Author Topic: How long should it be??(No- it's not what you're thinking!)  (Read 2115 times)

Offline Angeleyes

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How long should it be??(No- it's not what you're thinking!)
« on: February 14, 2006, 08:36:37 AM »
Hi all. Got a question to ask about the length of chapters on an average childrens book. Is there a standard length?(If you know what I mean)
All info will be greatly appreciated.

Oh yes, it's for the 9+ age group.

Thanks Ann.
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Offline Symphony

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Re: How long should it be??(No- it's not what you're thinking!)
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2006, 10:39:57 AM »
Ann,

I really have NO idea what you mean by what you said in your title!!! None at all!  ::) ::)

Seriously, though, I've been through this as well and your best bet is to go down and spend half an hour in the library or, better still (because you get the more recent stuff) in the bookshop. Take a pen and paper and jot down a list of styles/chapter lengths/chapter numbers/ age targets, etc. etc.

I think you'll find - as I did - that it varies so much it's impossible to say what's 'right' or 'wrong'

You'll find that the more 'normal' books (e.g. Enid Blyton style mysteries, etc.) will count roughly 250 or 300 words per page - count one page and take a rough estimate from there.

Chapter books are different and really depend on your target age - and the type of book you're writing - easy reader, advanced reader ...

Even more important, I think, is to the right number of chapters - these seem to be fairly standard - 5 or 10 or 12 - and check which books have chapter titles and which don't ... It's also important to have good cliffhangers at key points in the story and other 'hooks' ...

Honestly - you'll get so many different answers to the same questions that it's worth having a good look yourself to try and match up your style/target age, etc.

That's been my experience up to now, anyway. I'd LOVE somebody to tell me exactly how many words are good for what, etc. Maybe somebody here can enlighten us ...

Symphony

Offline Angeleyes

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Re: How long should it be??(No- it's not what you're thinking!)
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006, 10:53:00 AM »
That's helpful Symphony. Just as I thought, lots of research. My novel is going to need some serious editing now; mind you, the more I read it back, the worse it is. :'(  so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Thanks again. lol.

Ann. ;)

 
May all your dreams come true.

Whether you think you can, or think you can't....you're right!
-Henry Ford.

Offline Symphony

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Re: How long should it be??(No- it's not what you're thinking!)
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2006, 10:58:06 AM »
Ann - now that you've mentioned 'novel', you have me thinking. I'm sure children's 'novel's are basically standard, just as adult's are - min. 50,000 words, I believe (but don't quote me on that!). I would imagine the average mystery to be around this - but then look at Harry Potter and lots of fantasy novels seem to be longer these days. Might be worth checking this out - at least if there's a difference between children's and adult's novel lengths.

I tend to write for slightly younger ages so the variation in what's required is greater. I still think style and content play a massive part in this game, though ...

Good luck - I'll be very interested to read what more informed people have to say.

Symphony

Offline Angeleyes

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Re: How long should it be??(No- it's not what you're thinking!)
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2006, 11:06:17 AM »
Well, I guess it serves me right for not looking into it first. I guess I just got carried away with writing it and didn't worry about how long it was. By the way, its about 42,500 words and thirteen chapters.

As Symphony said, any more info would be greatly appreciated.

Ann.
May all your dreams come true.

Whether you think you can, or think you can't....you're right!
-Henry Ford.

Offline prophetcharlesb

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Re: How long should it be??(No- it's not what you're thinking!)
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2006, 01:30:03 PM »
The way I understand it for childrens books is, that the min is 32 pages, outside of that I dont know of any size requirements.
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