How Many Scenes In A Novel?

So much time and effort goes into writing a novel that it can be confusing knowing where to start.

How Many Scenes In A Novel

One of the most important aspects to every novel is of course scenes.

But if you’ve never written a book before, it can be hard to quantify just how many scenes you will need in order to complete your book.

Is there a set amount of scenes you’re meant to include? Or does this not really matter all that much?

How many scenes are there in a novel? 

This is the question that we are going to answer for you today!

We’re going to cover everything there is to know about how many scenes should be in a novel, as well as how many scenes you should aim for.

We’ll also cover how this can differ depending on the story that you’re writing.

So let’s take a look at everything there is to know about how many scenes should be in a novel!

How Many Scenes Are In A Novel?

It’s important to remember that there is no hard and fast rule as to how many scenes are supposed to be in a novel.

It’s completely up to you what you write, and how many scenes you feel you need to write your story in.

Sometimes you need lots of different scenes to help you write the story that you are trying to tell.

Or if you have a specific story in mind that can be told all in a single scene, perhaps that’s all you need to tell the story in your novel.

However, the general rule of thumb is that there will be between 50 to 60 scenes to make up an entire novel.

It would be admirable to try and tell your whole story using only a handful of scenes, but you would be limiting what you can write about in that time, and how long your novel would be when it’s complete.

You need to use these scenes to help you tell the entirety of your story.

This means having enough plot to stretch across the beginning, the midpoint, and the endpoint.

You need to have lots of room for maneuver in terms of character development, inciting incidents, complications that arise along the way, and how you will resolve the conflict at the end of the novel.

Remember that it doesn’t overly matter if you don’t have exactly 50 to 60 scenes in your novel.

You could have a lot more than this if you’re writing an epic fantasy novel that clocks in at well over 200,000 words.

Or you could have a lot fewer scenes than this if you were writing a middle grade novel that is typically shorter than a young adult or adult novel.

How Many Scenes Are In A Chapter Of A Novel?

How Many Scenes Are In A Chapter Of A Novel?

So we now know that there are roughly around 50 to 60 scenes in an entire novel.

But what about each of the chapters in your novel? How many scenes are there meant to be in each chapter? And is a chapter the same thing as a single scene?

It will all come down to what you would prefer to do as a writer.

Some writers will stick to 1 scene per chapter so as to avoid confusing readers.

However, you could have as many as 2 or 3 scenes in your chapter depending on how long you wish for the chapter to be.

Some writers have even had as many as 24 different scenes in a chapter!

Your chapter should have as many scenes as you need it to in order to tell your story.

Some people prefer the simplicity of a single scene in their chapter, but you can also easily use a page break function to signify a new scene happening.

It will be best to think about how you wish to pace your story, and which would work best for this pacing.

How Long Should Scenes In A Novel Be?

There is no right or wrong answer as to how long your scenes should be.

It will all come down to how long you need your scene to be in order to tell your story.

You may find that you only need a couple of words to show what happens at a certain point in your book.

Or you may find that you need the scene to be longer so that you can cover every element of the plot that you need to in this particular scene.

On the whole, a scene tends to be between 1,000 to 5,000 words in length.

You will find that you naturally reach something between this length once you have finished writing everything that you need to in your scene.

A scene has to serve purpose for the narrative, otherwise there’s no point including it in your story.

Try not to worry about how long you think your scene should be. Instead, think about what information you need to get across to the reader at this point.

In Summary

So there you have it! You now know that the average amount of scenes in a standard novel tends to be around 50 to 60 scenes.

This will of course differ if you are writing a larger novel, which could have up to 200 scenes if you are writing something like an epic fantasy.

If you are writing a shorter novel, then this could have less than 50 scenes altogether.

It will all depend on the story that you are writing, and how many scenes are needed to help you tell that story.

Ultimately it will depend on how many scenes you feel are needed to tell the story.

It’s best not to focus on including a certain amount of scenes, and instead just focus on telling your story.

You will naturally reach a similar amount of scenes to the typical average. It’s best to just sit back and enjoy telling your story!

Alan Reiner

Alan Reiner

Hi, my name is Alan Reiner and I have been in the writing industry for almost seven years. I write articles that can span from 200 words all the way to 20,000 words every single day. How do I do it? With a lot of determination. All my way through school and college, I hated long-form assignments. I could never get into the groove of working on one piece for an extended period of time. My pieces were always late because I didn’t have the motivation to type them, let alone edit them.