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.

XOXO
Sommer
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4 comments:

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

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  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.

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

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  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. :)

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