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Sleuth16
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎11-05-2007
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Problem-Chapters

Um, yeah. I need to ask a question about something that always stops me. How do you know, or when is it best to start a new chapter?

I always have a major issue deciding, and everyone tells me so many different things, it's confusing. any advice? I am very grateful for any at this point.
"Lousy but Loyal" is pretty much the way I'm meant to be.
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters

you don't really even need chapters, if you have trouble deciding when to end a chapter.

just write!

some stories will reveal chapter Start/Ends as you plow thru, some just don't and that's OK too. That's the easiest way to think about it.

if you feel that you MUST have chapters, it's still often best to hammer out a draft just to get the story out, before sifting thru and finding those places to break the action into sections, which would make good chapter-breaks. Look for those places where you Add A Character, do some Build-Up, Exposition, or Conflict, and deal some level of pay-off without reaching the final end... if all those things happen in quick succession, without taking up too much space in the overall story, HEY! you found yourself a chapter!!

if you have written such a complex, far-reaching and overlapping tale where there is no real resolution to any conflict until that final page, then you may be best to forego chapter breaks altogether, and just let the story tell itself in one massive chunk.

Next, would be the decision to Name Chapters, or just Number them; this decision is made easier by the subject and conflict/resolution found in each chapter. Consider Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings . His chapters are broken down by the major events of the Fellowship in their travels and trevails across Middle-Earth to Mordor with the One Ring, and each chapter is titled quite-fittingly to hint at what the reader will read about within the chapter, without telling the whole tale or giving too much away in just the single chapter or its title.

it's not tough to figure where chapters should come in, begin or end. Just tell the story and let those details resolve themselves along with the rest of it.

good luck!
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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zip_zap_zop
Posts: 485
Registered: ‎06-17-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters

hey slueth!

i usually stop a chapter when something really exciting or suspenseful happens...a cliff hanger is always good. :smileyvery-happy:

another thing...when the characters have a deep and meaningful talk...for example, in my book, when Luke nd Naya consloe each other, i ended the chapter when luke said "you're not alone" because i didn't want to include her reaction. it's a shortcut i sometimes use when i can't think of anything.

good luck!





love zip
"line?"
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Sleuth16
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎11-05-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters

Thanks. :smileyhappy:

People kept telling me I needed chapters, like marked Chapter 1 and such, but it gave me problems. That really helped. Thanks
"Lousy but Loyal" is pretty much the way I'm meant to be.
How 'bout you?
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agnijay
Posts: 1,987
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters

Ending Chapters at funny lines is also a good technique.
☼☺♥ Jaya ♥☺☼

If we crawl/ Till we can walk again/ Then we'll run/ Until we're strong enough to jump/ Then we'll fly/ Until there is no end.
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zip_zap_zop
Posts: 485
Registered: ‎06-17-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters

interesting signature, slueth.

have you ever tried a tofu taco? they rock
"line?"
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Sleuth16
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎11-05-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters



zip_zap_zop wrote:
interesting signature, slueth.

have you ever tried a tofu taco? they rock




Tofu Taco? That sounds...er.... to put it mildly, interesting. Not trying to turn this whole thing to tacos and food, but have you ever tried taking a soft taco shell, adding chedder and mozzerella, hamburger, salt, sugar, and drinking a powerade with it? That rocks. :smileyhappy:
"Lousy but Loyal" is pretty much the way I'm meant to be.
How 'bout you?
Frequent Contributor
zip_zap_zop
Posts: 485
Registered: ‎06-17-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters

well, no. and i don't think anytime soon, either...veggie, you see.

sounds simply scrumtious, though.(try saying that five times fast)
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agnijay
Posts: 1,987
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters

Yeah see, I don't EAT soft tacos unless my friend's mom makes them
☼☺♥ Jaya ♥☺☼

If we crawl/ Till we can walk again/ Then we'll run/ Until we're strong enough to jump/ Then we'll fly/ Until there is no end.
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Sleuth16
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎11-05-2007
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Re: Problem-Chapters

:smileyhappy: Understandable. They are good with hard taco shells, too, though. The best taco I've ever had, though, are plain soft taco shells with cheese, then microwaved for like thirty seconds. Waaay better than taco bell.
"Lousy but Loyal" is pretty much the way I'm meant to be.
How 'bout you?