Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Writing a good story Part V- Chapters

Dear Readers,

As I said in earlier posts, it all has to do with the planning. This post is also related to the planning. When you plan, you also have to incorporate the fact of chapter lengths. You cannot go through a book without chapters however, some authors have done a variation of the chapter theme. That will come later.

Anyway, when writing, chapter lengths have to be consistent except for one thing- emotion. If, for example, a character has died, then you can go on about that in a few chapters. A book that I read, but cannot remember the title had something along those lines. A few chapters were just one word. And you read it like a sentence, except it was a few chapters that made up the sentence. That broke my rule but only because it had emotion. It was about death. Generally that rule breaker will be about death. Anyway, onto lighter things. If you are not consistent, then your readers may be unimpressed. Although chapter length is not a major problem, it could really give you that finished edge on your writing. However, if your writing so fantastic, then nothing will make your readers put the book down. So, this post is mainly about finishing touches. Content has already been dealt with in previous posts, but I will do more on it later.

In my introduction, I mentioned authors that had changed the chapter system. A book by John Green, called Paper Towns, did not have chapters, but hours, or time periods before and after the main event in the book. My American readers will be familiar with Green’s work. Another American Author is Rainbow Rowell. Now, in her book Eleanor and Park, she has chapter, but they are sort of separated. In the chapter there are many different views. First there is Eleanor, then Park, then Eleanor, then Park etc., because they are the main characters in the book. Although she does include chapters, I thought it was a little different from the normal way of chapter structure.

·      Keep your chapter length consistent
·      Try variations- see if it is your thing
·      Only have one word or sentence long chapters if it is focusing on emotion

Richard Mills