- 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.
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
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.