Musings Monday on Chapters

Monday Musings is another meme by MizB.  I had planned a post on chapters and it just so happened to go along with Monday Musings.  Here are the rules:

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I’ve just reading 2 books.  One had short chapters and the other had kind of long chapters.  It made me think of chapter lengths.  As a writer, you have to decide when and where to divide your story so it helps to move the story along.  It’s easy if you’re Rick Riodan, you just give each character roughly 3 chapters at a time before you jump into the head of another character.  And each chapter ends with a problem.  Other writers have different ways they decide on ending a chapter.  For some it is a length of time, each chapter is a day in the life.

When I write, my chapters tend to be centered around a goal, a little more than a scene.  The characters have something they are trying to accomplish.

As a reader, I prefer short chapters.  I usually read in small bits of time, between errands or at lunch.  Small chapters give me the chance to finish a chapter.  I can stop at a designated spot and not worry about having to find my spot when I pick it back up.  I’m notorious for losing my spot and having to start the page over.   Which is what I have to do with the book I’m reading now.  I’m not telling you what book it is, I haven’t decided if  I like it enough to finish.

In the great scheme of life, chapter length isn’t important.  I will read books with long or short chapters.  But I do have a preference and that preference influence my writing.  The flip side of that is, I love big fat books.  You know what I’m talking about, the ones heavy enough to cause lower back pain from the strain of carrying it.   The perfect book would be 4inches thick with 1090 chapters.

How do you like your books?  Short chapters or long?



5 thoughts on “Musings Monday on Chapters

  1. I just finished the new novel Florence Gordon (which I loved) and the chapters varied from less than a page to ten pages or more. At first I thought it would be a bit distracting and choppy, but I very quickly got into the rhythm of the author’s style. I think that if the writing is good, the length of the chapters isn’t really important.


  2. I don’t really consider chapter length anymore – there was a time when I had to read to the end of a chapter but now I’m happy to stop mid-way and pick the story up again when I next read… maybe a consequence of reading too many books with long chapters?


  3. Pingback: Joining Author’s Answer with Jay and Row80 | C.K.Rich

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