Thursday, December 29, 2011

long or short?

I tend to write short chapters. Not short like James Patterson--which can, let's face it, no shit, be like a page--but about five or six pages. I used to have an editor who would get very distraught over this. They're too short! They're so short! OMG! They're sooooooooo short...

And so on.

Now I just do it anyway. And here is my reasoning. When I am reading a really good book and want to sneak in just one more chapter before my (________) fill in the blank...I like short chapters. Whether it's errands or writing or cooking dinner. Whatever! The point is, if I rifle the pages and see it's only four pages well...come on! it's only four pages. Who cannot sneak in four pages? I certainly can and bonus: I feel like I'm getting away with something.

So are you a writer? Long or short chapters--do tell! Are you a reader? Do you like long or short? Inquiring nosey ass minds want to know.

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  1. I tend to write very long chapters. Six to ten pages normally. I always feel like they are too long though.

  2. I was just chatting about this, actually...

    As a reader I prefer a nice meaty chapter; something satisfying and hearty. Even if the chapter satisfies on that other level, if it's too short I still get that "WTF?" feeling. I will say, however, I keep reading; gobbling up those short chapters like potato chips until they're all done.

    As a writer, I like a nice balanced approach. Short and long chapters together seem choppy and distracting to me. I'd say I go for medium length, 3 - 4K (6 pages give or take).

    BTW, I noticed how your chapter structure in Learning to Drown kept me turning the pages. I think I devoured that entire book in a few stolen late night hours when I should have been getting some sleep. Something to be said for keeping them wanting for more.

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one who freaks out about writing too little.

  4. My chapters seem to be exactly 5,000 +/- 200 words. Every time. I don't know why, but for some reason, I have that consistency. Now, I've broken up chapters by scene breaks which I later made chapters, but when I write it, 5k words. :)

    As for reading, I like both. I usually have the excuse "I'll do it when I get to the end of the chapter" and, in that case, Fluffy likes short chapters and I like long ones. :)


What sayest thou?