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scarletdragon3016

So...

 

1) Just how long is a chapter to be too long?

 

2) Is describing characters in the first chapter, e.g. habits, appearance, etc., really that necessary, or is it going to become tedious to read?

 

3) How much background should be revealed in the first chapter? Is the exposition only focused mostly on this chapter?

 

4) What is an usually ideal way to end a chapter in method, such as suspense, end of exposition, etc.?

 

5) How many characters should be introduced?

 

I may have more questions, xD, but you don't have to answer the questions, or all of them, or in order (rest in peaces, my grammar). I just need tips. :)

 

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parakeetpanther60

Bumping this cause I wanna know too... I feel like Christy would know, but she's not active on the SAMB

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Ooh, I love answering things like these!

 

1.) there is no too long, as long as it pertains to the main idea of what you're going for. If you stray too far from the main point that you want to get to in said chapter, then you e gone too far

 

2.) it isn't exactly necessary, but at the same time you need some of it. Most of this one's a judgement call. You want to introduce your characters on a relatable level, but you don't want to throw everything on the board

 

3.) Again, it depends. If you want to throw in a lot, then go for it, but only if it fits the plot

 

4.) depending on what your doing, you can do cliffhangers or something that signals the end. I personally go for the cliffhanger, but once again, it depends

 

5.) no more than five on the first chapter. Otherwise, it gets confusing and hard to follow

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tsunamininja5

- Chapters can be as long as you want, but a good rule of thumb is to start a new one whenever there's a major turn of events/change in location. Or a new point of view, obviously. But for very long chapters, use breaks in the text, like this:

 

A blade glinted in the moonlight. Loki tried to fight back, but he was frozen in time, frozen in reality.

 

The blade came closer. The fire burned. The darkness whispered.

 

And then everything was dark.

 

Darker than it had ever been.

 

* * *

 

Cold sweat threatening to drown him, Loki woke up. Everything was still dark, and this time, he knew better than to go anywhere . . . unless the shadow came anyway.

 

His heart was thunder in his chest, and his mind was a disaster. Darkness. The blade. Pain. Blood. Fire, fire as black as a starless night. The whispering . . .

 

(c) 2018 Samurai

 

 

 

 

- Show, don't tell. Instead of:

 

Akira was an anxious samurai.

 

Write:

 

Akira was shaking, biting his nails, not biting his nails, biting them again, not biting them, cracking his knuckles, fidgeting, fidgeting . . . It was about to drive Loki to insanity. Get it together, man!

 

Description is important. But it has to be written the right way. Here's my rule: if it's boring to write, it's sure as heck going to be boring to read. Take advantage of the POV you're writing from and throw in some commentary. Use metaphors, similes, etc. Things like that.

 

Like when I describe Akira, I don't say he has black hair. I say "his hair was the color of dark thunder, lifted gently by the wind that whispered through the mountains"

 

Thunder doesn't have a color, but that doesn't matter. Using figurative language in that manner, giving snow a sound, thunder a color, etc. creates this . . . it just sounds nice.

 

 

- Include a prologue if you have a lot of background info. But when it comes to background info regarding the characters (Akira's past, for example), it's better to reveal it over the course of the story, or to include a few flashbacks every now and then.

 

- Don't use cliffhangers too much. Generally speaking, a good way to end chapters is with a smooth transition to the next chapter:

 

Akira: So what's our plan?

Loki: Pelt them with yams

 

*next chapter*

 

Loki: The yams are ready

Akira: Good, good.

Both: MWAHAHAHAHA YAMS

 

(That . . . doesn't happen in the book. Just an example. XD)

 

 

- The number of characters who should be introduced depends on the events in your story. In my book, I don't introduce all seven POV characters right away, since they're scattered all over the world, but in my other book, pretty much everyone is introduced in the first chapter because they're all at that one taekwondo school. Again, it depends. Do whatever fits best with your story. 

 

 

 

 

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parakeetpanther60

Thanks Cain, seems to be a lot of using out own judgement which I'm not good at because I constantly critique my stuff, never thinking it's good enough

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breezehawk40

1) Just how long is a chapter to be too long?  

 

That really depends on personal perfrence. If you can't end a chapter yet but you feel like it's going on to long add in a page break every now and again so the reader can take a break if they need too.

 

 

2) Is describing characters in the first chapter, e.g. habits, appearance, etc., really that necessary, or is it going to become tedious to read?

 

Drop hints at those things but don't write a long list of habits and phyical traits. That is when it becomes tedious to read, in my opinion.

 

 

3) How much background should be revealed in the first chapter? Is the exposition only focused mostly on this chapter?

 

 

Only reveal what is imporant key facts related to the story goal.

 

 

4) What is an usually ideal way to end a chapter in method, such as suspense, end of exposition, etc.?

 

 

Always a cliff hanger so that the reader stays interested.

 

 

5) How many characters should be introduced?

 

Never to many at one time. It'll be hard to keep track of them all and form attatchments to them.

 

 

Love mimi

 

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whose glances can cripple

 

the heart and devour the soul

 

 

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dragondolphin2613

1) 

 

It really depends, especially on how much action happens in the chapter. I have seen famous books with 8+ page chapters (you guessed it, Harry Potter!), but most of my own are about 5-7.

 

2)

 

Not completely, because you could slowly elaborate on character history/habits/appearance/etc in later chapters, that's one of the points that makes a book worthwhile in my opinion (maybe not your guys').

 

3)

 

Not that much, the background of characters will make the story more readable (again, based on my opinion and experience) if they are elaborated on through chapters.

 

4)

 

Maybe a character says something funny to another or some action or tension happens?

 

5)

 

Not all of them, slowly introduce them in the various parts of the story.

 

---------------------

 

Hope this helps!-

 

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dragonflyhawk130

1- I would say no more than five pages, but that is mostly personal preference. I've seen everything from half-page-sized chapters to 12-page chapters. 

 

2- I say give the reader a basic idea of the character but don't spend too long describing them. I am personally not super great at this, but this advice I have gotten from annoying pros with very long emails. The most about the character is revealed throughout the books by dropping small things. A good, short description helps the reader get a good idea about the character and then continue to build the mental image throughout the story. (Ex. "She strode through the moonlit clearing, her long, platinum blonde hair bound up in a tight ponytail. Her thin, lithe frame was covered head to toe in black leather and there was a pair of daggers belted at her waist. With her face covered in a black scarf, she looked like a truly dangerous woman." You have a pretty good idea of what this character looks like and you can add something like "As she waited, she toyed with the dagger at her waist and shifted from foot to foot" That gives a basic idea of a habit and more can be added later.)

 

3- I tend to personally write books that are usually very fast paced and throw a lot of information at you at once, specifically background information. However, it can also be good to withhold a great deal of information and reveal it slowly, dropping major points to shock the readers. It just depends on how you personally want to reveal the information for that story and how well it fits with the genre. (You don't reveal much of the important info in a mystery, but you reveal more in a fast-paced action/adventure book)

 

4- Depends. I like to end most chapters at a place where it feels like there is a pause with the occasional chapter ending at a moment of suspense. (Ex. "He fell backwards, toppling over the edge of the cliff." Duh, duh, duh! Then reveal what happened later, either in the next chapter or if you want to leave the readers in suspense, add a flashback or move over to a chapter about another group of characters if you a have a larger group of main characters and they are split up.)

 

5- Depends on how many you have. I usually try to keep main characters to a minimum unless I am writing with someone else who can help me keep track of them. I say introduce no more than 2-5 at a time, with the possible exception of in a flashback or prologue where the characters will not be used much more. When you have many characters that will play vital parts, I recommend introducing them one by one or maybe two at a time occasionally, as not to overwhelm the reader. If you are losing track of the characters and how they were all introduced, then you have definitely thrown too much at the reader, especially if they are all your own characters and not those from a story sign-up. 

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brownlynx107

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scarletdragon3016

@Everyone Thanks for the advice! (So, are you all my teachers now? xD)

 

@Arl Yep, there's always room to improvement is what I like to think. :) (Also, the chapter has to do with you...)

 

-Galaxian-

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