Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Nugget From National

Now it can be told. The secret is out.

According to bestselling author Joan Johnston, one of the ways to write an unputdownable novel is to...(wait for it)...write short chapters!

Well...gee...I've been doing that all along, haven't I?? Even in the face of countless blogs and how-to books that said chapters *should* consist of approximately 3 scenes and be about 15 pages.

Not mine, I thought rebelliously. 'Cuz when it comes to my own reading experience, how often do I flip to the end of a chapter to see how many pages are left? (Translation: do I keep going? Or do I go ahead and put the book down mid-chapter? Well, you see where that leads...long chapters = a tendency to put the book aside before you've gotten to the hook that'll keep you reading.)

And let's face it, between cable TV, video games, surfing the web--oh, and (for some) feeding the rugrats--who needs a saga which appears to require huge chunks of time? Breaking it down into smaller doses is much less daunting.

I don't have my notes in front of me, but Joan spoke of books with (eek)
upwards of eighty--ninety chapters. Okay, for me that's going a teensy bit too far.

Still...I'm lovin' the new-found freedom of writing whatever damn-length chapters I choose. Y'know, now that I've got the seal of approval from the likes of Joan Johnston.

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