How to Decide the Chapter Length in Fiction

Hi folks!

We authors often face doubts in our ability. The best writers would rather hide their manuscript in the drawer than bear the criticism. So it takes guts to share our creation with the world. We doubt everything. Even things we know. So it always helps to go over writing craft tips again and again.

One question that every one of us wonders one time or another is how long should we keep the chapters. We don’t want to break off in the middle of the scene and neither do we want an unending chapter which leaves the reader word-breathless. Let’s go over which factors are important in deciding the chapter length in fiction.

Genre: This is the most important factor which counts in my opinion. If you’re writing a thriller, you want pace and action. Short chapters, especially with terse headings indicating time and/or place lend speed to the story and make the reader turn the pages faster. This adds buzz to the reading. So limit your chapters to 1000 to 1500 words if you write a mystery.

On the other hand, if you’re writing literary fiction, you want to hold the reader’s hand and guide them through life’s unraveling truths. In this case, long chapters, possibly even without section breaks are better. The flow of the writing keeps going inexorably and the reader wants to absorb the words rather than skip through the pages. Here chapters can be 5000 words and your reader won’t mind.

Change of setting/Time elapse: If you change the setting or your character moves to a different place or if you jump to another time, then it’s better to start a new chapter. This will tell your reader that a change in place or time is indicated.

POV: This is important but at the same time also a matter of choice. You should ideally have one POV per chapter. In romance genre, if you write for both protagonists, then you can alternate between each. But you shouldn’t make it a hard and fast rule. Sometimes it wouldn’t suit your story to have a particular scene in that character’s POV, whose turn has come up. Then feel free to break the rule. Even so, try to have a section break to show that the point of view has changed or you can be accused of head hopping.

These are the most important things to consider in my view. What do you consider the most important factor while deciding chaper length? Do share in the comments.

For most writing tips, check out my Helpful Tips for Writers publication, Conflict in Fiction available as Amazon kindle edition at only 99 cents. In this booklet, you will find how to build conflict and how to categorize conflict in your fiction work. A special section for conflict in romance fiction is included.

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#Review #AgainstTheTide #historical #romance by Summerita Rhayne

Please to receive such a lovely review from book blogger and critic Metroreader for Against The Tide, historical romance set in ancient India.

“The cover is so apt and beautiful,” she says. “The author has beautifully portrayed the ancient times with detailed descriptions of scenes and characters. The characters have been etched in detail. Even the secondary characters have a role to play in the story.”

Read the full review at:

https://metroreader.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/against-the-tide-the-king-and-the-concubine-by-summerita-rhayne/

Check out the book at:

#excerpt #AgainstTheTide #historical #romance #AgainstTheTide #newrelease #History

Hi folks, sharing a snippet from Against The Tide- The King and the Concubine, a historical romance set in ancient India which is a newly released book and already no. 1 new release at Amazon.

Enjoy the extract!

……..

Excerpt:

He often glanced at her in an intent way, but now his gaze was so intense, it took her breath away and sent an answering surge through her being, so powerful that she was scared of what it meant. Warnings of her mother resounded in her brain. A concubine could never aspire to respectability or to wifely status. She must captivate and hold attention, while keeping her inner self apart from the man and her heart intact. Lohana could not sustain his gaze and let her lashes fall, lest she betray what she wanted to hide. He came close and tugged at her improvised mask to reveal her mouth, then bent down and kissed her – a soft persuasive touch that swept her senses like the wind, taking way her restraint. A trembling awareness ripped through her. This tenderness was unlooked for. Passion, yes, coy glances, flirtation. His confession could have been a compliment. But somehow it wasn’t. It was homage, and so was the kiss…

……………

Blurb:
Can a concubine fall in love?
Lohana knows she cannot even dream of everlasting love. Trained to captivate men for their wealth and proficient in the required arts, a concubine like her is not meant to be a partner for life for anyone and most certainly not for the king. But King Jayatshatru has managed to steal her heart.
In the politics of aristocracy, germs of intrigue flourish hidden behind the ornate doors. As love grows stronger, the plotting against her deepens…

Check out the book at:

#review #Afterthefuneral by #AgathaChristie #whodunnit

This is Agatha Christie’s 29th book, maybe 30th as listed in some of the lists. If you enjoy Poirot’s mysteries, there is no reason to miss this one.

​I picked up this book because of the intriguing blurb and, of course, because of Poirot too. It didn’t disappoint. I had read the dentist one earlier (One, two, Buckle My Shoe) and found it a bit far fetched, in that the detective knew special facts which were outside the reach of the reader. In such a situation, the reader can’t be expected to have a surmise of their own. However, in this book, the facts are laid out and you can even make your own guesses. Without actually steeping up the action, Christie manages to increase the anticipation of revelation towards the end. Quite unputdownable and interesting as it provides an interesting theory of how others see us as compared to how we see ourselves. Also the tricky role of mirrors in our life.

#Bestseller in #Amazon category #top100paid #SecondChanceAtForever #SCAF 

Hi all, today I am happy to share some nice book news that I came across. Seems Second Chance At Forever is doing good at Amazon. Found it at no. 38 in its category at Amazon US.

If you like, you can share the news by tweeting the following:

#SecondChanceAtForever  #SCAF at no.38 in its category at Amazon. com. A heartwarming romance about second chances.

https://www.amazon.com/Second-Chance-Forever-Summerita-Rhayne-ebook/dp/B01IE40CTM 

You can add the accompanying picture as well.

Thank you.

#review #BathTangle by Georgette Heyer 

Bath Tangle is a historical romance by Georgette Heyer. It features two strong protagonists and a sort of double romance with two secondary characters which are much more likeable than the main characters.

​I really didn’t know how to rate this book. The beginning and the end are so much better than the middle.

First of all, I had a different impression of it than what the book turned out to be. I picked it up, thinking it would be something in the line of a light adventure, maybe similar to the Corinthian. The cover gives the impression of more liveliness than is present in the story. 

*Warning for spoilers ahead.*

The start gives us a different picture of the heroine than what we find as the book progresses. She doesn’t come across as headstrong and bad tempered in the beginning, but soon that image is dispelled. The book becomes dull for a few pages but perks up as the setting changes. 

Serena and Ivo are not very lovable or aspiring protagonists. The plus about the book is they had been depicted with all their faults without any excuses. However, continued clashes and battle of wills just makes the reader tired. The ending provided some insight and of course a lot of romance but I did wonder what sort of life they would have together if they can’t get along with each other. Moreover, they are unlikely to retain many friends either. A romance rather like Wuthering Heights, though a bit mellower.

Another thing I missed was that very little explanation was given for their past. Little or no account why they became engaged or why it failed. It would have helped to understand them better.

The reason I ended up giving four stars was that there was an uplifting feeling in reading Serena’s totally independent nature. She does become aspiring in the sense that she doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion and cuts herself no slack, so to speak. However, it is clear she can do as she pleases because of the license her position and social status gives her, so that takes away any feeling that she has faced any hardships to become what she is. Still it was good to read this sort of female character.

#Review Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns is a piece of fiction by John Green. It can be called as a suspense. I would even call it an emotional suspense.

When you read something moving, you can no longer elaborate on it dispassionately. So I’m not really reviewing but actually going into a discussion about the book. As far as the review portion is concerned, my verdict is, it should be read. Though it might make you feel as frustrated as I felt when I finally put it down. But the whole aura of emotional thriller and the underlying quest of finding the physical person and the person will stimulate your mind. The ending was a bit of a letdown.

**Spoilers alert.**

That is why, I say this is not a review. I can’t opine on things without mentioning what those things are. So, go read the book and then come back here and agree/disagree with me.
There are many things to criticize in this book. Some people behave very unnaturally. There’s much of what teens ‘should’ consider cool. For instance, I saw nothing bad in Q’s parents. They were devoted to him. So why should the author applaud him for lying to them? It seems he wasn’t quite sure if teens can be honest to their parents.

The whole vandalism thing in the beginning was also nothing to write home about.

He overdid the infatuation thing. He could ‘smell’ her in spite of algae and all the romanticism…I realize it was put there to look like it, but still!

And the overriding question. Was the end natural? He loved her enough to chase after her and do everything, not feel angry at her when he finds her (his reaction was way too cool, he was an angel about it all!) and then – when it came to it, he didn’t love her enough to go with her? Mighty unbelievable to me.

Why couldn’t he just ask his parents to help him fly out to the place? Again moot question in the story but valid if you think logically about it after shutting the book.

The character of Margo isn’t justified. That’s the only word I can use. It isn’t justified and so that’s why Q isn’t justified in loving her. Even though that is the point. Still, in the end, he does love her. Or they would have parted with not too many regrets. The waters are muddy here.

However, the ideas in the book are like emotional tantalizers. You do get immersed in the story. Into the book. Brilliant, clever writing. Convincing, clearly depicted characters. It leaves you with more questions than answers. Maybe that’s the point. But in the end, just like it is said in the book…the planning is more fun than reaching…so was the reading more fun than the ending. Q becomes somewhat of a paper boy because he did what a real person wouldn’t and in exalting him, the story was defeated.

going back to Margo, I couldn’t forgive her for her behavior. Were her parents so nasty that she had to be like that? What did I miss? I had the idea that the author went too much into child mind…real and imagined hurts. A teen is more capable of reasoning and evaluation or so I think. She was just a girl. That’s the protagonist’s discovery. But doesn’t he live in the real world? Girls are not like that. So, just a girl wasn’t her either.
Well, it’s a mystery isn’t it? However, I have read whodunits tying up plots more tidily than it did. It manages to hold interest for 300 odd pages. It has some very good quotes and observations. I wish there could have been a big revelation at the end tying everything together. Even with the downsized twist and some overdone moments, it makes to the recommended category.
I give it four stars.

Have you read the book? What are your thoughts on it?