I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

Short Chapters, Lots of Breaks

Is it just me and my entourage or is there a growing tendency towards shorter chapters and more breaks in the text of novels? I say this because I have heard - through a very roughly planted grapevine - that editors and publishers are becoming increasingly keen on this. Is that what they're telling you?

Some of the recent books I have been reading would suggest there might be something in this. I have had one agent tell me to put in more space and lose long paragraphs. "Dividing up the text into newspaper-style paragraphs is now the rage," she said, although not very convincingly. I gulped; when I was training to be a journalist there was controversy over the push to get us to write with a reading-age of eleven in mind.

Personally, I must say that shorter chapters and more space makes things easier to read - and, for me, it makes the writing easier. I wouldn't go for newspaper style though. Is there anyone who really likes thick, bunched-up chapters that run into dozens of pages? This must be another consequence of our "fast-food" approach to entertainment and pleasure. It also makes it easier for the film director, no? Easy slices of the story, already divided up into key scenes.

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