Questions tagged [chapters]

This tag should be used for questions about chapters, a way to divide a book into smaller parts.

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Is there any published resource on how many words chapters should be?

I'm aware of the rules of thumb (around 3,000 - 5,000 words, depending on whom you ask), but has this actually been written in a credible manual for writers that can be cited (not a website)?
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5 answers
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How many pages are required to be in each chapter?

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?
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1 vote
2 answers
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Are filler chapters/episodes unnecessary?

I was considering the use of filler chapters in my story, to flesh out the character's problems and daily life. These don't necessary progress the plot, but they do help the characters' relationships ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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How can I change scene without changing chapter?

I'm writing a short story/novelette (unfinished but at about 7k words) and I have 5 chapters already. I intend to add more content during a second or third pass. I've been using chapters to change ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is it okay to have just two chapters of split time switchover alternating with the present?

Is it okay to have just two chapters of split time switchover alternating with the present (chapters)?. I.e. the second and fourth chapters portray the story of the protagonist's ancestors, which has ...
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1 vote
6 answers
238 views

Is it bad if you start all your chapters with a description of the surroundings?

Is it bad if you start all your chapters with a description of the surroundings? I wrote 4 chapters and it looks terrible, because I always start in a room and I am just describing the room with the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Is a Prologue a Chapter?

Many agents ask for the first 3 chapters. Is a prologue a chapter? So send the prologue & chapters One & two?
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0 votes
1 answer
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Best ways to start a chapter

I've been suffering from writer's block lately and I can't think about someway to start my new chapter...I can't even figure out whether the problem is a lack of ideas or writing skills or... Any help!...
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1 vote
2 answers
110 views

How much is too much for one day in the life of the main character?

Have you ever been reading a book and thought, "dang that must've been a long day?" I'm writing a YA fiction novel and in my plotting/planning/drafting/whatever you want to call it, I ...
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0 votes
2 answers
100 views

In YA fiction, how many words should each chapter be? How consistent does chapter length need to be?

I'm writing a YA sci-fi/post apocalyptic type novel with two view point characters. The book is all written in third person and so far every time I switch between view point characters use a chapter ...
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4 votes
5 answers
233 views

Should I drop my chapter because I don't like it?

I'm writing a chapter where my character is having an educational competition and I feel that my writing is very poor. I can't find events to write about aside from asking and answering questions of ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
161 views

How do I expand my chapter?

I'm writing a book and I was wondering how I could expand it? My chapters feel like they have 500 characters while 1 chapter should become 3000 - 5000 words. Is there a way to expand it? Note: I'm ...
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3 answers
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How do you cite a song at the start of a chapter?

I've found that songs draw some people into something, so I was wondering how to cite a few lines from a song to draw someone in without making it look horrible. Example: Somehow we have forgotten ...
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3 votes
3 answers
95 views

Trouble focusing on Story 1 because Story 2 seems so much better. How to get the next Story 1 chapter done?

I have 3 stories that I rotate between when writing the new chapters, one of which I just recently finished the first chapter. This new story('Tech Vs Magic'* ) seems really good to me right after ...
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1 vote
0 answers
36 views

Is it a good idea to pause a plot while doing a few one-offs and then going back?

This is for my webcomic, and I'm trying my best to keep it about writing, sorry if it's off-topic or something. Let's say I have 2 chapters of something that tie together and have a continuing plot ...
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0 votes
4 answers
116 views

Asking about chapter's length

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?
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0 votes
3 answers
61 views

How to Structure a single-perspective Novel into Chapters?

Now my case is not novel-wide; I have to do this in one part of the novel, but I extended the question to a more generalised one, so that anybody else with the same question will find it useful just ...
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2 votes
2 answers
118 views

When should I start thinking about chapters?

I'm putting together an editing plan for myself for my novel, and someone said something that made me think of chapters. For my first draft, I hadn't ever thought about chapters that much, only ...
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1 vote
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What is the proper way to insert a subsection into a section / end a subsection within a section?

Not sure if this belongs here, or math.stackexchange but what's the proper way to do a special case subsection in a section? This is mostly in a proof/logical statement context i.e. To show ... \...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can a Chapter have up to 500 words [duplicate]

So far I am writing my fiction historical novel. It is being narrated in bits and pieces. Hence, story is NOT in chronological order. As Person is being interviewed, story is being narrated. First ...
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6 votes
2 answers
899 views

Is starting each chapter with a diary entry cliche?

In my post-apocalyptic story, my narrator keeps a journal, and each new chapter starts with a journal entry of hers that's relevant to the events of the chapter. How often is this done, and is this a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
183 views

Is it a big no-no to have different sections in each chapter?

For non fiction writing, is it a must to structure all chapters in the same way? For example, a book has a few chapters, with each chapter having a few sections that name the topic that's being ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is it confusing to name a chapter after a non-POV character?

I've got another chapter title question. In the first chapter of my story, a significant secondary character is introduced, and I think it makes sense to use the character's name as the chapter title....
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9 votes
3 answers
390 views

Reusing story title as chapter title

I've come up with a good title for my story, but it would also work really well as the title for the first chapter. However, I wonder whether it's at all advisable to do that. Do other stories do that?...
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9 votes
6 answers
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Building a scene and readability

When building a scene at the beginning of a chapter for instance, before character interactions take place, what are the important elements to consider, and how long should the description be, before ...
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4 votes
4 answers
256 views

Self-Publishing Chapters

Is selling individual chapters a valid marketing scheme? Is there anything against it or examples where it worked to sell a whole novel?
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9 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is it okay for a chapter's POV to shift as it progresses?

I have this duo in my novel, they're always together in chapters. Usually the story alternates between them within their plot, though mostly leaning to one of the characters, as he's one of the MCs ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Is 7000 words too long for a chapter? [duplicate]

I've been working on a story for the last 4 years. It's just a personal project now and I've gone really in depth to clean up any plot holes I can readily see (thanks Cinemasins). I think I love this ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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How to plan length of a chapter? [duplicate]

I have planned my book to be around 250 pages. Because that is my target audience. In my country I can sell the book of that length for around 250-300 rupees. (*Its just my plan, I don't know yet how ...
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9 votes
6 answers
8k views

Are there any established rules for splitting books into parts, chapters, sections etc?

I am working with an author, whose approach is to write her text, approximately divided by indicators where she wants the breaks to be, with the idea that later she and I would improve the breaks and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
100 views

Organizing categories and tags for a writing blog

I've started a writing blog (specifically for research and other information about my novel in progress) with Wordpress and am having a very difficult time with categorization. In other blogs I've ...
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4 votes
2 answers
157 views

Prologue or chapter 1?

Ok so, I’m kind of new to writing. I wrote a couple of books in my teens but they were just for fun. I’m now starting to write a book I hope to get published. So, my book starts about a year in the ...
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6 votes
3 answers
268 views

Is there a place for an epilogue in a standalone novel?

By definition, an epilogue is an additional chapter after the end of a book. Also, it literally means "additional word". I can imagine a need for an epilogue in a series of novels when there is a ...
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5 votes
2 answers
904 views

What to submit when asked for "sample chapters"?

For a submission (to a grant program, competition, agent, or publisher) that asks for sample chapters, which chapters do you choose? For example, a grant program for unfinished works I'm interested ...
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1 vote
5 answers
188 views

Should the average length of a chapter depend on the length of the novel?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count#In_fiction This Wikipedia page tells you under which classification a fictional work falls under depending on its length, so we have 3 I am most interested in,...
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6 votes
3 answers
121 views

Is it okay for the final chapter to be a lot longer than all the other chapters?

In one of my novels (it's a middle grade fantasy novel) the chapters average around 2,000 words. But the final climactic chapter is currently almost 7,000 words. I am considering splitting it into two ...
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9 votes
3 answers
946 views

Sizing of a chapter and how many should I use?

This is basically a follow-up question I asked here: Scene switching and how to do it? I always considered it normal for a chapter to have between 3000 and 5000 words. And people around here thought ...
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11 votes
4 answers
525 views

How do you deal with Chapter 2 when Chapter 1 is a volcano opening?

I know the logic behind volcano openings and why they’re problematic (they set the expectation that that level of action and excitement will continue; they’re a hard act to follow; they make a promise ...
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15 votes
2 answers
9k views

When we start a book from the climax (from the middle of the chapter), what is it called?

Let's say that we have a plot that goes from A-Z and M is the middle (climax) part of it. There is this style of writing in which we start from M, then again back to A-Z. At the start of a book is ...
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29 votes
7 answers
7k views

Is it necessary to use chapters for fiction?

Life doesn't happen in chapters — at least, not regular ones. Nor do movies. Homer didn't write in chapters. I can see what their purpose is in children's books ("I'll read to the end of the chapter, ...
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  • 780
2 votes
2 answers
166 views

Is it ok to begin a new chapter with a completely new character/time/setting? [closed]

I think I've written a pretty good chapter one, but now the question is: where do I go from there? I mean: should I introduce a new POV character? Can I jump ahead in time a little to somewhat after ...
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11 votes
6 answers
920 views

Should important events that happen a long time before the rest of the story be in a prologue or in chapter 1?

Context: I’m currently writing a novel that has a built in prologue. I’m unsure if I should use the prologue as the first chapter. It involves the main character being sent away by his parents for his ...
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  • 181
4 votes
2 answers
390 views

Is it too long for each chapter of a 12-15 chapter novel to be around 10k words in length?

I'm writing my first novel and I wanted to try and write around 12-15 chapters about 10k-ish (give or take a thousand or two) words each. The idea behind it being each chapter covers a very large arc ...
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  • 141
4 votes
5 answers
537 views

How can I plan the chapters in my book?

I'm looking for methods of planning chapters for books. I always saw structures and scripting in the macro level, but never in the micro level.
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4 votes
4 answers
199 views

Chapter 1 Problems

I've written for a year now(ish) and I've come along some great ideas I'd like to form into existence. But I always, always, ALWAYS have one problem. I can't seem to get past the first chapter or ...
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  • 523
1 vote
4 answers
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Character feelings?

I have 2 characters that I want to have a romantic tension with. The feelings are unrequited. Can I have it so that 1 chapter basically introduces and then ends the conflicting feelings or is this ...
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29 votes
5 answers
6k views

Writing garbage to see if the characters do something interesting?

I need a change ~ 80% of the way through my story. At the moment, I'm just throwing my characters into different combinations and seeing if they come up with anything interesting. Two of my ...
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2 votes
2 answers
144 views

Chapter size matters?

My chapters are usually 10 or so pages long, but I've been reading this one book with chapters as small as 2 pages. Does this affect the story progression at all?
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2 votes
3 answers
141 views

What is the best way to test two version of chapter 1?

Here I ask/discuss some feedback I have gotten about my chapter 1. After attending a different/second writers' critique group, I was sufficiently motivated to try to write chapter 1 with multiple ...
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0 votes
0 answers
25 views

What to do if the chapter is too short and needs something but it just seems to stop? [duplicate]

I have a few chapters in the novel I'm writing, and it seems that they just end randomly. I feel there needs to be more to the story, but I either ran out of ideas or it really doesn't need anything. ...
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