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WEbook's superstore for talking shop: colons vs. semicolons; dialogue format; point of view.  And everything in between.
Posted: 3/2/2014 1:29 PM PST
Hi there!

I apologize if this sounds like a cop-out answer, but I think it's more of a question of what's *in* your chapters. If your chapters seem long, it may be that people have the sense that you're using more words than you need to in order to convey what's happening. One way to hone in on this may be to have someone read your chapter and summarize the important points. If they don't articulate everything in the chapter that you feel is important, go back and rework the components they skimmed over so that the reader understands the relevance of everything in your chapter. (Challenge: do that without increasing the word count of the chapter. :-D)

Then, ask someone else to read, summarize, etc.

On the other hand - if your reader DOES hit all of the important points but still feels that it's too long, there are probably details, descriptions, or dialogue that you can eliminate which would make the reading more enjoyable for the reader.

I suppose a more straightforward approach may also be just to ask a reader which elements they would remove from your chapters...
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Posted: 2/23/2014 8:29 AM PST
I know this topic has been broached before, probably many times but I couldn't find the thread. 

I write long chapters, at least people tell they are long. Maybe this is why I'm terrible with short stories and hopefully that's the only reason people don't read my stuff (Nobody has said it's incredibly horrible so I keep writing. I just finished a chapter and I'm taking a little break so I thought I'd do some research. I googled 'page length' and the most consistent answer I got was 220 words per page. I'm not sure how accurate that is, which I'll get to in a few minutes. For now I'll use 220 as a basis. I've got 36419 words in 8 chapters. This equates to 166 pages and 21 pages per chapter.

For comparison purposes I used a PDF version of the first book of George R. R. Martin's 'Song of Fire and Ice'. It is 292401 words long. If you divide that by 220 then you get 1330 pages. There are 73 chapters including the prologue making the average chapter 4005 words and 18 pages long. So I'm not that far out of line. 

I glanced through the table of contents for a hard cover copy of 'The Half Blood Prince' and saw chapters that were in the high twenties in length. Of course I didn't do a word count. It's about 24 lines by about 11/12 words per line. Why do people complain about my chapter length?

What are other people's thoughts on chapter length.
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