I’m writing a book right now. The chapter that I just finished seems as if it’s done but it’s only four pages. Should I leave it as it is, or does it need more pages?
The length of the chapter should only be as long as it needs to be. Think of each chapter as a story within a story, of sorts - or a frame narrative - wherein each chapter has its own set of events but they all connect into the larger, overall story.
One of my chapters, for example, is almost twenty pages long, but what happens in that chapter is all one series of events that wouldn't make sense to split into multiple chapters, unless I could find different themes or ideas to split it into.
If what happens in that four-page chapter of yours is all one continuous series of events, then I'd say to leave it as is, or if you feel it's missing something then add as much as you need.
There is no quantity of pages that must be in a chapter. If you have a conclusive chapter that is one page long, that wouldn't be unusual. If you have a 50-page chapter, that might also be fine.
It really depends on the story and the genre. Try not to make it too short (less than half a page) or too long (greater than 30 pages). Of course, there is no hard-fast limit, so no need to worry.
There isn't really much standard on how long it should be or how many pages a chapter should be. The average amount of pages 1 chapter has in a book is 8-10. But this is your book and you can organize it all you want; Each chapter must at least show something in the story to progress the plot or the narrative. Since the story is what matters more.
I've read a few books with each one having numerous amount of chapters and words; one has 8 pages for a chapter, but then it has even more pages at the next chapters. Simply there's not much requirements on how many page or words for a chapter. One book has 12 chapters then it expands to more pages for a chapter.
I found this blog, it might be helpful for you. https://wordcounter.net/blog/2017/02/15/102944_how-many-words-chapter.html#:~:text=Chapter%20Length%20Rule%201%3A%20There,sit%20up%20and%20take%20note.
The length of your chapters is not that important.
The advice, by Unkown Brain, to create chapters with a cohesive story element, section or similar is good.
However, in some cases, the length of the chapter can be used to set the pacing/tempo of the text.
Though, the length of your scenes, paragraphs, and even sentences is more important for tempo.
Shorter chapters, scenes, paragraphs, and sentences will increase the pace, while longer ones will lower it.
Although, the biggest factor for tempo is the content of the scenes. Is a lot happening fast or does the text pause to delve into descriptions of settings, people, etc?
Here is some reading material on pacing:
There's no law or strongly-enforced convention about how long a chapter HAS to be.
If all your chapters are just a page or two long, you might want to group them together. If your whole book is just three chapters and they're each 100 pages long, you might want to break them up. But whether your typical chapter is 10 pages or 20 or 30, nobody is going to care.
I recall reading a book once where there was a chapter that was just one sentence long. And I can't remember what it said now, but I remember at the time thinking, Yeah, the author is trying to emphasize this one very important sentence by setting it off in its own chapter.
I'm writing a book too. I do find it hard to search for a good website telling me how many pages. I understand, you want rules to follow. A simple estimate. Well, rules are rules. And I don't enjoy giving rules. But if you're willing to find some, I've got a few that I try. But it really depends on the type of book you're writing.
- Nonfiction: 8-10 (pictures, headings, and bulletpoints included)
- Mystery or thriller: This is a difficult one, maybe 10-15
- Adventure: This one depends on the information you're willing to give. I'd personally say 7-9 or 8-10. 4: Exciting. An exciting book isn't necessarily an 'adventure' book. Divergent is a great example. Dystopian books, which is a book set in an apocalypse timeline, are great too. Maybe 5-10.
A question that most people ask me are: What is a normal chapter length? I wouldn't really love to tell you that. I don't like to make rules. At all. Really, it depends on the information that you give. But I know, like me, most people have been searching forever for answers, so sure. I will give you my estimate:
Any other book, still depending on the information . . .
Little information, tiny events (that might still be important) and little key hooks, would probably be 3-8 pages.
Medium information, new characters, key events, small problems or new character traits would most probably be 5-8 pages.
Meh-sized information, multiple new characters, information that will be needed for future chapters and huge hooks (the size of regular chapters) would be 8-15 pages.
Tons of information, about four new characters, gigantic events you can't miss, information you will 100% need (this is rarely used in books) might be 15-30 pages.
A part. A part is a section of a book. For example, Wings of Fire. Some of the books contain about 2-4 parts. The parts consist of chapters. A part may have about eight chapters.
Personally, if you were creating any book, with four pages you would have medium information. Great job!! Writing a book is not easy!!
Thank you so much!! I really hope I was the website you were looking for!!