I failed to mention that on Monday I finished a chapter in the new book. I think it might run a little long. It’s certainly longer than all of the other chapters so far. I don’t know if I should take that as a sign that I need to cut it down, extend the others or leave things as are (aside from any other edits later on that I decide to make). I know there’s no such thing as a “perfect” length for a chapter other than what the story requires. I shouldn’t get caught up on word counts. But while a word count isn’t a requirement it can act as an indicator of how a piece of writing is going.
Variation is all well and good, but if chapters are all over the place in terms of length can a book feel off-balanced? I have to remember that the writing a book isn’t the same experience as reading one. If a chapter took too long to write that doesn’t mean that it’s torture for the reader. I think this chapter works as far as the plot is concerned. It’s written in the first person and the narrator colors his experience with thoughts on the minute details of the experience. If this is the reason that the chapter is so long then it might be annoying. On the other hand, I may need more of it earlier in the book. Of course revising the book will give me more of an idea as time goes on.
I do try to reach a certain word count per day (although I fail more often than I’d like to admit). That’s for the sake of exercise rather than the final product. That doesn’t mean that I go for quality over quantity. For example, when I finished the chapter I didn’t reach my usual word count but it felt like a good place to end for the day. Sometimes I’ll keep on going but usually I feel that might be pushing it.
I started the new chapter yesterday but only just barely. I didn’t get to my creative writing time until late in the day. This next chapter will be taking inspiration from the piece “The Damned.” The lyrics deal with a group of people who were executed for speaking out against those in charge. I think the loose story that I had in my head when writing them was that they would be the spirits inside the walls of the house. In that case I think it’s time that my main character has another experience in the past. I have more of an idea this time what the next two chapters will be like. I struggled at first with the last one, loosely based on “Theme from ‘Campires.'” Yet that one turned out to be the long one.