Average amount of words in a chapter

Average amount of words in a chapter

The average amount of words in a chapter


“How many words or how long chapters should be in a book?”


I see this question being asked all the time on Facebook groups. It is a dilemma of each writer’s faces when writing. What are the Average amount of words in a chapter?


There are no rules.


That’s right there is no rule for the average amount of words in a chapter. Some books don’t even have a chapter an example of a book I recently read, Our Kind of Cruelty doesn’t’ have any. It had the * to indicate an end of a scene.


It is up to you but within reason


Average amount of words in a chapter


Before you start or end a chapter play it in your head like an act. Example chapter 1 is act 1 chapter 2 is act 2 and so on. Each chapter should contain different scenes to move the story forward. Important scenes are going to be longer than average.






Example chapter 4 is 2,000 words while chapter 5, is 3,000.




There is no rule that the average amount of words in a chapter should contain the same word count.




Finding your own style


What do I mean by this? Look at other works out there, see what other authors are doing. Learn from published books. If I open a book by James Patterson, I’ll know that his chapters are short about three pages long which, makes it great as the story will be fast-paced. Good for the thrillers genre but I have read thrillers that are six to eight pages long.


See what writers within your genre are doing but each story is different so keep that in mind.






Average amount of words in a chapterI’ve seen chapters that have one sentence.


There are chapters that have a paragraph.


There are chapters that are 12 even 30 pages long.







According to research I made although it is not the rule 2,000 to 5,000 is a decent a length.


Remember there is no rule on chapters. It is the story that counts and finding your own style and do what is necessary for the plot.


If you found this blog post helpful, please do share.


Happy Writing xxx 



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13 thoughts on “Average amount of words in a chapter

  1. “Flow” is really important in writing. James Patterson’s chapters are so short that they’re choppy and there’s no room for the inner development of the character. Another author, Anita Shreve, writes longer prose and it flows well and her work spans genres. So the flow or your style as a writer is important. My detective novels, Tom Stone detective stories, are about 1,600 words per chapter on average and I found that this is a nice pace.

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