How to Chapter a Book

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  1. Nanny J.O.A.T. profile image72
    Nanny J.O.A.T.posted 9 years ago

    Hey! all you published gods and goddesses of the Written Word:

    I have a question that has come up on a project I am working on that those who have published books can help me with

    Chapters - Every book's got em - How long should they be - what's determines chapter breaks- is it up to the author?

    Any other info I don't know enough yet to ask?


  2. Nanny J.O.A.T. profile image72
    Nanny J.O.A.T.posted 9 years ago

    bumping up - thanks smile

  3. Nanny J.O.A.T. profile image72
    Nanny J.O.A.T.posted 9 years ago

    one last bump - any takers - anyone at all?

  4. alexd181 profile image59
    alexd181posted 9 years ago

    I once came across some words of wisdom: when writing a book each chapter should be like a miniskirt, short enough to keep them interested, and long enough to cover the essentials.

    I usually end up moving and totally changing the entire chapter structure from when I first planned it to the final product. The content just seems to fit into place naturally when you don't force it. It's a very intuitive process for me smile

    1. Joelle Burnette profile image85
      Joelle Burnetteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      lol...I like that.

  5. Nanny J.O.A.T. profile image72
    Nanny J.O.A.T.posted 9 years ago

    Thanks Alex - I have someone who has a novel in process and the discussion came up as to how many words/pages they usually run or when to break the action - stuff like that.

    There are several main characters so that makes it harder than a straight narrative or technical book.

    So you've given me a good starting point and I thank you. Maybe others have other suggestions that would be helpful as well.

  6. cindyvine profile image81
    cindyvineposted 9 years ago

    Nanny, there is no set length to the length of a chapter.  It can be as long or as short as you want it.  If you are writing from different points of view, then to help the reader not get lost and confused, it's best to have each new point of view have its own chapter.  What I tend to do, is come up with my main crisis/problem that the book ius going to be about.  Then I think about all the steps or incidents that can happen which will build towards that crisis and help maintain the readers' interest.  I then write down the incidents as chapter headings, although in the final manuscript I won't use those headings.  It just helps me with the structure and to maintain the flow.  I try and end each chapter a little up in the air, so that the reader will want to continue reading.  You really want to hook the reader.  Another thing I try and do is have a mini-crisis or problem in each chapter, so that each chapter could almost stand alone as a short story, but yet it still ties in with your main problem and theme of the book.  Gosh, I am rambling on.  Not sure if this has helped or made much sense.

  7. Nanny J.O.A.T. profile image72
    Nanny J.O.A.T.posted 9 years ago

    Cindy Luv - you have made perfect sense!! That's exactly what I needed to help out. I just didn't know how to put it into words so that I could get what I was trying to help out with make sense to another person. 

    Great big hug for you!!!!! (and chocolate - all great ideas and thoughts need chocolate!)

  8. cindyvine profile image81
    cindyvineposted 9 years ago

    Thanks Nanny, glad I could be of help.  Talking about chocolate makes me think of yesterday when we went crazy on the religion forum with chocolate, ipods, wine, spas and other very interesting stuff.  Poor Brenda will never be the same!


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