On Writing Chapters


Anonymous asked: “How long should a chapter be? And what’s considered too long? I always struggle cause I feel like I don’t know when to stop a chapter.”

There is no set length for a chapter. Some writers keep them short – just a few pages, some will make them quite a bit longer. Personally, I like shorter chapters. 

In general, I love for chapters to be around the same length – whether that be longer or shorter. One thing I’ve heard is that chapters should be shorter as you get towards the end and I really liked this idea. It gives the story a bit more urgency, readers feel like they’re racing towards the big finish. I like that idea and I feel like it works well in the writer’s favor. 

Anonymous asked: “Is it best to finish a chapter with a cliffhanger? And if I do that to all the chapters is it alright or would it be bad?”

I don’t think a cliffhanger is necessary – especially if they tend to air on the dramatic side, but generally having some kind of thing that initiates the next scene I think is a good idea. I’ve talked about this before a few times I think – ending chapters with, “And then the doorbell rang.” 

I don’t mean there literally needs to be a doorbell or that you even use that phrase because it isn’t great, but that sentiment. We have an idea of how the next scene will begin – there is someone at the door. I like it when chapters end with some clue as to what is going to happen in the next chapter, inferred action to come. 

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