appropriate word count for chapters and tips on how to switch naturally between first person to third person

mellojuice

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appropriate word count for chapters and tips on how to switch naturally between first person to third person. other then this any writing tips and tricks are welcome :)
 

Lloyd

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Depends on the type of story and writing you do. Generally I believe 2000+ is good. But some series do okay if they are 1000 but frequent updates
 

Mandark

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I don’t thinks there’s any set number of words, just the chapter needs to be long enough to get its point across while not being too long so it doesn’t break into a new situation.

for example... don’t write multiple chapters in a row where the story doesn’t progress at all and absolutely nothing substantial happens (this often happens when an author explains the motivations of minor characters), also, don’t write 1 chapter where 2-3 situations are made and then resolved at once.
 

FriendlyDragon

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There's really no such thing as an appropriate word count. It's all dependent on the contents of the chapter itself. I can write 5000 words and have it all be useless frills and I can write 1000 words of important plot development and call that a chapter. Do what's right for your story. Don't write words for the sake of word count. This isn't a high school essay.

On the topic of POV switches between first and third: that's hard. Very hard. Not just from a story standpoint, but from a technical standpoint. How you write a third person POV and a first person POV is very different and do not lend themselves well in mixing the two. You can do it, but from stories that I've read that have done this, it's done in a more gimmicky way with either the third person POV or the first person POV being used sparingly.

For instance, if we switch from 3rd POV to 1st POV, we might do this like a person reading a journal. The journal is written in a 1st POV and after the entry is read for a chapter or part of a chapter, we go back to 3rd POV. 1st POV to 3rd POV might be just leaving the main narrator for a short time to look at something that they (the narrator) would not have anyway of knowing, however, this can be very jarring in a writing medium and can potentially kill suspense and tension. In a medium like, say, graphic novels like comics and manga, you can do this more seamlessly. That's because there's no true 1st person POV in these types of medium outside of narration blobs.

You can still do this, but do it sparingly. Maybe for like prologue or epilogue type chapters where you're setting up for the next major arc. For dramatic irony to create situations where the reader is cognizant of incoming danger but not the narrator. If you continually keep switching though from chapter to chapter, you run the risk of meeting a whole deluge of issues from pacing, tone, and continuity.

Anyway. As for tips: Write consistently. Not a lot, you see. Consistent. Even if it's just 50 words everyday. It'll add up in the long run.
 

skillet

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Tips for switching between first and third!

First of all, DO NOT SWITCH ARBITRARILY between the two like every other paragraph/sentence. Do not. Your writing, above all else, should strive to be understandable, and arbitrary switches between POV are really hard to read.

Easiest way to switch between the two is to give a clear division. Either use the chapter divider feature (that long line thingy) or something similar in function to it to break up the chapter and indicate a separation between the different POVs. You can also make the switch between chapters, though I recommend in terms of chapter word counts you remain consistent (unless it's intentional that one chapter is extremely short, either for comedic or literary purposes).

It's also nice to give your third person POV a specific narrative feel that you stick with that differs from your first person POV, which can be done in multiple ways: either give your first person POV a characteristic, or give your third person POV narrator a characteristic.

Also good is if you follow a rule when you switch between the two, like only using third person during battles or when describing things away from the first person narrator. Which brings me to another important point: Rather than both coexisting at 50-50 rate, make one your main POV! The person above me said some super great stuff and I second all of it. :D

Good luck!
 
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Paul_Tromba

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When I first started I started out only writing 800-1000 word chapters and released them daily because that was what I was capable of doing. Now I release twice a week with a 2000-4000 word chapter. I am doing a lot better now that I have some experience. The only way to get better is through experience and learning. Read books similar to your writing style or similar to a writing style you want to emulate. Then, just write as much as possible. Also, @skillet just gave a very good list of tips on switching perspectives so I would read that first.
 

Bartun

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Appropriate word count for a chapter? Many would say 1500-2000 words, but there is no definite limit. I personally write +5000 words chapters, some of them can reach 6000-6500, it depends on the story. The thing is, the chapter should end where it needs to end, write as much as possible, but don't make it stupidly long unless it's absolutely necessary, you are telling a story after all, and you are trying to convey something important to the reader. I try to finish an important plot point before calling it a chapter, so my chapters are kinda long as a result, that works for me, but you should feel comfortable telling your story, not just write for the sake of word count.
 

IvyVeritas

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I would say, don't *ever* switch between first person and third person in the same story. If you know you'll need multiple points of view in a story, then just do third person all the way through. If you really want to write a first-person story, you should work within that restriction for a more authentic experience.

Think about how many professionally published novels switch between first and third person. In my entire life, I think I've only read one published novel that did that ... and it was a single chapter in the third person, by an author who's successful enough that he can get away with it. And he didn't do it for the next book in the series (sticking with first person through the entire book), so interpret that however you will.

If you absolutely have to do it for some reason, then use the rules that skillet laid out above, but try to avoid it.
 

zelotwo02

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Idk honestly, my lowest word count on a chapter is 200-300 while my highest are 2000 but i mostly do 500+ words per chapter since that's what I am comfortable of, I rarely do 3rd persons since it's kinda hard, most of my novels are 1st person, I only do 3rd when I'm doing a side character pov, tips is to read a lot, it will expand your vocabulary and inspire you too in some occasions
 

NotaNuffian

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1500-2200 words. Writing tips: write a lot. Also, don't overcomplicate things as simpler is often time better.
Why can't this post exist sooner?
I don’t thinks there’s any set number of words, just the chapter needs to be long enough to get its point across while not being too long so it doesn’t break into a new situation.

for example... don’t write multiple chapters in a row where the story doesn’t progress at all and absolutely nothing substantial happens (this often happens when an author explains the motivations of minor characters), also, don’t write 1 chapter where 2-3 situations are made and then resolved at once.
So the minor characters get written off as pointless expense?

Fair enough. But doesn't this make the world a bit flat to only focus on the protags, antags and anyone that is important to them?
 

Keene

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So the minor characters get written off as pointless expense?

Fair enough. But doesn't this make the world a bit flat to only focus on the protags, antags and anyone that is important to them?

I will make my little mountain here, climb on it and say that if your world comes across as flat that is entirely down to your own ability as a writer and not the choice of the number of POVs. That is to say, if you want your worldbuilding to come across as competent the number of POVs is not relevant.

Instead as writers we should sit and consider for what purpose am I introducing this minor character POV? What does the reader need to know from this characters direct thoughts that couldn't be shown competently elsewhere? Does our minor character need a POV so the reader knows they secretly hate the protagonist and are planning to betray them? Would it not be better for such suspicions to grow slowly from the protag observing unusual behavior and body language? Or maybe the betrayal is a complete surprise for the protag and the reader but due to our excellent writing they can look back and realize - with satisfaction - that it was subtly foreshadowed all along.

I only make this latter point because it is common for inexperienced writers to create multiple POVs because they desperately want to show the reader their worldbuilding or show a character motivation but do not know how to do it any other way.
 
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K5Rakitan

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mellojuice

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There's really no such thing as an appropriate word count. It's all dependent on the contents of the chapter itself. I can write 5000 words and have it all be useless frills and I can write 1000 words of important plot development and call that a chapter. Do what's right for your story. Don't write words for the sake of word count. This isn't a high school essay.

On the topic of POV switches between first and third: that's hard. Very hard. Not just from a story standpoint, but from a technical standpoint. How you write a third person POV and a first person POV is very different and do not lend themselves well in mixing the two. You can do it, but from stories that I've read that have done this, it's done in a more gimmicky way with either the third person POV or the first person POV being used sparingly.

For instance, if we switch from 3rd POV to 1st POV, we might do this like a person reading a journal. The journal is written in a 1st POV and after the entry is read for a chapter or part of a chapter, we go back to 3rd POV. 1st POV to 3rd POV might be just leaving the main narrator for a short time to look at something that they (the narrator) would not have anyway of knowing, however, this can be very jarring in a writing medium and can potentially kill suspense and tension. In a medium like, say, graphic novels like comics and manga, you can do this more seamlessly. That's because there's no true 1st person POV in these types of medium outside of narration blobs.

You can still do this, but do it sparingly. Maybe for like prologue or epilogue type chapters where you're setting up for the next major arc. For dramatic irony to create situations where the reader is cognizant of incoming danger but not the narrator. If you continually keep switching though from chapter to chapter, you run the risk of meeting a whole deluge of issues from pacing, tone, and continuity.

Anyway. As for tips: Write consistently. Not a lot, you see. Consistent. Even if it's just 50 words everyday. It'll add up in the long run.
ty for the reply everyone :)
i wrote a prologue and in the second bit i changed to third person from dialogue and felt a bit awkward so thats why i had this question maybe its just because i havent gotten used to it XD
THE PROLOGUE :
It was a sunny day, light breeze and the background sound of the waves. Bahamas was as lively as usual full of energetic tourists on holidays , many of whom were at the beach soaking the sun.

"Man I really needed this vacation. Aah~~"

" I know right. After that shitstorm of work...*sigh* this really helps unwind "

" For real.... by the way Alard what's the next contract on. "

" I think it was some maxican drug lord or some shit."

"NOT AGAIN!! we just went through one can't they just make peace!! "

"..... if they did we would be unemployed ! "

"....true....anyways this great Ange Deniau is getting a drink as much as sunbathing on beach is fun it dehydrating ...want one ?"

"get me a...... wha- WHAT'S THAT"

"What ?"

Ange quickly turned away from the paralysed Alard and look behind him at the coast. A mile down the coast ball of lightning was forming on the surface of the ocean and growing in size.

" WHAT THE FUCK-"

With this ...the world froze.


any comments on this is welcome :)
 

SailusGebel

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ty for the reply everyone :)
i wrote a prologue and in the second bit i changed to third person from dialogue and felt a bit awkward so thats why i had this question maybe its just because i havent gotten used to it XD
THE PROLOGUE :
It was a sunny day, light breeze and the background sound of the waves. Bahamas was as lively as usual full of energetic tourists on holidays , many of whom were at the beach soaking the sun.

"Man I really needed this vacation. Aah~~"

" I know right. After that shitstorm of work...*sigh* this really helps unwind "

" For real.... by the way Alard what's the next contract on. "

" I think it was some maxican drug lord or some shit."

"NOT AGAIN!! we just went through one can't they just make peace!! "

"..... if they did we would be unemployed ! "

"....true....anyways this great Ange Deniau is getting a drink as much as sunbathing on beach is fun it dehydrating ...want one ?"

"get me a...... wha- WHAT'S THAT"

"What ?"

Ange quickly turned away from the paralysed Alard and look behind him at the coast. A mile down the coast ball of lightning was forming on the surface of the ocean and growing in size.

" WHAT THE FUCK-"

With this ...the world froze.


any comments on this is welcome :)
Way too short.
 

mellojuice

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Way too short.
i just added the part i was awkward about heres the full on
THE PROLOGUE :
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
We lost.

[SCANNING GUEST]

[&*%$#*(&*&#*&#*#@[email protected]* ]

[ERROR GUEST NOT RECOGNIZED ]

[ERROR PREMESSION NOT GRANTED]

[MANA EXPLOSION EMINENT]

[PLEASE LEAVE]

but we refuse to accept that..I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT!

[ERRO- UNIDENTIFIED MANA CORE DECTECTED]

[MANA CORE RESONANCE DECTECTED]

[INITIATE MANA CORE RESONANCE ]
[YES] [NO]

yes.
[WARNING: GUESTS MANA WAVELENGTH IS RESONATING WITH UNIDENTIFIED HOST ]
[PROCEED (YES) (NO)]
...yes.
[INITIATING ..]
syncronization with host (1.2%)
................................................................................................................................................
In the void, a portal of lighting appeared. 'They' entered earth.
................................................................................................................................................

The Bahamas,
27th March 2020.

It was a sunny day, light breeze and the background sound of the waves. Bahamas was as lively as usual full of energetic tourists on holidays , many of whom were at the beach soaking the sun.

"Man I really needed this vacation. Aah~~"

" I know right. After that shitstorm of work...*sigh* this really helps unwind "

" For real.... by the way Alard what's the next contract on. "

" I think it was some maxican drug lord or some shit."

"NOT AGAIN!! we just went through one can't they just make peace!! "

"..... if they did we would be unemployed ! "

"....true....anyways this great Ange Deniau is getting a drink as much as sunbathing on beach is fun it dehydrating ...want one ?"

"get me a...... wha- WHAT'S THAT"

"What ?"

Ange quickly turned away from the paralysed Alard and look behind him at the coast. A mile down the coast ball of lightning was forming on the surface of the ocean and growing in size.

" WHAT THE FUCK-"

With this ...the world froze.

................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
*sizzel*
the growing ball of lightning above the water finally dispersed. All that remained in its place was a tall distorted humanoid figure a bright crystal in its chest, floating above the surface of the water and hovering above it's shoulders was a glowing ball of light dancing around.

{A primitive world.....but full of life. A nice world isn't it 'Grey'} -eve

"..that it is"

{you sure about starting the resonace it will cause much damage ya'know}-eve

"...."

{ Nevermind, so whats the plan. Wanna check on this 'host' }-eve

" No need ."

{ Aara~ no fun. Whatever, where's the burmuda triangle you guys decide on? }-eve

" follow."

{KyKyy~~}

The distorted figure flew away from the bahamas coast in the opposite direction followed by the ball of light.
..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
i just wrote it to get the vibe going im still working on the first chapter :)
 

SailusGebel

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Messages
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i just added the part i was awkward about heres the full on
THE PROLOGUE :
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
We lost.

[SCANNING GUEST]

[&*%$#*(&*&#*&#*#@[email protected]* ]

[ERROR GUEST NOT RECOGNIZED ]

[ERROR PREMESSION NOT GRANTED]

[MANA EXPLOSION EMINENT]

[PLEASE LEAVE]

but we refuse to accept that..I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT!

[ERRO- UNIDENTIFIED MANA CORE DECTECTED]

[MANA CORE RESONANCE DECTECTED]

[INITIATE MANA CORE RESONANCE ]
[YES] [NO]

yes.
[WARNING: GUESTS MANA WAVELENGTH IS RESONATING WITH UNIDENTIFIED HOST ]
[PROCEED (YES) (NO)]
...yes.
[INITIATING ..]
syncronization with host (1.2%)
................................................................................................................................................
In the void, a portal of lighting appeared. 'They' entered earth.
................................................................................................................................................

The Bahamas,
27th March 2020.

It was a sunny day, light breeze and the background sound of the waves. Bahamas was as lively as usual full of energetic tourists on holidays , many of whom were at the beach soaking the sun.

"Man I really needed this vacation. Aah~~"

" I know right. After that shitstorm of work...*sigh* this really helps unwind "

" For real.... by the way Alard what's the next contract on. "

" I think it was some maxican drug lord or some shit."

"NOT AGAIN!! we just went through one can't they just make peace!! "

"..... if they did we would be unemployed ! "

"....true....anyways this great Ange Deniau is getting a drink as much as sunbathing on beach is fun it dehydrating ...want one ?"

"get me a...... wha- WHAT'S THAT"

"What ?"

Ange quickly turned away from the paralysed Alard and look behind him at the coast. A mile down the coast ball of lightning was forming on the surface of the ocean and growing in size.

" WHAT THE FUCK-"

With this ...the world froze.

................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
*sizzel*
the growing ball of lightning above the water finally dispersed. All that remained in its place was a tall distorted humanoid figure a bright crystal in its chest, floating above the surface of the water and hovering above it's shoulders was a glowing ball of light dancing around.

{A primitive world.....but full of life. A nice world isn't it 'Grey'} -eve

"..that it is"

{you sure about starting the resonace it will cause much damage ya'know}-eve

"...."

{ Nevermind, so whats the plan. Wanna check on this 'host' }-eve

" No need ."

{ Aara~ no fun. Whatever, where's the burmuda triangle you guys decide on? }-eve

" follow."

{KyKyy~~}

The distorted figure flew away from the bahamas coast in the opposite direction followed by the ball of light.
..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
i just wrote it to get the vibe going im still working on the first chapter :)
I understand that this chapter was probably left unedited to show off the plot. Just remember to edit your chapters in the future. The first tip, use the free version of Grammarly and\or edit function in Google docs.
The prologue is still too short, way too short. When I checked, it was around 400 words. It's way too little to entice people to read your story. The 'vibe' you are talking about is: the plot is generic and uninteresting. The second tip, add more details and descriptions.
 
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