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Should my chapter lengths be consistent?

Yes, to the exact number of pages! 0 0.0% [ 0 ]
Yes, give or take a page or two 0.071428571428571 7.1% [ 3 ]
So-so, with margin of difference (0-4 pages) 0.28571428571429 28.6% [ 12 ]
No, who cares? 0.64285714285714 64.3% [ 27 ]
Total Votes:[ 42 ]
< 1 2
I_Write_Ivre's avatar

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Most of my chapters are about the same length. But that's all because of luck, not because I planned it that way. I hate forced chapter breaks.
Tsuki Z's avatar

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I try to be a bit consistent with it. But if a chapter is slightly too long, I'd just leave it be rather then having an odd ending to the chapter. If a chapter is too short, I'll see if I can edit it, if I can't then again, I'll just leave it be.
AoibhealDragonheart's avatar

Fashionable Prophet

Forgive me if I'm wrong but don't a lot of major writer's, well known in many different genre's, have some chapters in the same book that last half a page here, and then twenty pages the next?

An example which is a series I have been reading for a while and is by one of my favorite authors is in Stephen King's work The Dark Tower Series. I've seen him write half a page for a chapter, and then ten or more for the next. But he also uses what I refer to as chapters within chapters in this series, I don't know what its called truthfully, but I find it helps break down each thing that's happening in that story.

Another example is Dean Koontz. He's had chapters in books only a few pages in length and then following those chapters had several pages more. I've also seen James Patterson use a similar way of writing chapters.

In all honesty I don't think it really matters. As long as you feel confident with the way your chapters have been laid out and how well they run together then it shouldn't matter what every other tom d**k and harry in writing is doing with laying out their chapters. So, if you feel the flow is fine as is with one chapter being one page and the following chapter anywhere between 3 and 50, then by all means keep it that way.

The only way you should ever worry about any aspect of your writing is if you don't think its right to be writing it as you are. Personally I pay absolutely not attention to chapter length and just enjoy writing what is in the chapter I am currently on.

Good luck with your work and I hope you'll have a great shot at being published(:
Alberic of Krufton's avatar

Shadowy Regular

I beta'd a novel years ago and one of the things I noticed was that most of the thirty-odd chapters were almost exactly the same length. That actually struck me as friggin' weird, but only because of its consistency. It worked, though, as far as density of content was concerned. (Quality of content, though, lemme tell ya...)

Chapter length doesn't really matter. Have enough material to entertain us without packing in so much that we get weary. Could be a risk you run if you like to throw in tons of "boring" stuff... there's been a few novels where I'll actually check ahead to see where the chapter ends, just so I'd know how much more I'd have to crawl through. I've always felt that super short chapters were wasting paper (if they started the next chapter on another page) but if it works, it works.

And, this is just me, but chapters consisting of less than a few paragraph? Gimmicky. (I'm lookin' at you, Life of Pi. stressed )

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