I have been writing a lot on my book lately. It seems like every few days I tweet that another chapter is done. Yesterday was one of those days and about 5 hours after tweeting someone asked me, "Do u have advice when it comes to chapter writing? How do u know how many u should write? Length for each chapter?" I realized it was another one of those questions I couldn't answer in 140 characters, so, today's blog topic. Alinanegrau, this one's for you.
Chapter writing is one of those topics that have no right answer. I've seen books that have 12 chapters, each with 10 pages or books that have 30 chapters with 3 pages each. I'm currently reading Dead to You by Lisa McMann whose first two chapter are single pages, front and back before she moves on to a longer chapter. At the end of the day, it's about what's best for your book and best to tell the story.
For me, I think of chapter writing like putting together a PowerPoint presentation for work. The first thing any presentation class will tell you is to break up your topics onto individual slides. For example, if you're presenting ideas for a party, you would break up food options and entertainment onto two separate slides. I think of my chapters in the same concept. If I want to show my main character being bullied in school on the same day she has a date, then I split them up into two chapters giving each plot point their due diligence.
The length of the chapters will vary depending on how much time I need to adequately show the two plot points. In that case, for me, it's a feeling. There are times when I get to the end and realize that this is the perfect place to stop as well as times when I get to the end and it doesn't feel like the end and I keep writing. The idea is not to force the chapter either way. Even with revision, sometimes a chapter can be told just as well when it's short as when it's long.
As this is my opinion, here are two links for articles from The Writer's Digest. And if you haven't subscribed to their email newsletter yet, I say do so. It's got some great tips.
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