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Writing Books/YA book and chapter length


So I know I'm shooting for about 60,000 words with this YA fantasy, but how long are YA chapters? Is 5 pages okay (or too short) for a first "hook" chapter? The tone of this work is more light-hearted than even, say, Harry Potter, so I thought shorter chapters might be forgiven, but I don't want to write a whole book the "wrong way". Please advise. Thank you!


There really aren't any rules for chapter length, so I certainly wouldn't worry about it.  Your chapter should be as long (or short) as it needs to be.

The only exception I can think of to this is with certain publishers, but they are primarily publishers of formula romance books.  In some extreme cases, they dictate how long the books are to be, how long the chapters are to be, etc.  But this is by far the exception, not the rule.

If you have any ideas as to which publishers you might submit to, I suggest picking up the latest WRITER'S MARKET and looking at what those companies expect.  I doubt you'll see any chapter length requirements, but if they do have them, that's where you'll find them.

Good luck!

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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