Chapter length

Question a) Is a 2000 word chapter too short? I've surfed online, and some say that it's too short while others say that it's fine. I know that one should end chapters when it feels right and length can vary, but if most of my chapters fall between 2500 - 4000, should I end a chapter at 2300, or add another scene?


b) Also, what length do agents prefer?

c) And should chapter lengths be consistent?

Thank you so much!

Question: a) The rules are not hard and fast on this subject. What matters most is that the chapters serve the storytelling. Your style may lend itself to shorter chapters. You don't add scenes to pad a chapter, you add scenes because they need to be there for the story to work.

Genre does play a role of course. Children's novels will have shorter chapters because they look less daunting to young readers. Fantasy books may have longer chapters (because fantasy readers tend to like a lot of detail on the worlds).

It helps to familiarize yourself with books that are popular with your target readers so you meet some of their basic expectations.

b) Agents prefer books that appeal to the target audience, because that's what they can sell. Sometimes chapter length matters, but mostly it's about writing a good story your audience will like.

c) You are free to vary your chapter length if it fits the story. Your chapter breaks should separate important events in the story. In other words, it's the storytelling that determines the chapter breaks. Usually major events will be told in some detail, but occasionally a short chapter makes the point better.

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