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A really stupid question


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#1 hjvagar

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 02:04 AM

Just wondering. On my second book (and actually the sequel to it too) I haven't used chapters. I just wrote it down as it came to me. Do I need to go back and put it into chapter form or are there actually books out there that just flow without them? (See? I told you it was stupid LOL. I have been writing for most of my life but never tried to get anything published so it just came out whichever way I wanted it! I am VERY ignorant about this getting-an-agent-and-trying-to-get-published thing)



#2 lnloft

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 06:59 AM

Right off the bat, Terry Pratchett comes to mind as someone who didn't include chapters. It's a bit unconventional, but it has been done. Just so long as you offer natural breaks to give readers places to stop, you should be good.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#3 BadgerFox

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:13 AM

I think there are plenty of writers who don't use chapters. Unless you've got some particular reason for needing to break it into chapters, I don't see why you can't just leave the narative in one flowing piece (for example, in the works of G. R. R. Martin, each new chapter indicates a viewpoint change to a new character's PoV, so in his case he really does need individual chapters).

 

That said, even Pratchett did break up the narrative with page breaks, sometimes to indicate a new close-third PoV section of a minor character, so you might want to try something like that. It's useful to be able to leave a blank line or a ' *** ', or similar themed variant - Janice Galloway puts 'oooooo' between different sections in one book about mental illness, which some speculate are meant to look like cries of distress. After all, you might want to show a long period of time passing, or highlight an exciting cliffhanger or unanswered question.


Spare a little feedback, if you have a moment? :)

My AU historical novel query: here. Thank you!


#4 michaelblaine

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 02:20 PM

Just wondering. On my second book (and actually the sequel to it too) I haven't used chapters. I just wrote it down as it came to me. Do I need to go back and put it into chapter form or are there actually books out there that just flow without them? (See? I told you it was stupid LOL. I have been writing for most of my life but never tried to get anything published so it just came out whichever way I wanted it! I am VERY ignorant about this getting-an-agent-and-trying-to-get-published thing)

 

Just out of curiosity, what is your novel's target age-group?  If it's adult or even YA, I agree that chapters are not a must-have (although I tend to like breaks while I'm reading - James Patterson comes to mind).  For early readers and the younger MG crowd, however, I personally would use chapters.  My 11yr old son, for example, is quick to point out when I've gone too long without creating a chapter break.  That's just my opinion, though.  I'm sure that there are many examples of chapterless novels that have done fine.



#5 hjvagar

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 03:05 PM

It's for YA. With the first one I've had several in all age groups critique it and no one mentioned the lack of chapters so I didn't even think about them until I was reading another post on here about agents asking for chapters if they are interested. I suddenly thought, "Well what would you send if they asked that question?" (Which is actually a moot point since I have only gotten rejections so far HA!) When I read books I stop whenever I'm tired - not waiting for a chapter to end so it never even dawned on me that I didn't have any!



#6 lnloft

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 05:33 PM

When you do get to the point of getting requests, it's usually something like "first three chapters or fifty pages". My first three chapters are just about exactly fifty pages, so I got lucky on that count, but you can just do it by page count, I would say.


Nothing to reciprocate on right now; I'm off in the query trenches.


#7 Emily804

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 12:41 PM

I didn't use any chapters in the first novel that I wrote. I was planning on adding them when I was finished. I never went back and edited it all the way though. Not having chapters made it really difficult to stay organized. But if you can stay organized without them, more power to you! The only issue you might run into is when agents ask for say, the first 3 chapters. But most agents request things based off of page numbers so you shouldn't run into too many problems. 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#8 hjvagar

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:24 PM

Thank you both! I was a little worried about the agent requests but everyone has helped me a lot! I think I am just about the most insecure writer out here. No matter what I do I think it's never good enough, never done correctly or some other negative so getting the feedback here is great for me. 






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