Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chapter Revelation


After completing Chapter 2 and hearing back the good and the bad, I came to the conclusion that I have an affinity to bloat chapters to a ten thousand word giants. I initially wanted to talk about the process behind creation of a novel physically: paper vs. screen vs. mind process and such, but I do am quite the fleeting the bird.

From the books I have read chapters span from might long [twenty pages] to mighty short [less than one page, even a paragraph] and it varies from writer to writer. But chapter breaks are as elusive as everything else [hence, the sudden burst of individuality, when talking about them]. It all depends on the story and the eyes with which the writer looks at the story. In 'Spellwright' by Blake Charlton, I have seen some interesting chapter breaks, which jarred the reading process at times as they came mid-mid-scene [if such a term exists]. In a different novel, though I do not quite recall the title, the author had a sentence long sentences.

I, myself, have an affinity for the longer chapters, though I think I view the story as a whole and while I work, I neglect to add natural pauses for the reader. The skill to sever the story into new standing segments to give the reader a chance to rest and still hook him/her to continue reading is quite vital. In this regard I decided to cut up the chapters I have and from two produce five, but it took some time to see through the bigger scenes to find the best spots to operate upon.

When writing a novel, do you always nail the chapter break or do you mince the text later on?


T.D. Newton said...

Mince the text later on. You'll never get it perfect on the first try.

Harry Markov said...

@ TD: It seems like a valid strategy and I tend to agree.