Chapter Length

Writing to sell can be complicated. Obviously you want your book well-written and thoroughly edited. Obviously you want to have a sense of rising action, climax, and payoff. Obviously you want consistency in both character and action. However, there’s something I’ve noticed as a reader and I don’t think the implications to writing can be avoided, unfortunately.

In a recent video, Chris Fox talks about chapter length, and I already had a pretty good idea of what he was going to say before I watched it. Basically, our culture is now such that everybody’s got a pretty short attention span–even readers, who might normally dodge a trend like this. The idea is that readers will be more responsive to a book if they have lots of chances to duck out when someone sends them a text, or they need to respond to a family member, or what have you. If they’re not interrupted and keep reading, great. But a writer should give the reader the chance to breathe, take a break, do whatever they need to, and then come back. Now, my chapters are pretty long–Chris Fox recommends shooting for 2000 words per chapter, and mine tend to be MUCH longer than that. However, in my formatting I clearly separate my paragraphs. So I’m not sure if this is something I ought to worry about.

It’s probably not a bad practice anyway, but my planning and outlining will be a little thrown off if I try to follow this trend with Closer Than Familyat least at this point. And I do want to get started with the serious writing in the next couple of days…

I’m definitely not sure there’s an easy answer.

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