The Book Skeleton

Since I’ve started taking this writing gig seriously I’ve done a ton of research on various book related subjects in order to create a writing structure for myself. A big part of this research and development procedure was spend looking into Story structure.

Amopng all the available sources I found 3 that helped me the most in compiling a sort of book Skeleton. The setup/buildup/layout of a book as a road map to guide me through writing a book and its various components.

Word count

Alongside this research I’ve also looked into word counts. How many words does a novel approximately need to have to be considered a novel? The answer: anywhere between 70.000 – 110.000 is a good base to work from. From there came more questions:

How many words to a chapter?
How many chapters to a novel?
How many pages to a chapter?
How many words to a page?
How many paragraphs to a page?
How many words to a paragraph?
How many words to a sentence?

It took some calculation to get any answers at all to my questions. And as you know, writing a story or even a book obviously is not an exact scenes. Based off of the word count for a novel mentioned earlier the following numbers came out:

How many words to a chapter? Between 3.000 – 4.000 is a good word count for a chapter.
How many chapters to a novel? Approx. 24 chapters make a decent sized novel.
How many pages to a chapter? 10 pages to a chapter.
How many words to a page? Approx. 300 words.
How many paragraphs to a page? Approx. 3 paragraphs to a page. (This does not take dialogue into consideration)
How many words to a paragraph? Approx. 100 words.
How many words to a sentence? Approx. 12 words, give or take. Longer sentences are not a problem as long as you follow them up with a couple of shorter ones. If you are anything like me, and have subconcious habit of writing longer sentences than necesary, this will be a good exercise for you. It really makes you think about what you write and how you can formulate things better.

So that takes care of the word count.

Book Skeleton

I bet you have become mighty curious about this book skeleton of mine eh? Alright, so as stated before I’ve compiled it with the use of 3 main sources. As you will find when doing research, a single source often is not enough to sate your need for information. Therefore it is always good to gather various sources to compare them and take from it what you need. Form your own vision so to speak.

Now for my skeleton I had two main sources: TD Storm’s Novel Structure and Chris Andrews’ Story Structure Diagram. During my writing proces I have been utilising the One Page Novel approach as explained by Eva Deverell. She talks about the 8 stages of plotting and those 8 stages I have added to my skeleton as well. I suggest reading through all 3 of these sources. They were most helpful to me.


Happy writing!