What should I title my new book
Write a book
Are you wondering how you should design the chapters of your novel? This article takes a closer look at the function of book chapters and presents options for classification. Furthermore, we give an estimate of how long a novel chapter should be? Once you have read this post, it will be easier for you to structure your book.
How do I divide my novel into chapters? How long should a chapter of a novel be and does a certain number of chapters make sense? Many authors ask themselves such questions when they are working on their book. Are you wondering how to divide your novel into chapters as well? Unfortunately there is no silver bullet, every author has to have his own own solution Find.
However, with a little basic knowledge of the function of book chapters, structuring your work will be easier for you. Furthermore, we take a look at the classic division of novel chapters according to location or dates. Such a solution is suitable for some genres such as travel literature or historical novels. But in the majority of novels, such a classification is not automatically derived from the plot.
What is the function of chapters in a novel
Your reader expects a well-structured book. Chapters are Nibbles, they mark the possibility for reading breaks. If a reader picks up your book before bed, they often turn to the next chapter. 15 pages are easy to read before sleep. A book chapter with 40 pages, on the other hand, deters some readers. If you look at a few books as examples, you will quickly find that many authors choose shorter chapters of even length. There is no rule about the length or number of chapters. If you want to address a broad readership and do not write for a specific target group, you should not make your chapters too long and distribute them evenly. The reading units should not be too short, which inhibits the flow of reading.
But how should an author divide book chapters? One chapter consists of several scenes. How many scenes you present to the reader as a nibble depends on your instinct. It can make sense to end a book chapter at a particularly exciting point in order to encourage the reader to continue reading. An author should use cliffhangers consciously and sparingly. If each chapter ends at a particularly exciting point, this remedy quickly loses its appeal. A chapter can end with a cliffhanger, but this should not be the norm.
Divide your novel into as meaningful units as possible. In a fantasy novel, it can be the hero's individual adventures (e.g. a fight with the orcs). A thriller follows a different logic when it comes to the division into chapters. Here would be useful units: Finding the corpse, questioning the suspect, conflict with a main suspect, etc. Some authors also only split their novel into book chapters when it is revised, because then you can see the plot from start to finish. This, too, can be a way of structuring your novel.
Organize book chapters by location or date
In some cases, the chapter division follows logically from the novel plot. This is the case with travel novels or road movies. You can follow the chapters the travel locations to name. An author does not always follow such a logical structure. Jules Verne chooses a different classification for the travel and adventure novel “Around the World in 80 Days”. Chapter 1 has the awkward title "In which Phileas Fogg and Passepartout accept one another as masters and servants ”. Such chapter titles should put off most readers and are no longer common today. Adventure novels were often edited for the youth. In a significantly shortened version of “Around the World in 80 Days”, an editor named the chapters as follows: “San Francisco - New York”, “New York - Liverpool”, etc.
An example of a historical novel with a Classification according to dates is "The Name of the Rose". Umberto Eco has divided his book into six days, there is also a further division according to the daily routine in the monastery (e.g. Prima, Laudes or Vespers). This automatically results in a chapter division. If you are writing a historical novel, such a solution is an option. It often makes sense here to name your chapters after years or specific historical dates (e.g. June 18, 1815).
Do chapters need a title?
Do I have to name my book chapters at all? In addition to the division of the novel chapters, many authors worry about the naming. Naming is not absolutely necessary. There are numerous books with divisions such as 1st chapter, 2nd chapter etc. Some authors also choose consecutive counts such as 1,2,3,4 or I, II, III, IV. It is only important to fit your book into To divide up the nibbles. If you choose a title, it should arouse the reader's curiosity and yet not reveal too much, again a sure instinct is required here.
There are a number of ways to divide your novel into chapters and to name them (or not). It often helps to look at examples and get inspired. Take books of different genres off your bookshelf and see how other authors have solved it. How long are the chapters on average? What about the number of chapters? Did the author name the novel chapters or not? In the end, you have to find your very own solution, but examples can help immensely.
The book insider's conclusion: How do I divide a novel into chapters?
There is no such thing as a godparent recipe for dividing book chapters; every author has to find an individual solution. You should always keep in mind: novel chapters are nibbles, they mark the opportunity for reading breaks. A chapter usually consists of several scenes. Some landmarks:
- A novel chapter should not be too long, otherwise it cannot be finished in one reading session
- Book chapters that are too short inhibit the flow of reading
- An author should use cliffhanger sparingly at the end of the chapter
- With some genres of novels, it is advisable to divide chapters according to locations or dates
- Book chapters do not necessarily have to be named
It helps to look at examples. How do other authors divide their novel into chapters? In the end, you have to find your own solution, but examples can help with structuring.
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