Today is Write Life Saturday, where I talk about all things writing-related (although to be fair, most of them are also reading-related). I really should make a banner/image thingy. Remind me for next time.
Today I want to talk chapters.
I like short chapters. Let’s get it out right now. I have a short attention span, and I like finishing at the end of a chapter. If the chapters are quite short, I basically just keep reading. But if they’re really long chapters…
Except not as cute. There are exceptions, of course. If a book is really well-written and has long chapters, I won’t mind so much. And the short-chapter thing is just a personal preference. It’s obviously not going to stand for everyone. That’d be boring.
I also tend to write short chapters. I went back through the last few of my WIP. These are the word counts of them.
1) 1797 words
2) 1357 words
3) 2511 words
…not exactly consistent. It’s probably 1500 words on average, which I know is pretty short. But everything is relative. In YA contemporary books, chapters tend to be shorter. Then there are books like Eragon that have chapters ranging from a page to…well, a LOT of pages. Some make use of funny chapter titles that pique your interest, like in Percy Jackson. Some might not be your usual chapters but diary entries, like in Writing Clementine.
There are so many different ways to write chapters. Whether they’re a single line, or a single page, or 1500 words, or 5000 words, or 10,000 words, there’s room for them all. I will always stick to short chapters because my scenes usually tend to be quite short, and I like breaking things up frequently.
The biggest thing is not to force the end of a chapter. If you usually write a chapter with 2000 words and this one’s 2500 so far, don’t force the end of the chapter just to keep your average word count the same. Let it go on until it’s reached its natural ending – if you’re really worried about it you can cut it later.
How long are your chapters, usually, or does it depend what you’re writing? Readers! Do you like short chapters or long chapters?