Chapters

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Chapters

Postby pokiepup » 24 Dec 2012, 18:39

Yellow all :me: hope all you are having a good night or day (night for me) I've just be mauling this around as I now enter my sixth chapter. I know it all depends on the writer for most part but i wanted to see how everyone feels about it. How many chapters are to many? How long should they be? How many scenes in them? Just been wondering.
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Re: Chapters

Postby FranW » 24 Dec 2012, 18:47

I reckon it doesn't really matter all that much.

Readers in general are accustomed to chapters that are 3000 - 5000 words long, each containing 2 - 4 scenes, but as long as the story and chapter layout is fairly consistent, I reckon readers are pretty flexible.
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Re: Chapters

Postby PaulaO » 24 Dec 2012, 19:13

My chapters tend to be 10-18 pages, double spaced, 1" margins. So anywhere from 3-6000.

But, really, don't worry about that as you are writing the first round. Just write it. I usually put a # between each scene as I write then later worry about where to start/end chapters.
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Re: Chapters

Postby pokiepup » 24 Dec 2012, 19:22

Hm so pretty much along what i was thinking. So do you all name your chapters or no? I find it very rare when people name them and i don't know why. I feel compelled to do so.
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Re: Chapters

Postby FranW » 24 Dec 2012, 19:55

Given how much changes for me between first draft and last draft, I don't even bother to number the scenes!
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Re: Chapters

Postby pokiepup » 24 Dec 2012, 20:04

Hm maybe thats why I have never really gone back once it's done and did the editing. Of course I've gone back and fixed spelling but i mean changing and working scenes and such. I heard that is the worst part with how many times you have to re-read and re-write everything.
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Re: Chapters

Postby FranW » 24 Dec 2012, 20:20

Well, everyone writes differently. Some people are incredibly organised and outline obsessively, so the first draft pretty much is the final draft. Others start with a single idea or line of prose and type madly away, going randomly in all directions, and when they get to the end they have the very rough bones of a story. Then they start all over again from scratch and write the story that got developed via the first draft. And others yet follow a zillion different permutations of those possibilities.
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Re: Chapters

Postby pokiepup » 24 Dec 2012, 20:27

Hm. Well i think I'm in the middle. I know where I'm going but I dont sit for hours and plan it out prob should though lol
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Re: Chapters

Postby ElaineB » 25 Dec 2012, 01:49

Everyone is different, but for me, the story came in bits and pieces out of order. I wrote them down as they came to me, then tried to figure out the order. I mean, I knew when a scene was taking place, but then had to make all the scenes flow from one to another. I probably put them into chapters too soon, so then had to do a lot of moving around (even deleting a whole chapter). For yourself, you do need some sort of marker, whether it's a number or name, until you finish.

As to naming chapters, some writers do that--When Women Were Warriors, for example. But generally, I don't think it's necessary. In that case, it's such a long book that if you want to go back to a certain point in it, it helps to have the titles as markers. Or you might do it if you are changing POV. Some book I read recently did that, but even then only once all the POV-characters had been introduced. After that, you could tell who's chapter it was. (Dang if I can remember the book! Might have been Thendara House.)

You might take a book you really like and pull it apart (figuratively). I did that when I was trying to figure out the magic number for chapter length. I was intrigued to see in the book I looked at that some chapters were quite short, many a similar length, then, when the story got really intense, there was a very long chapter. So it depends on the flow of the story, where the climaxes are. It's not easy to see from within the writing, and my novel hasn't been published so I have no idea if what I'm saying is anything other than complete bullshit.
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Re: Chapters

Postby Sacchi » 25 Dec 2012, 03:04

If chapters are very different from one another, as in emphasizing different points, shifting to very different locations, changing viewpoints, giving them titles might be helpful. But if the change is mainly a matter of time, that is beginning a few hours after the ending action of the previous chapter, I wouldn't see any point in it.
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