Fishing for Answers: What Do You Prefer?

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Sometimes an author has questions to ask, and the best people to answer those questions are You! Fishing for Answers is where a question is asked and then we debate about the answer in the comments below. We look forward to hearing your advice, tips or thoughts.

Question: Which do you prefer in a book:

1. Long chapters with multiple breaks in each chapter.

2. A series of short chapters.

Give us your opinion and comment. Let’s discuss!

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18 thoughts on “Fishing for Answers: What Do You Prefer?

  1. In my investigations, it has been stated that shorter chapters are better; for in this digital age, the attention span is much lower than in the “old days.” This goes for sentences, too.

    Then, we have the daunting task of trying to do away with adjectives, adverbs, passive voice, the list goes on and on, much as I on occasion.
    I think the “rules” vary greatly depending on the subject matter, as well as the target audience. It’s all speculative, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Me, personally, huh?

        I just went through and read the other comments thus far, and many valid points and preferences have been presented. Invaluable information there, to be sure.

        As for my reading, I honestly don’t pay attention. If the story flows, and I feel I’m getting a satisfaction from it, it does not even matter if it’s just one long work. But it has to be engaging.

        However, the paragraph length should be kept minimal. Too often, a section just keeps going with no seeming end in sight…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I appreciate your feedback! It’s good to know that most people value the flow and engagment of a book rather than how long or short chapters are. And yes, I definitely agree with you on the “no super long paragraphs.” It tempts me to fall asleep when I see a massive sized paragraph before me. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually prefer longer chapters with breaks in them. But that’s only when I read. When I write, I don’t usually think that way. For me, breaks occur only as and where it makes sense. Sometimes long chapters, sometimes short.
    I’m no help at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually think I like long chapters with breaks better than a bunch of short chapters. I get really wrapped up in the storyline I’m following, and I hate to have my attention broken every few pages.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not going to be much help, either. Because I don’t have a preference for chapter length or how each one is broken up. Whatever the author decides, though, should help with the story’s overall flow and allowing each scene to finish naturally.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Believe it or not, your opinion is helpful. 🙂 I agree that chapter breaks should follow the flow of the story. I think the hurdle nowadays is writing for young people who have short attention spans. But do shorter chapters really help with that? I’m not sure…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I lean toward long chapters with breaks, but I agree with Michael. I also agree with Lauren. Honestly, when I’m writing, I attempt to keep a fairly consistent word count length, but the best part of ending chapters is making sure you’ve given a reason/feeling to keep reading. It doesn’t have to be a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter, but we want to help people want to keep going, regardless of the length of chapter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I also lean toward longer chapters with breaks in them. I also like a mid-length chapter without breaks. From a reading point of view, it’s about having a good opportunity to stop reading frequently, otherwise sometimes you have to leave off in the middle of a scene and then find it hard to get back to it when you come back to it. Shorter chapters sometimes feel like they’ve been cut off too soon, but it really does depend on the story. From a writing perspective, it depends on where the break naturally occur. But having said that, I don’t think I’ve written a break into a chapter for quite a while.

    Liked by 1 person

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