# How many words should the first chapter be?

Some will tell you that 2,500 words is the average, while others will tell you that chapters of 3,000 to 5,000 words are more likely to be the norm. Most people think that less than 1,000 words is too short, while more than 5,000 words is too lengthy. Chapters should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words in length as a general rule.

If you plan to publish your book then you should try to keep it below 100,000 words because later on when you want to revise it or change something you can't do because it's too late in the process. However, if you want to write and publish a book quickly then you can go ahead and use up all your word count without any problems. There are some books that last over 200,000 words but they are rare.

An average novel is about 120,000 words long (including chapters), while a short story is about 7,000 words. Long novels are published in volumes of around 100-120 pages while short stories usually fit into volumes of 32-40 pages. Short stories are also known as novellas or maxims.

It's good practice to divide your book into chapters which are around 3,000 words long. This allows you to write for approximately 20 minutes per chapter which is enough time to cover most subjects. Longer periods of writing will cause you to run out of things to say which will make your chapter(s) boring!

## Can a chapter be more than 5000 words?

They are all in agreement that the chapter length should be decided by the plot and that any chapter length objectives you set are only recommendations.

Chapters are usually about 500-1,500 words long. Some writers can write very short chapters (less than 300 words) but they are the exception rather than the rule. If your chapter length is too short, it may cause readers to lose interest before they have a chance to learn what's going on in your story. If your chapter is too long, it may confuse readers or seem like there's too much information to process all at once. Either way, your chapters shouldn't just read "and then this thing happened." There should be a clear progression of events that leads up to that climax.

Here are some examples of chapters from books you might have read:

The first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is 1,200 words long. It tells us who Voldemort is, how he became evil, and why Harry Potter matters to the story. Although there's not much action in this chapter, it gives us a good idea of what we can expect from the rest of the book.

In The Hunger Games, chapter one consists of only 224 words!

## How many words should a prologue have?

Google was of little assistance. Some websites recommend no more than 1,000 words, while others recommend up to 3,000 words. If it's any consolation, my typical chapter length is roughly 1.5K words. But I think you get the picture: there are no clear-cut answers to this question.

In general, you want to give the reader as much information as possible in the first few pages of your book. That way, when they get into the meat of your story, they'll be intrigued enough to keep reading!

One word prologue example is The Stand by Stephen King. It's an epic tale that spans several continents and takes place over several decades. But King only tells us about all of this in a single sentence near the beginning of his book: "After the bombs stopped falling, nothing much happened for several years until one day in spring when a young man saw a dark shape rise up out of New York City's Hudson River."

This is just one example of a short prologue. There are many more like it out there! Prologues are important tools for grabbing readers' attention but not putting forth too much information at once. We hope this article has helped you understand what a prologue is and how to write one!

## How long should your first chapter be?

We looked at novels from various genres and times to determine how lengthy a chapter should be. We may derive some parameters from these figures: the average word count of a chapter is between 1,500 and 5,000 words, with 3,000-4,000 being the most common sweet spot. Short chapters are often the result of writing in scenes or as appendices; both ways out, not very pleasant! Longer chapters usually come from dividing up large events into several parts.

In general, you want chapters to be around 10% or less of the total size of your book. If you have a 500-page book with 20 chapters, that's 25 pages per chapter, or one chapter per page. That's quite a bit of information to include on each page, so we're looking at a fairly short chapter.

The best way to decide how long should your first chapter be is by thinking about what kind of book it would make. If you can think of other chapters in books that are similar in length to yours, then you'll know how much space to allow for your first one. A novel or series of essays will usually have more than one chapter, so you should be able to estimate their length based on these examples.

Other considerations such as genre, time period, and audience will also play a role in determining how long your first chapter should be.

## How long should a chapter in a book be?

However, it is recommended that you keep them under 10,000 characters to allow for some space to write additional information or examples.

The chapter is the basic building block of any story. A story cannot be written without them- either an introduction or conclusion chapters are needed to hold the reader's attention before they start reading the main body of the book or after they finish it, respectively. The middle chapters are also useful to reveal more information about your characters or the setting of the story.

There are many types of chapters: summary, exposition, analysis, description, flashback, frame story... The list goes on. You will need to decide which type of chapter you want to use and then follow its guidelines accordingly.

Generally, a book or article will have one introductory chapter and one concluding chapter. Sometimes there may be two introductory chapters or even an opening section within the body of the book that functions as an introduction (see synopsis).

In terms of length, the introductory chapter should be no longer than necessary and the concluding chapter should wrap up the story so nothing major is left unsaid or overlooked.

## Is 2000 words enough for a chapter?

The typical word count for a chapter is between 2,000 and 5,000 words, however it all depends on your tale. (We can't stress this enough.) There are several novels that purposely manipulate the word counts of their chapters. So, instead of writing a chapter with one eye on your tale and the other on your word count, write a chapter with both eyes on your story. Then when you're done, check to see if you're within range of your target amount.

If you reach or exceed your target amount, great! If not, just keep writing!

As your story progresses, you'll know how much space each section needs. But until then, have fun with it!

2000 words seems like a lot, but it's actually about right. Most people can write a novel in two years or less, so it's reasonable to expect a new book every other year. However, since it takes me a few months to a year to write a book, I feel comfortable setting my goal at a single volume every 2000 words or so.

This means I should be able to write a novel that's 70,000 words long (about 20 hours of reading) by the time I turn 40. That's almost as fast as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!" When you make your goals specific and measurable, it's easier to achieve them.

So yes, 2000 words is enough for a chapter. Now go write some scenes!

##### Bernice Mcduffie

Bernice Mcduffie is a writer and editor. She has a degree from one of the top journalism schools in the country. Bernice loves writing about all sorts of topics, from fashion to feminism.

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