Proper Chapter Length and Chapter Titles

I apologize for the lack of cohesion. I’m basically taking a break from editing. I have 36 pages of 156 finished in about three days, and just need to get my mind into other things. I maybe be able to publish in two months instead of four at this pace. Very happy. But it means my other thoughts are apparently suffering.

I started to think about chapter lengths. My first chapter is fairly substantial, then the chapters start to decline in length. At a point, in Word at 12 point Times New Roman, it’s only about a six page chapter. I know it’ll be more in an actual novel format, but it’s still strange to me and makes me wonder if it should be longer.

On one hand, shorter chapter lengths makes the reader feel more accomplished and that they’re reading through the material faster. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I know the feeling is there. For editing, I prefer editing chapter by chapter, and it’s made it much easier for me to push through.

However, I suppose it’s mostly a mind game that longer chapters mean higher literary quality. My paragraphs are lengthy, and I’ve been trying to cut down on that. But how long should a chapter really be? Is there merit to longer chapters mean higher quality?

Or is this the “write until you have nothing to write about” philosophy? Each chapter I had a goal in mind. There was a plot arc that needed to finish up, and once that was done, I would move on to the next chapter. A few chapters had so little actually happen in them when I finished writing that I did combine them, but in general, I felt there was enough information in those six to ten pages to warrant a chapter. Should I just go by if the plot arc was important enough to merit a chapter?

On the other hand, in my other book I’m writing I don’t really have chapters. Each characters spoken of is a “chapter,” and it continues until I’m done with the character. My first one is already at forty pages, and she still has a while to go. More than likely her story will be around 60 pages, so more or less a 60 page chapter. Others will only have a 20 or so page story.

Another issue that I didn’t think of until I started writing this, were the chapter titles. Why aren’t they used anymore? What happened to this world? It’s a precursor to what’s to come, a little teaser for the reader. Some are short and tell you nearly nothing while others use chapter titles as almost a spark notes. Are titled chapters on the out? Can I still use them? Will I be smote for naming my chapters?

Anyway, playing some video games to relax. All thoughts on this are welcomed. How do you work with your chapters?

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