Some time back, one of my writing friends who had taken the independent publishing route as most of the agents had turned down her book, told me while chatting online, that she was adjusting her chapters. I asked her what did that mean. She said she was making sure that all the chapters are of equal length.
I was stunned. For my two previous manuscripts, I hadn’t paid attention to this detail. Infact, if you ask me, I won’t even be able to tell you the word count for the chapters or the number of pages for each chapter. I just know that the prankster book has long chapters and the book about a boy and a magic spirit has short chapters. But whether the chapters are of equal length or not, I won’t be able to tell.
I don’t pay much attention to chapter lengths. Neither while writing my books nor while reading someone elses. I am more interested in ensuring that the chapters end on a suspense or cliff-hanger mode. I also love giving each chapter a title.
For the current manuscript I’m writing, I worked on this detail. I’ve just completed the first draft, so it’s going to undergo a seismic change. I have ensured all the chapters fall in the 1200-1700 words range (that’s the best I could do).
I checked the chapters of the book I am currently reading. The chapters are all of unequal lengths. I was thrilled to see that I’m not alone where unequal chapters are concerned.
I’m sure no editor or agent will reject a manuscript because one chapter is longer than the other.
Should we worry about chapter lengths? Do you think unequal chapters can hamper a book? Any advice will be appreciated.