Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yeah, But How Many Chapters Is It?

post by Michelle Griep
Here's how the conversation usually goes:

Them: "So, you're an author?"

Me: "Yep."

Them: "Are you writing a book right now?"

Me: "Yep."
(hey, cut me some slack...I'm a writer, not a conversationalist)

Them: "How many chapters is it?"

Me: "Uhh. . ."

And therein lies the problem. Why is that even a question? Do more chapters mean the book is better? Do less mean you're a schmuck of a writer? Do people not realize that there is no magic number of chapters that make a book because chapters are entirely subjective? Shoot, I've read some novels wherein a chapter consists of one word. Just one. Really.

So today I'm doing my duty to educate the readers of the world. Books are not generally gauged by a certain amount of chapters, but rather by word count. Here is a handy-dandy guideline (I got these figures from Wikipedia so you KNOW they're reliable) . . .

Novel               over 40,000 words
Novella            17,500 to 40,000
Novelette         7,500 to 17,500
Short Story      under 7,500 words

Now granted, these numbers are a bit fluid. You can find novels that error on the side of being shorter or longer. Most novels run in the 70,000-100,00 range. These numbers are simply the average counts.


chappydebbie said...

I always check the word count before agreeing to read certain books. I will usually read a full-length novel if it's in paperback, but if I have to read it on a screen, I prefer novellas. That being said, I will always be glad to read MaryLu's and your books in any format..some authors are just worth it. (Proof: I don't have A Heart Deceived or Brentwood's Ward in paperback yet...only ebook)

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