Just a brief comment on the chapters thread. Elmore Leonard says
someplace that when writing a book you need to consider the white
space as much as text. The idea is a page that has a lot of short
punchy dialog and short paragraphs appears less dense and thus more
penetrable (readable) to the reader. Of course one can create this
effect and not have chapters. But why? Just makes the book appear
(even if it is not) to be unending. The trend in the opposite direction towards very short chapters particularly in thrillers also helps transform a yarn into a page turner.
Then there is another structural advantage to a chapter. Long or
short, if properly constructed it has a beginning (something to drawn
you into the chapter), a middle (something happens) and an end. The
latter has a duel and sometimes contradiictory purpose - to bring the
action in the chapter to some kind of conclusion and to pull the
reader in to the next chapter (cliffhanger). Thus so from time to time
an effective chapter ending may be in the middle of the action.
Chapter numbers are only a convention like an asterisk or other marker
or a space between scenes.
The interesting structural problem occurs when one constructs a
chapter of more than one scene, What unifies the material to the point
of requiring a chapter division? Time? Simultaneous or sequential
Setting? There needs to be something beyond having reached pg 10 or
20 or whatever is the length you like for chapter lengths.
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