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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chapter length : 

There is no ideal chapter length. 
Keep that in mind while you write. You do not want to force a chapter to end - to force a chapter to stretch until you reach that predetermined 5,000 words or eight pages will often result in dragging action or an excessive amount of dumping information on the reader to stretch up that word count. If you want a good chapter, just write it as it is - set up an amount of scenes that you should add and write those scenes. Do not try and create two scenes and use those two scenes to make an eight paged chapter. 

If you've ever read some of James Patterson's work such as Maximum Ride or Witch and Wizard you would notice the short length of it's chapters. None of the chapters are stressed, nor do they end in what is may be called a safe spot - which is when the author has chosen to end a chapter in which their character decides to contemplate recent events and turn out the lights just before going to sleep. 

Instead of these safe spots, make it so that your character is dangling off the edge of a cliff. However, "safe" doesn't necessarily mean that the character is safe from all harm - the character could be physically safe while the chapter ends in a heated argument or a revelation that the character's mother happens to be the leader of a secret sector for the government. 

Just remember : your goal is to make the reader reluctant to put the book down. You want to keep the reader hooked throughout the book with the ideal chapter lengths that work for your novel - that help keep the pace - and enough action to make it interesting.