Thursday, May 20, 2010

What a Chapter Needs...

Let’s discuss what a chapter needs or should have in it to be considered a good chapter, in your opinion that is.

Should a chapter have a point or should it be just spaced out, so your reader has a place to stop?

Should it start with tense and end with a resolution and another beginning of tense?

Should every chapter have a plot point?

What is the ideal length for a chapter, such as page length that is?

And should a chapter have multiple scenes or just one, so the reader can focus clearly on what’s going on? Or does it not matter?

Thx just a few questions I was wondering how others would answer…


  1. Jeff, I like chapters that have a starting point and have some finality, be it resolution to a problem or a cliff hanger. I guess I like it best when they lead into what is coming next. If you have more than one scene in your chapter they need to flow easily. I don't have a clue of the ideal number of pages in a chapter. I preferr short chapters. :)

  2. I frequently have one long scene that covers multiple chapters. I try to keep them ~3k words, but many don't have a good starting/stopping place. It depends on the novel.

    I don't, however, think I'm typical.