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Chapter word count: long or short?

Murder on Milverton Square (The Milverton Mysteries Book 1) by G B Ralph. Book cover image.

My new novel, Murder on Milverton Square, is currently up for pre-order. This book came from the rough first draft I frantically threw down back in November for NaNoWriMo, almost a year ago! Now, seven drafts later…

While finalising the manuscript I wondered how much story we had in each chapter. Chapter breaks can sometimes seem quite arbitrary, but I like to keep up the pace, and shorter chapters can help keep things humming. However, each chapter needs to earn its place – something needs to happen! – so having shorter chapters forces me to move things along. It keeps me on my toes, and hopefully means it keeps readers turning the pages.

Murder on Milverton Square (The Milverton Mysteries Book 1) Draft G chapter word count graph

Looking at the graph, there are a few outliers, but even those aren’t too far out. Most seem to be around the 1,500 word mark, which is probably 5–7 minutes of reading per chapter. Seems about right, right?

Anyway, do you like a long, meandering, thoughtful chapter? Or do you prefer them short and snappy? Or a combination of the two? Drop me an email or find me on social media and let me know – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And, of course, if you want to read the words that make up these chapters, go ahead and give this lil button a nudge:

Murder on Milverton Square (The Milverton Mysteries Book 1) by G B Ralph.

Book cover image and blurb:

Addison Harper is abruptly summoned to Milverton at the behest of an abrasive lawyer. He plans to be in and out, back to the city lickety-split. Instead, he finds himself charmed by the small town with its delightful and eccentric residents, not to mention the rather easy-on-the-eye Sergeant Jake Murphy.

Despite the rocky start, Addison admits he’s had a pleasant day out. That is, until returning to find the prickly old lawyer on the floor, and very much dead. Worse, it looks like murder, and Addison’s fingerprints are all over the crime scene.
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