Post Reply How many chapters is an acceptable amount for a novel series?
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Posted 3/10/17
Before I mentioned that I wanted to write five books with two hundred chapters each as a large goal to set for myself. But I ended up going ahead of myself and making nine books instead of five. I've changed the plot a little too. Anyway, I was thinking that two hundred chapters for nine books each is too long and the same goes with 100. I got to be honest here because when I really get into a story the most I can do is five chapters for some odd reason. And all the will power in the world couldn't bring me to surpass chapter five. Yet I want to be able to finish a novel and be proud of myself for doing it. But my question for you is; how many chapter is an acceptable amount for a novel series? I ask this because I feel like doing fifty or ninety chapters. My novel series is a science fantasy adventure. The novel is about a teenager traveling the world, exploring new things, and helping people in order to conquer the world. The teenager is a good guy so no world domination by tyranny. Anyway, there will be nine books and two novellas. Yes, I know nine books are too much even if I lessen the chapters. But I need some sort of goal for myself. All I really need is sheer willpower and belief that I can do it.

So, tell me again, how many chapter is an acceptable amount for a novel series? And don't say "it doesn't matter" either. I'm trying to be a little realistic here. Because two hundred is too much and so is one hundred. Maybe fifty or even ninety.

What do you think?
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Posted 3/10/17 , edited 3/10/17
Honestly, that is the last thing you should be thinking about. It really just couldn't matter less. You tell me not to say "it doesn't matter", but I'm not going to lie to you. Number of chapters doesn't matter. Some books have a lot of really short chapters, some have only a few long ones. My book which is approx. 80k words has 38 chapters, but I didn't pick a number of chapters and write accordingly. Chapters are typically created by story transitions. They are used to break up a book into its component pieces. What matters is that the pieces all work, not that there is the "right" amount of chapters (that said, I think that chapters should be short enough to get the reader to say "just one more" without feeling like that is too much of a time commitment, but that is just my philosophy).

Now, to address your goal. Its great to have a goal, and even to have a big end goal, but if you say "I want to make nine books" as your goal, it will feel insurmountable. If my pace is anything to go by, that would take over 18 years to complete. You will burn yourself out and feel overwhelmed with such a big goal. Your goal should be "I want to write one book". That is a manageable goal. After you complete that book (including editing), evaluate your own work and come up with your new goal: "I want to write another book". They can be in the same series, but focus on one for now.

And finally, how to get past chapter 5. Well, this one is easy. Write chapter 6. Thats it. Well, there is a little bit more to that, like having your story arc mapped out beforehand, but the key to writing is getting words on paper. Sometimes you get stuck and when you do, you need to power through it, even if the writing isn't perfect. You can always edit, but if you let yourself get hung up, you will never move forward.
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Posted 3/10/17

sundin13 wrote:

Honestly, that is the last thing you should be thinking about. It really just couldn't matter less. You tell me not to say "it doesn't matter", but I'm not going to lie to you. Number of chapters doesn't matter. Some books have a lot of really short chapters, some have only a few long ones. My book which is approx. 80k words has 38 chapters, but I didn't pick a number of chapters and write accordingly. Chapters are typically created by story transitions. They are used to break up a book into its component pieces. What matters is that the pieces all work, not that there is the "right" amount of chapters (that said, I think that chapters should be short enough to get the reader to say "just one more" without feeling like that is too much of a time commitment, but that is just my philosophy).

Now, to address your goal. Its great to have a goal, and even to have a big end goal, but if you say "I want to make nine books" as your goal, it will feel insurmountable. If my pace is anything to go by, that would take over 18 years to complete. You will burn yourself out and feel overwhelmed with such a big goal. Your goal should be "I want to write one book". That is a manageable goal. After you complete that book (including editing), evaluate your own work and come up with your new goal: "I want to write another book". They can be in the same series, but focus on one for now.

And finally, how to get past chapter 5. Well, this one is easy. Write chapter 6. Thats it. Well, there is a little bit more to that, like having your story arc mapped out beforehand, but the key to writing is getting words on paper. Sometimes you get stuck and when you do, you need to power through it, even if the writing isn't perfect. You can always edit, but if you let yourself get hung up, you will never move forward.


Thanks. I will focus on one book though I guess nine books is just some goal. I would like to write nine books but really I just want to complete the first book.
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Posted 3/10/17

qualeshia3 wrote:

Thanks. I will focus on one book though I guess nine books is just some goal. I would like to write nine books but really I just want to complete the first book.


Good luck. I believe!
Humms 
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Posted 3/10/17
Please....... just stop this.

Go write your story, and don't even consider the proper way of writing. Is that bad advice? Who cares! Just keep writing

I don't care how I write my story, if it's good enough someone else can edit it for me.

Stop worrying about what's good enough, please! Im almost starting to feel bad for you.

Being realistic doesn't exist when you want to write a story, worry about what you want. You'll be here to the end of your days asking the same dam questions unless you straighten up.

If you have to ask about everything, then you're not serious about writing your story, and if you question me that only supports my statement.
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Posted 3/10/17

sundin13 wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

Thanks. I will focus on one book though I guess nine books is just some goal. I would like to write nine books but really I just want to complete the first book.


Good luck. I believe!



Thanks a lot.
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Posted 3/10/17

Humms wrote:

Please....... just stop this.

Go write your story, and don't even consider the proper way of writing. Is that bad advice? Who cares! Just keep writing

I don't care how I write my story, if it's good enough someone else can edit it for me.

Stop worrying about what's good enough, please! Im almost starting to feel bad for you.

Being realistic doesn't exist when you want to write a story, worry about what you want. You'll be here to the end of your days asking the same dam questions unless you straighten up.

If you have to ask about everything, then you're not serious about writing your story, and if you question me that only supports my statement.



You're right! You're absolutely right! I am so sorry for upsetting you. I guess I just wanted to know. But in reality I'm wasting time by not writing anything.

Forgive me.
qwueri 
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Posted 3/11/17
Writing can always be edited later. Just bang out your story and go from there.
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Posted 3/17/17
^ That.

Pretty much any writer will tell you to just write the thing first, then cull down what isn't necessary. If someone wants to read it, the length isn't going to prevent them from doing so. Save the math for after you're done with the first draft. Otherwise you're shooting yourself in the foot.
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Posted 3/18/17 , edited 3/18/17
Also, admit that what you're really doing by worrying about this stuff is... procrastinating.

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