Monday, April 6, 2015

Let's Talk: Chapter Length

A discussion post!
Yay! Let's go crazy!

This is going to be a short post, but it's a fairly interesting topic I hope.

So, I've been thinking about chapter length(which I do a lot because I'm a reader and a writer and like to obsess over the little things) and whether other people have a preference when it comes to chapter length. So, the question is: Do you prefer short chapters or long chapters or do you just not care one way or another?

I prefer short chapters and here's why.

- Short chapters make the book seem faster paced. Now, I get that this doesn't work for every book and I won't stop reading a book because of really long chapters but I'm more likely to read more in a short period of time with short chapters because it feels like the time goes by faster.

- The whole "just one more chapter" thing that all book lovers do. When you see the next chapter has only 3 or 4 or 5 pages then, okay just one more chapter, and one more after that, and then another, and by this point you can't stop!

- Long chapters can be intimidating. It's true! That's a big commitment when you're talking 20+ pages(okay, let's be honest even 15+ pages is a big commitment.).

Okay, that's all I've got. Your turn! Do you have any preference when it comes to chapter length or even book-length?


  1. I love short chapters. And mostly for the reasons you already mentioned. But I am okay with chapters for up to 20 pages, after that it does start to bother me a bit. Like when I read I'll Give You the Sun with it's monster 90+ pages chapters. Or the first TMI & TID books. Sadly, stuff like that always ruins the reading experience a bit for me, even if I like the books. :/

  2. Oh you are so right. I love shorter chapters! And my Kindle tells me how long I have left in the chapter. So when I am reading at night and I see the brand new chapter will only take me 3 minutes to read, then I tell myself "just one more." Of course, then I end up doing that for five more chapters. Bahaha. But if I start a new chapter and it says it will take me 15 minutes to read it, then I know I should just go to sleep.

  3. One of the reasons I love the Angefall series is b/c of how short the chapters are. It packs a punch. Young Adult books in general have shorter chapter than adult books - so that's a plus for the YA genre. I read a ton of Fantasy and the chapters in those books are epiccccc. There's also something satisfying reading a book with like 50 chapters (even if each chapter is super short). I think The Fifth Wave has a ton of chapters.

  4. YESSS! Short chapters! Always short chapters! I love doing the "one more chapter" thing- which I did last night several times while reading ADSOM! And I agree with you, long chapters DO seem like a big commitment- especially when you are really tired. So you either half-ass it, or don't bother, and I do not like to do either! Love this topic!!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  5. I've never really thought about this, honestly, but I definitely do see your points about short chapters. I'm much more inclined to read "just one more" when it's short!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  6. I completely agree with you. I prefer short chapters for all the reasons you said! And sometimes, if I need to stop reading at a certain time (because I have something else going on), or if I'm getting tired and need to go to bed soon, I'm way more likely to continue reading a bit more if the next chapter is short. Long chapters limit how much reading I can get done in one sitting and I kind of hate that. Like you, I still read books with longer chapters, but I definitely prefer shorter ones.

    Sam @ Sharing Inspired Kreations

  7. I prefer shorter chapters too. I once went to read a book that only had four chapters in the entire 300+ pages. It was daunting, and I still haven't gone back to read that book, even though the plot sounds like something I would enjoy.

  8. I also tend to obsess over this, mostly because I can't decide myself. I TRY to keep my chapters roughly the same length within a book when I'm writing. In my current project, that means they're all roughly 1000-1200 words right now, which feels SUPER short to me (I guess in paperback that's roughly 3-4 pages, so maybe not as unreasonable as I was thinking). In one of my others, they're all roughly 3000 words.

    As a reader I like shorter chapter too, for the reasons you mentioned. Especially now that Kindle tells you how long left in the chapter, as Cynthia mentioned earlier this month.

    1. Yeah that's exactly what I do! In my last project I going for 2000-3000 but some passed over the 4000 mark and just made me cringe! I usually aim for under 2000 cause it can feel short to only do 1000 but I want short chapters. =)