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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Actually, I like the way Andrew Vachss sets it up, with numbered scenes instead of "chapters." A new scene can start anywhere on the page (as opposed to the page breaks we ordinarily see with chapters), eliminating the problem of wasted paper Sandra mentioned.
i know! I agree with you.
I prefer reading with breaks too--because then I always figure, oh I'll read just a little more.
Yes, it is a winning format I think.
thanks Jude!
Agreed. Imagine that.
I posted yesterday about the book I'm currently reading (John Harvey's GONE TO GROUND) and how slow and frustrating this book is. It has multiple POVs, innumerable breaks, short chapters -- the whole bit that is supposed to make the reader feel comfortable. Instead it feels splintered. Nothing is ever developed fully. In fact, it seems as if he wrote two or three separate stories and then spliced them together to make a book length novel. Surely not, but the many short snippets were irritating and the constant switching cases and characters was confusing.
I recently read something like that too, I.J. You're right, nothing ever feels fully developed. With the book I read it had more to do with head hopping than chapter/scene length, though.
I wouldn't like that either.
it does sound confusing.
I've heard Michael Crichton's NEXT is this way, jumping around from character to character, scene to scene. I haven't got around to reading it yet, so I don't know, but that's one of the reasons I haven't read it yet.
I only began using them for my own work after reading Mark Billingham's Tom Thorne books. Now I use them most of the time. For me I think as I'm writing they give me the option to space out the story a bit, and also to go back and add things to a specific section if I feel it works better without ruining the flow of the story.
Could just be me and my style. But in my current story it seems to work better and easier for me.
Another reason why I add chapter/scene breaks now, is that I see them as 'Commercials' or as in the US... "let's hear some messages from our sponsors!"
In other words, although some readers may prefer to read a book form start to finish, some might wish to take a short break, have a cup of tea/coffee and a biscuit... or even get some sleep!

I found when I was writing that I missed out some chapter numbers, so now as I'm writing, I write down the chapter number and what page it's on as a reference. It helps me a lot.
good point. also I find cutting back and forth (but not to confuse) can add suspense.
Thanks Roger.


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