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Short chapters,

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I figured this was a writing question. I'm presently on chapter six, though so far I have up to chapter nine outlined. At the current rate I'm going, I would need sixteen to finish this book. Would shorter chapters be something that would bug a MG agent? Of course, I know it will probably increase in length on revision.
#1 - January 24, 2014, 05:20 PM
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There's nothing wrong with short chapters if that format fits the pacing of your book, and if each chapter moves the story forward as needed. This being a first draft, just get the story down. Then you can decide if each chapter has the legs it needs.
#2 - January 24, 2014, 05:38 PM
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I suspect agents are more concerned with the overall manuscript length and if it's appropriate for the targeted age range than they are about chapter length. Some writers don't even put in chapter breaks until their stories are written, and decide about them afterward.
#3 - January 24, 2014, 05:50 PM
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Like the whole manuscript, chapters should be as long as they need to be. Maniac Magee has a few half page chapters. That works for that story.
#4 - January 26, 2014, 05:40 PM
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A Perfect Kind of Crooked by Linda Urban has short chapters.
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclahchan (sp?) is a short book.

A book needs to be as long as it needs to be to tell the story, and if short chapters fit the bill, then so be it.
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#5 - January 26, 2014, 07:07 PM
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As said above, I would worry about overall length of the book first, make sure it fits with the age range guidelines. Then take a look at your pacing and see if it warrants shorter or longer chapters. Shorter can be desirable for some MG because it often appeals to reluctant readers and helps keep interest for fast paced books. But don't purposely try to make them long or short, you need to do what's right for your book. Look for good places to break up the story but still leave the reader wanting more. If that means short chapters that's fine, if it means longer that's fine too.
#6 - January 27, 2014, 05:55 AM

I'm about 2,000 words away from my first draft. I've considered for the second draft, actually skipping chapters altogether. Though the last two chapters have been longer. I also considered separating it into fewer longer parts.
#7 - January 30, 2014, 10:20 AM
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