Writers Anonymous
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It depends. For a fanfiction, I would say that between 1000-3000 would work just fine (you can ask throw in some longer chapters here and there, to please your reader).

If you choose to write original stories some day, I would suggest somewhere between 2000-5000 /-

The first chapter of my fic is as of now 18 pages in word, and about 9000 words. Not ideal, so I’ve decided to split the chapter into 3 separate chapters; the first being shorter than the two after.

It’s really what you make out of it, but I would suggest more chapters with less words, contrary to the other way around.

And if you do write long chapters (like myself) try cutting them straight off in a place that fits - somewhere that can classify as a cliffhanger - and voila you have shorter chapters!

12/18/2017 #241
AshxSelene Writer

I like reading (and writing) chapters that are no more than 4,000 words.

2/6/2018 #242

It all depends really. My one shots are usually anywhere between 4500-5500 words, where my multichapter fan fics are generally between 1500-3500 words in length.

2/8/2018 #243

My chapters vary massively. My current project has 6 chapters below the 2000-mark (one with just 629 words) and the rest vary between 3000-5000 words. It really depends on what mood I'm in when writing. Additionally, my writing style has changed a lot over the process of writing this story, as I've gradually learned to flesh things out better and include multiple 'scenes' per chapter i.e. different locations.

3/10/2018 #244

My chapters usually average around 3k words, occasionally going up to 4k if there's a lot going on.

3/10/2018 #245
Of Monsters and Me

It depends largely on what you're writing, what your target audience is, the platform you're reading on, and your own preference.

For reading, I like 5-10k for novels/longfics, but I am a very strong reader (I'll devour a 65k fic in a day if it's got a good hook. And it used to be more before I worked 7 days a week.) and usually read at night or when I'm stuck waiting for something so I have plenty of time to kill. A 5k chapter actually feels on the short side to me,but I know that's on the more unusual side.

What you're writing; comedy, horror, thriller, mystery, and how you're writing it; something the reader can casually work through in tiny pieces, or something that needs their full attention (details, secrets, ect.), will also be a determining factor. A casual humorous story, for example, would work best with shorter chapters 2-3k so the reader can take pauses easily and do other things between chapters, while a really in depth mystery thriller which sucks people in and needs the reader to pay attention to every detail, might get away with longer chapters.

The reading level and skill at which it's written will also affect how long the chapter lengths should be. I would expect a longer chapter length for a higher reading level, as the readers can be expected to read faster and have more 'endurance,' and the writing can be expected to be a lot heftier. Lord of the Rings, for example, has an average chapter length of roughly 7k, while Harry Potter averages around 4.5k, and the first book of the 'Warriors' series by Erin hunter averages 2.6k per chapter. (According to Google.)

Finally, the platform it's being read on will affect how it's perceived. I have a widescreen laptop, but usually read on my phone at night, so chapters that feel super long on my phone can feel super short when opened on my laptop. I used to have a phone that was basically possessed and would randomly skip back several pages or return me to the top of a fic, so while I love long chapters and always will, it became so frustrating having to constantly scroll back and find my place, that I wound up having to just save a few fics and read them later, once I got a less evil phone to read them on.

For reading shorter one-shots, I usually look for 1.5-6k, and it's pretty rare I click on anything under 900 words. I like to get into the scene and the characters, and anything less than that just really isn't going to interest me much.


For writing, I tend to average around 5.5k in my main novel-length fic. They vary between 4k-7k each. I tend to write until I feel a natural break. There have been several times where a chapter just grew out of control so I had to find a break somewhere earlier in the text, and just split it into two chapters as best I could. It was (is) my first fic, and I'm writing it more for myself and to get a feel for writing than anything else, and I like long chapters. Since it's a very long story with lots of twists and turns and secrets involved, I think longer length chapters make it easier for the reader to be able to work out all the surprises and get the excitement of puzzling the mysteries out. It's also an 11-12th grade reading level (According to online editor I was using for spellcheck for a while) so I'm assuming my target audience will be comfortable enough with reading, that the longer chapters won't exhaust them too much.

I also have a short multi-chapter aside which is meant to be much simpler and faster paced, so it's only 2-3k chapter length. There are no big twists (It follows a support character from the time they leave the main group to when they come back, so everyone knows how it ends already.), it's made to be a more casual read, and it follows a character who is grumpy and, at this point of the narrative, basically an emotional train wreck, so the reader will need more breaks.

My written one-shots are just under 1k and 1.5k each. Honestly, they feel pretty short to me, but they get the point across and they're meant to be basically a deleted scene from my main fic.

Ultimately, you just have to work with what's going to suite your particular project the best, and what you as a writer enjoy. Don't try to add words for the sake of a word count, and don't force a chapter break where it doesn't belong and alienate half your readers because you're worried one person may not like it. It's your project. Even as a gung-ho long-chapter supporter, I'd rather read 3000 words that feel natural and necessary, than 6000 words of rambling on and reaching.

P.S: Keep in mind when working with longer chapters, that you must include scene breaks! They're like mini chapter breaks so you can keep or refind your place even if you have to set down a longer chapter.

3/10/2018 #246
What do you think the ideal length for each chapter on a fanfic is?

Beats me, I only joined a few weeks ago.

I've tried to get into reading more books lately and chapters, that I've found across different genres including historical, autobiographical, fiction and so on, could range from 5,000 to 10,000 words, /- 2,500 words (That's either a bad guess, or just taking Microsoft Word's word for it, most days)

As for me, I've written chapters with I'd say an average length of 3,000 words, with some short breathers and some long epics. In fact, so much for editing, but I've lately been adding more to my chapters, trying to expand a little on some details to flesh out the story.

Ideal? Well, since I tend to lose focus after a chapter, or a few thousand words, maybe it is for me. Sometimes I get doubts thinking that I've tap-danced way over that fine line between info dumping & decisive, incisive work, but hell... Being my first fan-fic, better to learn lessons now than later. =p

1/27/2019 #247
A.C.T. of Paradigm

I've had readers complain when a chapter was a lot longer than any of its predecessors: they'd sit down to read a chapter and would get up perceptibly older. So in one of my works I split an appallingly long chapter into three pieces.

From this limited experience I'd say that a chapter that's half again as long as your longest chapter to date won't be a problem, but three times as long will get complaint.

My natural chapter length varies with what I'm writing, but I do chapters that in theory equate to one episode of The Big O anime, and these average about 10,000 words when I'm dealing mostly with canonical characters, and more than 12,000 words when I'm dealing with both canonical characters and original characters, since this increases the number of subplots per chapter/episode.

1/28/2019 #248
A Lover of Nature

So far, each chapter I wrote attended to itself. I do see a trend of my chapters getting longer, however, and I think I will hit the 5,000 word mark before long as a standard.

1/29/2019 #249
I do see a trend of my chapters getting longer,

I've definitely seen that trend in my epic-length WIP. I'm one of those people that wants my chapter lengths to be at least sort of consistent, but I've had to expand my 'acceptable' range lol. Rewrites have helped bring the minimum up in the early chapters, but it hasn't exactly adjusted the average wordcount.

1/29/2019 #250

I just took a peek, and my latest chapter is almost 10,000 words long. And that's without it being a traditional story, so I don't even know how long it would be if I wrote in proper novel form. Now I feel kind of bad for the person who was kind enough to read through all of it...

1/29/2019 . Edited 1/29/2019 #251

I would say at least 2700 words for me (per chapter) by average.

It may be okay if some chapters have less words than that amount, though, just don't do it too much.

Overall, at least seventy percent of the chapters for a fanfiction should be a minimum of 2700 words, unless if you have several chapters with too many words, and the rest of the chapters with less than 2700 words.

9/27/2019 . Edited 9/29/2019 #252
Issun the Wandering Writer

Well not like I count the words on every story I read or anything but I do tend to prefer longer chapters. If I sit down and read something I'd rather have something to really sink my teeth into get lost in the experience the world. I've read stories with very small chapters and its kind of annoying to keep having to change chapters every 1-2 minutes.

So for my first Multi chapter story I've aimed for at least 3000 words per chapter, So far the results have been more 4000 to 8000. Reading this thread its a little worrying to see so many people seem to dislike longer chapter but then I'm in a mostly dead fandom and the story is a little out there so I probably won't get many readers no matter what. Eh its my story so I'll just do what I want.

9/29/2019 #253

I'm challenging myself to write a 50 chapter story with an average of 3-4,000 words per.

10/10/2019 #254
It just depends on you as a writer. If people dislike longer chapters, they can just go read something shorter. Or you can have a separate shorter works on your own page. My typical chapter, not counting authors notes, is around 4000 to 6000 words. I have had some outliers that are longer or shorter, however. The longest chapter I ever wrote was, not counting author's notes, was 22,000 words. I made it clear that was not typical, warned readers of the length beforehand, and explained My reasoning for why the chapter was the way it was after word. The length it didn't seem to deter readers any, though. It's worth noting I make a lot of references and use authors note a lot, so my chapters are probably even longer, probably around 4500 to 7000 range on average including authors notes in most cases.
10/10/2019 #255
The humble blankpage

In my personal experience, the longest chapter I read, and this was an audiobook fanfic reading mind you, if it counts, was I believe 50 or 75k words for a particular chapter. however, the longest I've personally read was roughly 12k words, which felt very comfy for me.

as for the longest I've written, that would be 15 to 6k words, but I'm wanting to get back to those numbers again.

7/14 #256

Really depends on the story too. I have some stories that are about 1500 words a chapter average and others 2700-3200 average. Just what suits your style and gets the story told.

7/14 #257
A Lover of Nature

My chapters have over time increased from about 3,000 to the latest peak of 8,000. I still find 1,000-word chapters useful for some stories, but for my more ambitious multi-chapters, I am not sure yet what is my average or my limit. At the very least 6,000 words at present, but 8,000 might turn out to be a new normal.

7/14 . Edited 7/14 #258
Absolute Elsewhere
I've definitely seen that trend in my epic-length WIP. I'm one of those people that wants my chapter lengths to be at least sort of consistent, but I've had to expand my 'acceptable' range lol. Rewrites have helped bring the minimum up in the early chapters, but it hasn't exactly adjusted the average wordcount.

I'll have to go along with this. Starting out, my general rule was that a chapter had to include some kind of a character moment plus either a reveal or an action scene. That never changed, but as I got deeper into my big multichapter it morphed a bit, and I had specific goals for each chapter, and how far it had to advance the overall plot. So in Chapter Ten, Bob is growing more suspicious hourly as he finds that clown suit in Jim's locker, Mikey is found dead with an unexploded cigar in his mouth, and Jillian reaches a major decision about those monkeys. And all of that has to included in this installment. I think as I grew as a writer (Or maybe just got more long-winded, opinions vary)my goals for each chapter became a bit more ambitious.

7/15 #259
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