Writing

Chapters

Cassie has a post on chapters, whether or not we write in them and if so how and why and such. Good grief girl! What does a book look like without chapters? Having said that, I’m not one to comment. I used to write rambling short stories that just got longer and longer.

I guess from there I discovered scene breaks, and from there, chapters. chapters to me are a good way of moving to a new location, or finishing off whatever particular piece of information I’m trying to get out. Hmmm, actually, I think a thought on chapters is a timely one, given I’m in editing mode.

When I started my novel I was working in chapters at about 2.5k a piece. When I edited, I noticed that some of the longer chapters needing breaking in half, mostly because I ended up writing some chapters as two similar scenes. When I read them, I realized they were better broken into chapters.

Then I started thinking more critically. What does this chapter do exactly. What is it meant to do, what should it be doing. A chapter is a piece of text that pushes the story forward. It’s far easier to break editing into chapters. And now, finally, I’m chopping and changing chapters. So they are like the building blocks of the novel. Even rewriting chapters so that they do their jobs better.

Final thought on chapters. Tananarive Due’s book The Good House has beautiful chapters. They all end at a climax that made me want to read the next, just to find out what’s going on. I tried to emulate that style since, but I don’t think I’m doing it as well yet.

When I get to Pope, I think I’ll be easier with my chapters. Whatever length it takes to get the part of the story told, and each chapter being a part of the story, usually a new scene.

Consider this some Sunday morning rambling.

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One thought on “Chapters

  1. I simply cannot imagine writing without chapters–they come naturally to me. Normally they end with a POV shift or the scene ending, but it all depends really. I think my chapters are probably too long though and I’m gonna end up with more…

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