In my opinion three is the magic number. An average novel is 90,000 words. How do I break it up? I break it up like this:
- 90,000 words split into 3 parts (30,000 words each) for opening, middle, end;
- I take each part and split it into 3 parts (10,000 words each). For example, my opening will have an opening, middle, end;
- I take each part and then split it to 3 parts (3,333 words each).
In the end, I will have twenty seven parts or chapters of approximately 3,000 words each, which is a lot less daunting than sitting down to write 90,000 words. But others plan differently, here are three examples from other authors - Joseph Heller, James Joyce and Jack Kerouac.