Whether you’re a beginning writer or a successfully published author, you may still wonder how many scenes each of your chapters should have. You may also wonder how long each of your scenes should be. Those are great questions, and we are going to attempt to answer them for you.
Chapters Can Be Long or Short
Your chapters can be long or short. Each of your chapters can have only one scene or multiple scenes. There is no rules you have to follow except for what makes logical sense for your story. You’ll probably want to stay away from having lots of very short chapters unless your story takes many dramatic twists and turns. But there is also something to be said against chapters that are too long. Not having the end of a chapter in sight might make your reader feel like they have to work too hard to get to a good stopping point in your story.
Scenes Can Be Long or Short
Scenes can also vary greatly in length. Some scenes may have under 100 words, and some scenes may have 4,000 words. What happens in your story will determine how long your scene should be. If your characters are having a long conversation with each other, then your scene might run to be several pages long. On the other hand, if your scene consists of a quick hit-and-run incident, you might decide to keep it short for dramatic effect.
When to Start a New Scene
What you really need to know is when you should start a new scene. There are different ways of tackling this topic, but it all depends on your story. Here are a few examples of when it may be appropriate to start a new scene:
- Change of locations
- When time has passed
- When introducing a new problem/situation
- Introducing a new character
When to Start a New Chapter
You may also wonder when you should start a new chapter instead. Again, this is subjective and completely up to your discretion. Here are a few reasons to start a new chapter:
- Changing the point of view of the narrator
- Taking a big jump into the future
- Adding a flashback
Chapters and Scenes in Novelize
Fortunately, it’s easy to add chapters and scenes inside of Novelize. Plus, if you decide to change the order of your scenes or chapters afterwards, you can do this by using the “organize novel” feature. So what are you waiting for? Start writing your novel and get signed up for your Novelize account today!