|So much to read, so little time!|
At the moment, my novel isn't split into chapters. It was, but then I stopped and figured I'd worry about it later (when I get out the BIG RED PEN). I've broken up scenes - it happens quite naturally - but I stopped consciously forcing chapter breaks. I just want to get the story down and keep the flow going.
When I do start breaking this thing up, I'll have to think about the length of each chapter. As a reader, I like shorter chapters because it keeps the pace snappy. As a writer, I have a terrible tendency to ramble on and on, but that's a hang-up from writing serialised fanfiction, where each chapter had to last the readers for days, weeks or even months before I got the next one done.
How about you guys? Long or short? Is 5,000 words too long? Too short? Just right? Chapters can be a pain – you want them to flow and be engaging, but you need to break somewhere to give the reader a chance to catch their breath. Finding the right moment can be so hard.
And here's another thought – do you name chapters or just number them? I've experimented with both and I definitely prefer numbers, but titles have the benefit of offering snippets of what's to come. As a reader, I have no preference but as a writer, I stick with numbers.
And then of course some books get split into parts and sections aaaaaaand, well, nothing I've written is epic enough for that ;)