Thought writing a book was hard? Dividing that book into chapters can be even worse. How long should a chapter be? How can I break up my book into chapters? What is the purpose of a chapter? What is a chapter? All of these questions and more will be considered in the following blog post.
How do you define chapters? Chapters are the natural pauses in your story. They can be numbered or titled, but this isn't necessary. Their purpose is to help writers organize or structure their novel. What should be included in a chapter? The purpose of a chapter is to advance a plot or subplot. You don't want to include filler content. When deciding whether to keep or delete a chapter ask yourself: Is this chapter absolutely necessary to drive the story forward? If the chapter can be deleted and not affect the story then it's best to leave it out.
How do you break up your novel into chapters? The best, and easiest, way to do this is with an outline before you start writing. (Sorry pantsers!) Chapters are like mini stories that have their own unique beginning, middle, and end. By using an outline, you can be confident that each chapter is fully developed, relevant to the plot, and necessary. Of course, as you write, if you feel that your novel needs more or fewer chapters than you previously thought, feel free to adjust as necessary.
What is the purpose of a chapter? Every chapter should have two goals. It should advance the plot and keep the reader invested in the story. Your goal should be to answer enough questions in each chapter so the plot continues to move forward, while at the same time having more questions arise so readers can remain interested and continue reading. Your story shouldn't be stagnant, but readers should end each chapter excited to read the next. A good way to do this is to leave cliffhangers at the end of every chapter.
How long should a chapter be? How many chapters should your book be? This is completely up to you as the writer. Chapters can be as little as two pages or as long as twenty pages. Books can have as few as twenty chapters or as many as fifty chapters. However, your goal should be to make sure that you include as many chapters as the story needs while making sure each chapter is necessary and can stand on its own.
I hope this blog post was helpful in answering your questions about chapters. If you have any other questions or additional tips, please leave them in the comments down below!