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?

9 comments:

  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. :/

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  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.

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  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.

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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.

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  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.

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    Replies
    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. =)

      Exactly!

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