How Long Should the Chapters in My Novel Be?

How Long Should the Chapters in My Novel Be?

If there’s one thing that new writers often get wrong, it’s word counts. They are so caught up in writing the stories that they are telling that they tend to overlook the importance of length.

However, length is one of the most important elements of a novel. In fact, most literary agents and publishers say that it is one of the most important elements. Of course, you want to have amazing characters, a compelling and unforgettable plot line, and an incredible title; however, even if you have all of these elements, if you miss the mark on length, there’s a very good chance that your book isn’t going to be as successful as you hope.

Why? – Because length plays a big part in holding the attention of the audience. If it’s too long, your readers are really going to have a tough time getting through to the end (in fact, they may not pick it up at all!); if it’s too short, your readers will be left scratching their heads and feel like your book didn’t meet their expectations.

To avoid making your novel flop, it’s really important to pay close attention to your word counts. The total word count will depend on the type of book you are writing. For example, a safe range for young adult novels is anywhere between 55,000 and 80,000 words, while adult fiction books can be as long as 100,000 words.

The audience you are trying to appeal to plays a big part in how long your book should be in terms of word count. As a general rule of thumb, the younger your audience is, the shorter your word count should be.

With that said, word count for the entire book isn’t the only thing you should be focusing on; you should also pay attention to the amount of words each chapter contains. But how can you do that?

Well, the truth is, there’s no tried and true length for your chapters. It really depends on your specific topic. Some chapters may be long, while others may be short; and still, some novels may feature chapters that have the same word length throughout.

But What About Length?

If the above explanation doesn’t answer your question and you’re really looking for solid numbers to follow in regard to chapter length, here’s what literary agents and publishers recommend:

If you’re book is about 80,000 words, try to aim for chapters that are around 2,000 words each. That’s just the right amount to read and digest in a single sitting. Many people read a chapter in one sitting, and 2,000 words seems to be the magic number for a single sitting. If your chapters are significantly longer, your readers may end up skimming through the pages to get to the end of the chapter, which means that they won’t really digest what you’ve written. If you’re planning on having imbalanced chapters, a good suggestion is to feature a shorter chapter and follow it with one that is longer. For instance, maybe one chapter is 700 words and the next is 1,300. Your readers will breeze through the shorter chapter and still be able to finish the longer one without it feeling too cumbersome.

The information in this post was compiled by IT Support NYC

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

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The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.

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