What Makes Up a Chapter in a Novel?

Beginning Writer’s Answer Book by Jane Friedman

What makes up a chapter in a novel? How do I separate scenes within a chapter?
Exactly what and how much goes in to a chapter is up to the individual author. Chapter divisions are an author’s means of organizing the major events and developments in his novel, and can provide easy transitions in time, place, or point of view. Many writers (and agents) like to have a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter that keeps people reading and on the edge of their seat.

Changing scenes within a chapter can be accomplished by a simple paragraph change, using a transitional phrase like The next morning, she … . Or it can be accomplished by leaving blank lines between paragraphs, a technique especially helpful when the scene change also involves a change in viewpoint.

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