Today’s reader poll comes from a common question asked by writers during the initial drafting phase: How long should each of my chapters be?
But in the interest of cutting right to the root of the issue, I’d like to pose a similar question:
Q: As a reader, how often do you find yourself noticing chapter length? Does it bother you if some chapters are drastically longer or shorter than others? Or, if the story is engaging and entertaining enough, does the number of pages between each chapter even matter at all?
A: Please share your opinion(s) on chapter length in the comments.
3 thoughts on “V’s Reader Poll of the Day: Chapter Length”
I can’t stand chapters that are too long, but then again I don’t have a lot of time for reading, so I like having frequent breaks.
As a former English major, and later editor during grad school, I was accustomed to 20 pp. chapters; older Victorian-to-early Modernist novels. Consistent with the episodic approach of the French, such as Balzac and Zola, and the serialized formats of Dickens, the contemporary length is averaged at 6-8 pp. This length is common in mysteries. A chapter, however, need not be any length (some writers arrange as brief as a page or two), and should be scetioned according to the pace, mood and action. E.g., shorter chapters are usually more aligned to first person.
I think the ideal chapter length is 20-25 pages.:>
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