Is it okay if a short story's chapter's length is 450 words? If so, could you also have a chapter with 1000 or more words in the same story?


You can do anything as a writer, if you do it well enough. With that said:

  • Short stories are not typically divided into chapters.
  • 450 words would be extremely short for a chapter.
  • If you do have chapters, it's best to have them be of similar lengths.

So IN GENERAL I would recommend against this. But again, that's only playing the averages. I've seen writers do a good job with short stories divided into chapters, very short chapters, and chapters of inconsistent length. So the real question is --do you have a strong reason to do this, and can you do it well?

  • Yes...I have to divide it into chapters, plus, I want to submit it in Wattpad and it obliges you to divide the story. Anyway, thanks – Nour Fourti Dec 22 '20 at 15:54

Well, a short story should be around 1,000 - 10,000 words total. Also, short stories usually don't have chapters.

I will use some basic math to answer your question:

If you find it necessary to add chapters, and you stick with the chapter length of 450 words, you could have no more than 22 chapters (assuming every chapter is exactly 450 words and you are trying to get a maximum word count for short stories of 10,000 words).

One example of a novel is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone had 17 chapters, totaling a word count of 77,508 words. This would be on average 4559 words per chapter. So, if you stuck with around 22 chapters then you would technically have had more chapters than the Harry Potter example - but almost 4,000 fewer words per chapter.

It is true that the Harry Potter example is a novel, and you're writing a short story, but it doesn't matter. Why would you have more chapters with way fewer words each than a novel? Considering this, as I said before, I would personally stick with few or no chapters.

Here are some links to support what I stated above and to provide further readings on this subject:

Masterclass Wordcount Guide

Reedsy Blog: Chapter Length Matters


Yes! Personally I think you as the writer should know when a chapter is long enough. You have your reasons for their lengths and that’s what needs be most important for a writer, that you have your reasons for the length. Someone will understand it.



A chapter should have a point with no excess baggage going down a rabbit hole. Some scenes need more description than others.

That said, most short stories do not have chapters at all.

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