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Length of Chapters? : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Length of Chapters?

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
ProfessionallyMade
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Length of Chapters?

Postby ProfessionallyMade » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:45 am

Okay, for a YA novel how long should a chapter be? I know it doesn't matter but sometimes i feel as if I'm putting too much in my chapters or too little. I want to know what you think. :D ;) :?:

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Re: Length of Chapters?

Postby MookyMcD » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:58 am

The stock answer to this is that it doesn't matter, let your story decide that, "as long as it needs to be," etc. And there is a lot of truth to all of it.

That said, I've volunteered in a children's library for [does math in his head and can't believe it's been this long] twelve years. I've also raised four voracious readers. Here's something I've found that, if I wrote YA I would keep in mind. Kids tend to "read up" and a lot of YA featuring 16 or 17 year-olds is read by 10 and 12 year olds. For those younger kids in particular, finishing a chapter creates a sense of accomplishment. I can't count the number of times I've heard kids talk about the number of chapters in the book, how many chapters they've read, how many are left, etc. I find this interesting, because you never hear adults talking like that. I have absolutely no idea how many chapters are in the book I'm currently reading (although I do have a vague sense it has long-ish chapters).

So it I were writing YA, I think I would be inclined to make more shorter chapters, and I would do that intentionally. I would also number them (with or without a title, but numbers seem important). That's entirely opinion, but I've seen a lot of kids come and go through the library, and that seems to be a constant.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Length of Chapters?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:29 am

Structure matters, length does not. Study the chapters in the novel you most love reading within your own genre. Do likewise is structure first, and length second.

Kids do read up, but they aren't your audience. Those of YA age read up, too, and they are your audience.

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Re: Length of Chapters?

Postby ProfessionallyMade » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:35 am


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Re: Length of Chapters?

Postby ProfessionallyMade » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:39 am


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Re: Length of Chapters?

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Re: Length of Chapters?

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Re: Length of Chapters?

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Re: Length of Chapters?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:40 pm


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Re: Length of Chapters?

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