by seojustin, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. seojustin

    seojustin Well-Known Member

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    So I just started to write at RRL and I am kinda wondering how long a chapter should be, any suggestions?
     
  2. LysUltima

    LysUltima Read novels at https://ebisutranslations.com

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    2000 words is normal desu ne~
     
  3. Xravia

    Xravia 『Chaos Wizard Of Procrastination 』

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    1337 words are recommended
     
  4. lnv

    lnv ✪ Well-Known Hypocrite

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    People seemed fine with 1500+ words. But as I went on I found myself writing 2500+ chapters even if I wasn't even trying...
     
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  5. nicostrato

    nicostrato Active Member

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    As long as it needs to be to progress the story and end at a point that makes sense
     
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  6. NoveI

    NoveI Member

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    i personally like to read a bit longer chapters so i wuold say 2500-4000 , but 2000 is ok too just dont make the chapters way too short
     
  7. Reprisal

    Reprisal Active Member

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    short chapters about 1k-2k
    moderate 2k-3k
    long 5k or more
     
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  8. MillenniumMoon

    MillenniumMoon Well-Known Member

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  9. MantouInv

    MantouInv [Unnoticed Pleb]

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    2k words are the norm for most Chinese web novels.
     
  10. polarbot

    polarbot Well-Known Member

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    1000~2500 mayb , longer it would be a little too much
     
  11. TotesMyGoats

    TotesMyGoats Willing and ready to do hardcore gay porn for $1

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    Depends on the type of story. I'm pretty sure the novels with a more serious tone have longer chapters while lighter novels have normal or even shorter chapters
     
  12. SenjiQ

    SenjiQ [Bird of Joy]

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    2-8k depending on the genre and style
     
  13. A5G_Reaper

    A5G_Reaper [DCLXVI, sohyee, and iampsyx's cute imouto]

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    As many as there are stars in the sky!!!
     
  14. Khatulistiwa

    Khatulistiwa An Egg

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    Also make it cliffhanger every chapter to cultivate reader's Dao Heart :p
     
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  15. elengee

    elengee Daoist Ninefaps

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    8008 , because it was cool on calculators back in the day.
     
  16. Glaurung

    Glaurung Long Member

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    2000 is fine. what novel are you writing?
     
  17. Asf

    Asf 《《The aria of souls》》

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    5k+ word is the most satisfying to read.
    2k just feels so short..
     
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  18. Reprisal

    Reprisal Active Member

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    if you are barely starting and don't know if you will continue then start with short because if they are long then thinking up content within a certain time limit can be terrifying. (my amateur opinion)
     
  19. cellimen45

    cellimen45 God of Books (self proclaimed) #giveWWface

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    In my opinion length doesn't matter, what matters is transition. Does it make sense to stop at this point. Or has it changed into a completely different part that should be another chapter.
     
  20. Sena

    Sena Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the story and the format.

    You could potentially do fine without using chapters at all, chapters aren't a necessity, they're just a common stylistic choice. Although chapterless would be harder for a web novel than a physical book, because of practicality (no natural page breaks, no universal browser support for bookmarking a specific part of a page, etc.), and most web novel authors want the constant stream of feedback they get from short, frequent releases.

    My advice is to start with whatever amount of text/content is most comfortable for you to release at a time, and set that as one chapter. If you prefer to release short updates every day or so, do really short chapters. If you prefer to spend a lot of time on a huge release, you could have 50k word chapters. Once you find a release pace you like, then you can worry more about how long each chapter should be.

    More specific advice for after that:
    Really short chapters are annoying. Having to click to the next page breaks the pace of your reading and pulls you out of the story, and for some people with slow internet it can take some time to load. It can also make releases feel unsatisfying, because not much actually happens in any particular chapter.
    On the other hand, huge chapters (look at Overlord's chapters for example, probably around 30k words per chapter on average) can be kind of daunting, for readers that feel like they have to read the entire chapter in a single "block" without any breaks it can end up being exhausting to get through, and not everyone has time to read that much in one sitting.
    Separate chapters by content. Try to keep a single continuous event (like a fight, or a single meeting between two people) in a single chapter, or as few chapters as possible. This means that the chapter length will probably vary, switching to longer chapters for tense or complex situations, and shorter chapters for daily life and mundane, low-stress situations.
    Absolutely don't stick to a hard limit, like always keeping the chapter between 3k and 5k words for example. If you do that, you'll eventually be forced to add useless filler to pad out a chapter, or cut parts that are better left in, or have something that's too long for one chapter and too short for two and not be sure what to do with it.
    Avoid filler in general. Don't try to emulate Chinese novels in that regard, repeating the same information in a hundred different ways or spending three paragraphs on the description of a random tree that will never be mentioned in the story again. If a chapter is too short, instead of artificially inflating the length you should either just keep it short and not worry about it, or combine it with the next chapter.
     
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