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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LOVE THAT LAST BIT, especially!
I know what she meant!
so true!!!
thanks so much for that.
wow. you made me smile (and after one tough, hair pulling day of revision/editing, that's great!
This is exactly how I approach my writing, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.
yes, I was reschaptering quite a bit yesterday, and it's great--enlarging upon scenes---removing clutter. and then reading over the printouts. seems to work well, too.
you're not alone, Darlene!!
I do this all the time. I'd rather longer chapters with breaks within it over short short chapters. Short short chapters drive me nuts. They waste paper. And they make me think the author thinks I have the attention span of a gnat.
ROFL! Yeah, I think you just described exactly why I hate really short chapters.

I agree, breaks in a longer chapter just work better for me. It gives the reader a slight breather, marks when a scene changes but doesn't warrant a new chapter, and can also mark a passage of time that doesn't need to be described.
thanks Sandra.
Actually, I tend to have short chapters--1500 words sometmes a bt longer.
but editng and revising now, and I find during "rechapterizaton" that John mentioned yesterday, they grow sometimes, just like Topsy!
I'm not sure what the theoretical argument is, but I once wrote an entire book without breaks. (And no, no mini-chapters either.) The book was written in first person. A multiple POV book makes scene breaks inevitable, I think.

If I had to take a guess, I was subconsciously trying to make a smoother transition from scene to scene for the reader. There's a reorientation procedure for readers that goes on with breaks: Okay, whose head (whose POV) are we in now, and where are we now? It can be simpler to use a transition sentence instead.

Oh, and just leafed through my new copy of Raymond Chandler's The High Window and guess what: no scene breaks.
Thanks Eric. I'll have to think about that. Actually the one author I've found that used them consistently was Sidney Sheldon--I read all of his books many years ago so I don't remember if he did that in each of them.
I am re-reading Master of the Game and he does that throughout.
The problem I think i've discovered for myself is my chapters tend to be short and they have section breaks, maybe not a good thing--but having said that I'm revising and editing now and they grow as I go along.
will see how it goes I guess.
I'll tell you who scared me. Noah Lukeman, an Agent who's written a few books. I've read them and I happened to see one bit of advice in "The Art of Punctuation" wherein he says, if you can avoid using section breaks you should--because it gives the reader a chance to put the book down. but he goes on to say that you can use them--if you really need to. as I am less than confident at the moment, I got scared! That's why I posed this question.
What you say makes sense to me--I too have section breaks for changes of scene and pov and so on.
The one thing that I'm still not too sure about is that my chapters tend to be shortish--1500 words or so and they have section breaks--
but I find editing scenes and laying on action makes it more exciting--cutting back and forth sometimes.
anyway, thanks so much for your reply. I appreciate it! "The Art of Punctuation" wherein he says, if you can avoid using section breaks you should--because it gives the reader a chance to put the book down...

I disagree with this. I think scene breaks and short chapters are condicive to forward momentum. They allow the reader to think just three more pages and then I'll go to bed. Then, near the end of those three pages, the author dangles another carrot and makes the reader consider another three or so pages. And so on throughout the book. It's a winning format, I think.
I don't disagree with you, Jude. I've given Carole the other view mostly because she'd only heard one side of the argument. Ultimately, she has to do what works best for her book.
so true Eric.
I understand both approaches really.
I suppose it depends on the writer.
For me, it's just the way I write.
As for Chandler, he's an icon to me. Just glanced through a bit of The Big Sleep--his chapters are on the shorter side. so are mine.
Not too sure about shortish chapters with breaks--but I was revising this morning and in revising my chapters put on weight!
thanks Eric, and you're right it's down to me falling off the fence one way or the other!


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