Thursday, 7 April 2016

Chapters or not to chapters

Spinning off the Great Prologue Question:  Do we really need "chapters"?

In the midst of discussing whether "Prologue" is a dirty word, the obvious solution came forth to simply call it "Chapter 1" and avoid the stigma of labels.  The chat whirled away whether the Prologue's content could be smoothly and thematically considered a "Chapter".  

In the meantime, I sat back and puzzled at why we need these artificial breaks in the narrative. Are they there for people to have milestones as they race each other?  "I've read all the way to Chapter 9!"  Or a way to keep track of your progress "Don't tell me anything!  I'm only up to Chapter 9!"

As I write, I put in an extra line to denote time passing and/or a change of scene.  Definitely when there’s a viewpoint shift.  Is that extra space not enough?  When it came time to publish Home on the Strange-a Brewster & Brewster Adventure, I was prepared to stick to my guns and not bother with these “we now pause for a commercial” chapter breaks.  But then my sister suggested I could put spot illustrations at each chapter.  Really give some value and pizazz.  So I went thru the entire manuscript and picked moments to make very big pause moments.

If I go the illustration route with my work-in-progress, I’ll do it again.  But if no drawings, I may not bother.  Am I crazy?

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