Annoyingly Short Chapters in Books

@megamatt (14327)
United States
April 11, 2011 5:43pm CST
In the latest, things that authors tend to do that shouldn't annoy me but do, annoyingly short chapters. There is just something that seems rather off with about a book that is maybe a few hundred pages long, yet has fifty and sixty chapters. Therefore, I start thinking about where chapters should be consolidated. Lets see, about eight chapters of set up there, of no more than six or seven pages. That can be strung together into fewer chapters. Another four or five chapters where something happens, where each chapter is still short. It just seems rather off putting when I see a new chapter far too often.
2 people like this
4 responses
@echomonster (2227)
• Greenwood, Mississippi
16 Apr 11
I don't mind a short chapter if it has a specific purpose. For instance, sometimes in mystery novels you'll have a very short chapter devoted to a detective's sudden realization or the discovery of a momentous clue...sometimes that important can stand alone. However, I also don't like it when most or all of the chapters are short -- it interferes with the continuity of the story to have so many breaks. Ultimately, though, I guess it's a matter of style. I'll certainly forgive a good writer for having too many chapters more easily than I would a bad one!
@megamatt (14327)
• United States
17 Apr 11
When used right, short chapters can serve a great dramatic effect. Unfortunately, there are many points where they are used very wrong. Where the author relies on them and obviously either does not come to the conclusion that perhaps they should not have used that many short chapters. There have been a few books here and there that have used them, but there have been many who have abused. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
• United States
12 Apr 11
It doesn't really bother me if chapters are short. I tend to snort when I see a chapter that's less than a page, but it doesn't really annoy me. I think I'm more annoyed when it seems a chapter is going on fooooooreeeever. I keep flipping the pages to see when it ends. I'm not even the kind of person who stops at chapter breaks... I tend to stop in the middle.
@megamatt (14327)
• United States
13 Apr 11
Not too long, not too short. Although while being long annoys me, it annoys me slightly less. And I really have no idea why it annoys me less. Than again, the worst thing that an author can do with an reader's interest, is to make chapters either too long or too short. Four pages is bad, but so is forty. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
1 person likes this
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
12 Apr 11
Short chapters can be a disappointment to a reader. Just when you are really getting into the heart of the story yoou find yourself at the end of a chapter. it can be quite discouraging. it just leaves you wanting more.
@megamatt (14327)
• United States
13 Apr 11
Yeah I suppose it a certain sense that could be good. Us wanting more. Still, there are times where what was done in a few chapters, could have really been accomplished in one. There are going to be some chapters that will be short, but the momentum gets cut off right where the chapter ends. And its not even a cliffhanger a lot of the time. The chapter just really ends. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
11 Apr 11
Have never read a book like that but can see how it could be annoying. Just as you "get into" the chapter...it ends or at least the line of thought has been interupted. I can't imagen why they would do that. I would thin they'd want to keep their own costs/expense down and that by making so many chapter pages would use more paper (I read REAL ooks, not ebooks and the like!)thus up the cost to print. Oh well, tho..I guess since everyone still buys them like that, they will continue to print them like that...Read any good ones lately, by the way?
@megamatt (14327)
• United States
13 Apr 11
I think that most people(myself included), don't really pay attempt to the length of the chapters until we actually start reading the book. By then the summary does draw us in. Still does not really change the fact that the book is really annoying me. No books that really caught my eye lately. Just average, not a waste of time mind you, but nothing that is catching my eye or coming to mind. Thanks for responding. Its appreciated. Have a nice day.