Monday, April 13, 2009

Chapter breaks

I didn't get as much work on the novel done as I wanted to today, but I'm not going to beat myself up over that. I resumed teaching early morning seminary this morning, which requires me to get up at 5am, so that'll take some readjusting to.

I'm to the point where I'm putting in the chapter breaks. Doing this last works best for me, though that isn't the case for everyone. I roughly break up the text into "chapters" as I write, but that's mainly to give myself some roadsigns as I page through and edit.

Some people prefer to structure their chapters at the outset. Daniel Abraham always requires that three things be accomplished every chapter. He calls that his "tick". Some consider the chapter its own little short story, and therefore require that each have a full plot structure. Many like to end chapters with cliffhangers, and I do this too, but this only works for me when I put the chapter breaks in last, because otherwise if I try to insert the cliffhangers and chapter breaks as I write, the cliffhangers are contrived and forced. It's much easier to just put a break in right in the middle of some action that I've already written. The trick to reading a book written in this style is to ignore the chapter breaks and stop reading when the conflict is resolved. That's what I do.

The manuscript will definitely be out this week, though. I'm aiming for Wednesday, and now that I've posted that on my blog, let's see if I can keep to it!

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