You are here:

Writing Books/Writing my first novel

Advertisement


Question
I am in the process of my first novel. It is about a distopian society where the government has taken crime control to new extreme measures. it follows an agent of the government as he deals with his assignments of killing people and is troubled by various things resultign from those deaths.

Sorry for the rambling, I am just workign on the second chapter and I am really focused on just writing the book regardless or rules or expectations from any future publisher bu I wanted a sort of guideline as to how long you think each chapter or the book should be. The first chapter ended at 3,008 words. Thank you for your time and please email me if you need more information.

Answer
Hi, Ryan!

Sorry for the delay in responding, but my internet's been down, so I'm having to find public terminals until the satellite's repaired.

There is no required length for chapters. It can be a page or fifty. I tend to average about five to thirty pages. Most of it depends on where it "feels right" to end. Since I write fiction, I end the chapter where the reader feels the need to turn the page---a crisis point that makes the reader wonder what happens next. I suggest the same for yours. Think about it like a made-for-TV movie. The commercial break usually gets inserted when the gun shot rings out, but you don't know who was shot, or the revelation of a big secret and you don't know how the listener will respond. Or the hero's grip on the cliff edge giving way. That sort of thing.

Hope that helps! Good luck with it.

Cathy

Writing Books

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Cathy Clamp

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.

Experience

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Organizations
Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Publications
Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

Education/Credentials
My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.