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Number of Pages in a Chapter for MG

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Hi,
I'm writing a Middle Grade book for the first time. How many pages approximately should be in a chapter for a MG?
#1 - June 06, 2018, 09:47 AM

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If you're talking manuscript pages, I personally follow a "10 or fewer" rule, and it's often 6-8 or so. Chapters for younger MG might be consistently shorter.
#2 - June 06, 2018, 10:30 AM
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For upper MG you are probably okay going up to 12 pages, maybe even 14 max. You just don't want any one chapter to be too long for young readers. Make sure you are reading lots of books in the level you are writing for, so you get a feel for chapter length, etc.
#3 - June 06, 2018, 10:58 AM
ROYALLY ENTITLED (inspirational/historical YA) and OOPS-A-DAISY (humorous MG) out now.  http://www.melodydelgado.com/

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What they said^^.  :yup

I should add that there are wonderful books that have chapters that are shorter than half a page and chapters that are four-five pages in the same book. (Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes, a Newbery honor book ,comes to mind.) But these are by established successful and experienced writers who do not fear breaking rules and don't have the same hoops to get through.

 I mention this because while the upper limit is sound (I'd say ten and under is a good way to think of it) if you write with a strong literary grasp of the forms you can do unusual things, and more writerly power to you.
#4 - June 06, 2018, 12:59 PM
THE VOICE OF THUNDER, WiDo Publishing Aug 2012
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Great! Thanks so much, everyone!
#5 - June 06, 2018, 01:18 PM

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I like to think of chapters as mini stories. Each has a theme occurring over one or more scenes. I switch to a new chapter when the theme changes. Some chapters are longer than others.

Consider the reading experience you want. Consistent chapter lengths are better for some books (chapter books are often this way). Short chapters may make the read feel quicker. Longer chapters may give the book a denser feeling. (It depends on what's in the chapters, of course.)

I could write another whole paragraph on how chapters end: cliffhangers or not. It will depend on the type of book.

Ask yourself why you are breaking the text into chapters in the first place. Some books just have sections with no breaks (although they may not be middle grade.) My point is that you have to think of the book as a whole and what you want the book to be when you decide about chapters.
#6 - June 06, 2018, 06:09 PM
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