Sunday, October 29, 2006

It only took me thousands and thousands of typed words to find out, but I finally realized that I can be rather anal with my chapter lengths. For example, if I am working on a full-length book, I tend to want my chapters to be exactly 10 pages of single-spaced text each. On very rare occasions, I allow eleven pages or maybe nine pages. On my novellas, I have sometimes set for myself five pages in length for each chapter.

The problem with this rigid ridiculousness is that there may be tons of dialogue, description or background that I want to add, but because I'm trying to keep to my limit per chapter, I cut it off. Sometimes, by the time I'm ready to start the next chapter, I've forgotten the original train of thought. This can cause problems later on.

So, to fix my little control-freak dilemma, I have decided to write my next book using only asterisks for scene breaks. I'll only track number of words and then go back after I've finished to separate it into chapters. I'll keep you posted on my progress and whether I start having withdrawal pains from the loss of control over the pages.

Has anyone ever tried doing this? Was it successful? Do you think I'm insane? :)
posted @ 1:22 PM  
  • At 1:28 AM, Blogger Jodie said…

    THat is a perfect idea -that way you can always end it on a hook

  • At 6:27 AM, Blogger Tara M. Leigh said…

    LOL I usually do asteriks AND chapters! I do freak out when one chapter is 10 pages and another is 2, but someone told me that's how chapters are supposed to be.

    Good luck, breaking habits, especially writing habits are hard!

    With Love,
    Tara M.

  • At 6:44 AM, Blogger AJ Cove said…

    Thanks Jodie. I didn't think of the benefits of the hook. Tara, are chapters really supposed to vary that much? From 2 to 10? I don't think my control could allow that big of a gap. I might collapse.

  • At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Th eone time I wrote in chapter breaks I went back and changed them when I edited.

    I use one centered asterisk and split things later on.

  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Karen Erickson said…

    That's kinda how I write my books anyway. I asterick all my scene breaks and then when I'm almost finished I start breaking them up into chapters.

    I freak a little too when my chapters are different amount of pages but oh well. Sometimes it just works out that way. :)

  • At 8:17 PM, Blogger Tempest Knight said…

    *lol* You're not insane. Okay, maybe a tad. Just kidding! There are a lot of writers who do what you do.

    I'm not one of them, but then again I'm a pantser. And top of that I write in disorder - whatever pops in my mind. I never know where a scene I'm writing goes at the beginning, middle or end until I've written several. It's like playing scrabble. *lol* Now, how's THAT for insane. *wiggles eyebrows*

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Name: A. J. Cove
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