Yes, here I am again posing another question.
The subject arises about section breaks within chapters.
What do you guys think of them?
I find I use them to show the passage of time or a switch of action within a chapter.
However, the theme of the chapter is held--ongoing, hence the break and not a new chapter.
But I am wondering if perhaps it's better not to use breaks.
Your thoughts, please fellow crimespacers?

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Page breaks usually indicate a new scene or an alternate POV within a chapter. I use # centered and then an extra double space. Some people use *** centered. You should definitely use the breaks when starting a new scene or a different POV.
What Jude said. It sounds like you're thinking pretty much along those lines already. When in doubt, try to think like a reader. Make sure she has every opportunity to "get it" on the first read.
Yes, it's written like that, I was just questioning it theoretically because of something I read--questioning breaks altogether. personally, I don't see anything wrong with it.
Glad you guys have replied, I feel better!
I use breaks.
Thank you!
Bless I.J.!
I do this all the time.
thanks Naomi!
I'm comforted!
Carole...My first draft of Justice did not have chapters at all, just the breaks as others have described. After I did my re-write(s), when I finally cut it lean enough, only then did I number chapters. But found numerous places that I wanted a break, but not enough to make it a new chapter. So the breaks wrote themselves when all was said and done. Some were new scenes at different times, others events occurring simultaneous in time...Because I write like I talk (fast), I relied heavily on breaks to act as speed bumps for the story to allow the reader's brain time to catch up or to cool off...
What a great reply, thanks John!
I like that "events occurring simultaneously" too. Because things do occur all around the action. It's not a vacuum, it's characters in real life with things happening all around them.
Very good! I understand that as you've explained it.
And I like the idea of speed bumps! giving the reader a chance to come to themselves.
well-said and I think you!
I outline and write my books by scenes, which can be anywhere from one to twenty pages long and average 5-7 pages, depending on how much happens in that scene. And I try to end each scene with some kind of cliff-hanger or page-turner or provocative statement. As I'm drafting, I'll throw in some chapter breaks between scenes that gives me roughly 15-20 page chapters. So, a chapter usually contains two to four scenes. During rewrites, however, a scene can grow or shrink or I can throw a new one in, so I usually end up "rechapterizing" the book at some point. To me, the real structure of the manuscript is a scene structure, and chapters are purely to give folks a place to stop reading when it's past their bedtime. :)
very good!
love that. rechapterizing! very good.
yes, I like that too about scenes. it makes for a vivid and exciting presentation.
And I'm glad you said about a scene can grow or shrink because with me I found that my story lost weight as I went along.
if anything, I seem to be elaborating and adding to--
Thanks Beth.
Stephen King's rule of thumb is a second draft should be 10% shorter than the first. I don't always make it, as I often add scenes, or flesh them out to accommodate subsequent plot decisions, but I know I cut a lot of first draft stuff away.

I forget which writer said this--everyone would recognize the name if I could only remember it--who said her greatest fear was to die having only finished the first draft of her work in progress, because then they'd see what a shitty writer she really was.


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