How Long Should a Novel’s Chapters Be?

Chapter breaks are an important moment in a novel. They provide the reader with more time to breath before plunging ahead into the next chapter. They serve much the same function as scene breaks but do so in a bigger way.

And so there’s always the question, How long should a chapter be? The answer can depend on the kind of book you’re writing. Generally, however, 8 to 10 pages is about the norm.

Some authors will go shorter…much shorter, using as few as 4 pages per chapter. There should be a reason to go this short, though. The pacing should be lightning fast, the plot straightforward, and possibly even multiple shifts in POV characters. Otherwise you risk shaking readers too far out of the fictional world with too many pauses.

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2 thoughts on “How Long Should a Novel’s Chapters Be?

  1. Help Me Help Holly ♥

    My first book there are some chapters that are only a few lines long! That’s just how it worked. My second book they are a lot longer. I read somewhere that chapters ‘should’ be around 2500 words.

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  2. J. Dominique

    I don’t really think there should be any set length to the chapters. Obviously it depends on what sort of story you’re aiming for: whether it’s a fast-paced, or a slower, historical, maybe.

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