RARA-AVIS: How important are chapters?

From: Rob Kantner (rob@9sg.com)
Date: 01 Jul 2008

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    Like many, I've always segmented books into chapters. Sometimes chapter breaks are consistent with episode breaks, sometimes not. My habit has been to put a chapter break at a place where there's an element of suspense that will propel the reader to start the next chapter rather than picking that place to quit reading.

    But I've had the thought, in working on the new one -- how important is it to break a book into chapters? If you have episodes with an obvious break in between them, what is the point of also designating chapters with numbers, etc.? Back in the day, chapters often had titles, which when done right provided another element of suspense. That's not done much any more (and I've never done it).

    Longwinded way of asking the wizards of RA, especially as readers: how important is it, in your mind, for a book to be divided into chapters?

    Thanks, Rob Kantner www.robkantner.com/

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